Re: Biblical Hebrew

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Fri Jun 27 2003 - 16:45:13 EDT

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    On Friday, June 27, 2003 10:28 PM, John Hudson <> wrote:
    > I don't think it would break any modern Hebrew document, because it
    > is not in any way essential to modern Hebrew that the vowels have
    > fixed position combining classes as in Unicode. That is part of the
    > frustration: the problematic combining classes were not necessary.
    > Since double vowels are never applied to the same consonant in
    > standard modern Hebrew, re-ordering is not an issue, so nor are
    > different combining classes whose only change is to prevent
    > re-ordering. Modern Hebrew works perfectly well if all vowels have
    > the same combining class.

    Sorry for grouping them in a previous message, as "cantillation marks"
    because there are also vowel signs.

    I understand the frustration: if Unicode had not attempted to define
    combining classes, which were not necessary to Unicode, all
    existing combining characters would have been given a CC=0
    (or all the same 220 or 230 value). This would have left the
    compatibility with legacy encodings and with Modern Hebrew,
    without breaking Traditional Hebrew.

    How could those CC values be defined? There is certainly an originating
    body that made this proposal, or some influent member (IBM?) that may
    have tried to describe its current use in their implementation, possibly
    widely used then to work on legacy encodings, but based on false
    assumptions about the language. When this came to Unicode, these
    CC values should have been discussed, and not accepted as is, with
    the set of characters submitted and accepted by ISO10646.

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