RE: Yerushala(y)im - or Biblical Hebrew

Date: Thu Jul 03 2003 - 11:52:52 EDT

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    Jony Rosenne wrote on 07/02/2003 05:55:02 AM:

    > I would like to summarize my understanding:

    I agree with you on most points, but would quibble on the first, as I find
    it overgeneralizes and is not explicit enough.

    > 1. The sequence Lamed Patah Hiriq is invalid for Hebrew. It is invalid
    > Hebrew to have two vowels for one letter. It may or may not be a valid
    > Unicode sequence, but there are many examples of valid Unicode sequences
    > that are invalid.

    We need to state more carefully *what* is invalid. The facts are that
    spellings such as lamed patah hiriq *are* attested in literature and
    encoded representations are needed for them. These spellings are invalid
    as written representations of Hebrew that are consistent with Hebrew
    phonology; but their use in literature is not assumed to be consistent
    with Hebrew phonology; they are used *in spite of the fact* that they are
    inconsistent with Hebrew phonology. It is not normal for Hebrew spelling,
    but the literature to be encoded includes abnormal spellings, and they
    have as much need to be represented as the normal spellings.

    It appears to me that you are trying to establish invalidity of such
    sequences as a basis to argue that encoded representations should involve
    some character between the two vowels. I consider this reasoning flawed,
    however: the encoded representation is a representation of the *text*, not
    the phonology, and the text most certainly does include sequences such as
    lamed patah hiriq. It may be that we end up deciding to adopt an encoded
    representation for this that involves a character between the two vowels,
    but that is a technical-design choice, and not something that we are
    compelled to do because of the nature of the Hebrew language and normal
    conventions of Hebrew spelling.

    - Peter

    Peter Constable

    Non-Roman Script Initiative, SIL International
    7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Dallas, TX 75236, USA
    Tel: +1 972 708 7485

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