Re: question re: Hebrew accents

From: Jonathan Rosenne (
Date: Fri Jan 29 1999 - 12:37:28 EST

There are indeed two characters, Zarqa and Tsinor, 0598 and 05AE.

Zarqa and Tsinorit look the same and have similar meaning, but cannot be
confused because Zarqa is used only with the 21 books of the Old Testament
and Tsinorit only with the 3 EMET books (Job, Proverbs, Psalms).

The placement of accents depends on the shape of the letter and the points
it carries. They actually belong to the word, not to a specific letter of
it, and are normally placed on the consonant of the syllable that has the


The placement of the accents depends on the

At 07:52 29/01/99 -0800, wrote:
> J>Zarqa is basically "above". The detailed positioning rules of
> Hebrew points and accents are too complex and imprecise and are
> of no interest to character standards. Unicode provides just a
> general indication of the placement.
> J>For example, the placement of Dagesh, basically a dot in the
> center of the letter, is affected by aesthetic considerations
> and conventions such that most font makes prefer to have the
> each letter with Dagesh a separate font. Or Sheva, basically
> "below", is moved to the right on some letters.
> I don't think a single character zarqa really is adequate.
> Consider dagesh: as you've indicated, aesthetic considerations
> can require a slightly different position for nearly every
> consonant that it occurs with. Yet, for a given consonant it
> would only ever occur in a single position. The is different
> from the situation with the zarqa/zinor/zinnorit glyph, which
> can appear over a given consonant in more than one position
> with the different positions having different significance. So,
> there are two distinct characters needed, whatever it seems
> best to call them. Indeed, in each case aesthetics require
> careful positioning on a consonant by consonant basis.
> Nevertheless, it is my understanding that two distinct
> characters are needed here.
> Peter Constable
> Non-Roman Script Initiative, SIL

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