From: John Hudson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Jun 25 2003 - 17:20:41 EDT
At 01:15 PM 6/25/2003, John Cowan wrote:
>I don't understand how the current implementation "breaks BH text".
>At worst, normalization may put various combining marks in a non-traditional
>order, but all alternative orders are canonically equivalent anyway, and
>no (ordinary) Unicode process should depend on any specific order.
In Biblical Hebrew, it is possible for more than one vowel to be attached
to a single consonant. This means that is it very important to maintain the
ordering of vowels applied to a single consonant. The Unicode Standard
assigns an individual combining class to every vowel, meaning that NFC
normalisation may re-order vowels on a consonant. This is not simply
'non-traditional' but results in incorrect rendering and a different
vocalisation of the text. The point is that hiriq before patah is *not*
canonically equivalent to patah before hiriq, except in the erroneous
assumption of the Unicode Standard: the order of vowels makes words sound
different and mean different things.
In order to correctly encode and render the Biblical Hebrew text, it is
necessary to either a) never use normalisation routines that re-order marks
(which is beyond the control of document authors), or b) re-classify the
existing Hebrew marks so that all vowels are in a single class and will not
be re-ordered during normalisation, or c) encode new marks for Biblical
Hebrew with all vowels in a single class.
There are a few other desirable changes to the combining class assignments
for some Hebrew accents, which make rendering easier and are more
linguistically logical, but the vowels are the most problematic.
Tiro Typeworks www.tiro.com
Vancouver, BC email@example.com
If you browse in the shelves that, in American bookstores,
are labeled New Age, you can find there even Saint Augustine,
who, as far as I know, was not a fascist. But combining Saint
Augustine and Stonehenge -- that is a symptom of Ur-Fascism.
- Umberto Eco
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