Re: Hebrew hataf vowels (was: About CGJ)

From: John Hudson (
Date: Thu Jul 24 2003 - 18:27:57 EDT

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    At 01:40 PM 7/24/2003, Peter Kirk wrote:

    >>These are display issues, not encoding issues,...
    >Not entirely. First I need to know what sequence of Unicode characters I
    >should use to encode holam-waw and aleph with right holam. Garbage in,
    >garbage out. Then I need to be sure that your sophisticated rendering
    >system actually makes the required distinctions and is not confused by any
    >rare cases.

    In both these cases, the holam belongs to the preceding consonant, but is
    contextually shifted onto the following alef, vav or shin. I wasn't aware
    that this was in any doubt. So, for example the word for 'head' in Genesis
    3:15 is encoded

             resh + holam + zaqef qatan + alef + shin + shindot

    The font takes care of shifting the holam from the left edge of resh over
    the right side of alef.

    >>There is a document currently available at
    >Actually it is not currently available. Fortunately I downloaded it yesterday.

    No, it's still there, but you have to go directly to the PDF: you can't
    navigate the directories.

    >>...that displays every sequence of consonant + mark(s) that occurs in the
    >>BHS text and the Westminster morphological database, with post-context
    >>consonants. This doesn't give a perfect representation of what happens in
    >>every circumstance...
    >Maybe this is why it is missing an adequate representation of one of the
    >commonest base character + mark sequence in the printed BHS text, holam +
    >waw with the holam clearly shown above the right hand side of the waw. I
    >am looking for example at your he - holam - waw sequences. The holam is
    >shifted from the he onto the waw as I think it should be, but its
    >positioning over the waw looks to be the same as in the waw - holam
    >sequences (where there is no interference with cantillation marks). At
    >least the distinction is nothing like as clear as in Genesis 4:13 in the
    >printed BHS.

    I'm looking into this. The substitution should result in a clear
    distinction, but there may be a problem in the lookups. I'll send you a PDF
    offlist once I have confirmed that it is working properly.

    Regards, John

    Tiro Typeworks
    Vancouver, BC

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