Re: The display of *kholam* on PCs

From: Dean Snyder (
Date: Wed Mar 05 2003 - 10:57:38 EST

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    Chris Jacobs wrote at 12:54 AM on Wednesday, March 5, 2003:

    >But why do you call the kholam a "high left dot"?
    >As far as I know it can appear high left or middle, to indicate that is
    >should be pronounced after the consonant, or right, to pronounce it before.
    >So the meaning of a shin with two dots above it is ambiguous,

    In classical Hebrew KHOLEM always represents a trailing vowel, i.e. it is
    always pronounced after the consonant over which it is written. [In fact
    I can't think of ANY vowel sign in classical Hebrew which represents a
    pronunciation that precedes the consonant to which it is associated,
    ignoring, for obvious reasons, written/read (kethib/qere) orthographies,
    where the vowels indicate what is to be read in spite of the consonants
    that are written.] And so the graphemic sequence SHIN KHOLEM is never
    ambiguous in classical Hebrew. (I don't know about modern Israeli Hebrew.)

    About the only "unusual" orthographic phenomenon I can think of related
    to KHOLEM is that when it occurs after SIN it "shares the same dot" with SIN.


    Dean A. Snyder
    Scholarly Technology Specialist
    Center For Scholarly Resources, Sheridan Libraries
    Garrett Room, MSE Library, 3400 N. Charles St.
    The Johns Hopkins University
    Baltimore, Maryland, USA 21218

    office: 410 516-6850 mobile: 410 245-7168 fax: 410-516-6229
    Manager, Digital Hammurabi Project:
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