missing Hebrew point furtive patah

From: Arno Schmitt (arno@zedat.fu-berlin.de)
Date: Tue Jun 08 1999 - 03:47:41 EDT

I thought about all aspects of the controversy and came to the
conclusion that there can be no doubt that something is missing in
the Hebrew block of Unicode.

1.) The are linguistically/phonologically two different patahs:
   - Ca (Consonant and following an /a/)
   - aC (/a/ before the Consonant)
2.) In some MSS and prints these different vocalization points are
placed differently (same shape, about the one spoken before
slightly earlier -- considered the direction of Hebrew -- than the
patah that is spoken after its consonant)
3.) That I call this practice "proper" and Jony calls it "rare",
that I call the typological disregard of the difference "wrong"
and Jony "common", is IRRELEVANT.
Unicode does not only code ISRAELI Hebrew in which something might
be common, but HEBREW. Even if the Israeli Academy of the Hebrew
Language had abolished the furtive patah -- and they have not --,
Unicode would have to provide code points for a distinct point
used during many centuries by good Hebrew printers.
4.) Jony wrote:
You are suggesting a major change to the way Hebrew is typed and
encoded. You are also suggesting to make mandatory distinctions
that are nowadays seldom made. It does not matter if they were
indeed more rational (I don't agree they are) - adding
distinctions does mean a change of orthography.
No, I do not suggest to make MANDATORY distinctions. I just say,
that distinctions made in really live (by all speakers of Hebrew,
and all GOOD printers of vowelled Hebrew) must be reflected in
Maybe one can add a comment to 05B7: "can designate furtive patah
as well, when not encoded distinctly"

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