Re: Hebrew hataf vowels (was: About CGJ)

From: Jony Rosenne (
Date: Fri Jul 25 2003 - 02:10:51 EDT

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    1. Vav Holam may convey two meanings, either just a vowel or a consonant Vav
    with the vowel Holam.

    Some typographers differentiate these two meaning, many do not. I don't now
    if there is any Masoretic basis for the distinction or if it is late, and
    whether it is consistently used in those texts that do make the distinction.

    This item has been discussed a few times, and the consensus was, at least in
    the SII, that it is not an encoding issue but rather a typographic issue
    that should not affect the encoding.

    2. The Holam on the right side of the Alef belongs to the Resh. There is no
    encoding problem here.

    3. We are discussing here the encoding in Unicode of manuscripts and printed
    books which tried to reproduce them with many of the hand written artifacts.
    I wonder whether medieval Latin and Greek manuscripts do not pose similar
    problems with various artifacts the scribes may have used. If they do, then
    I suggest the Hebrew manuscript problems should not be handled by Unicode in


    > -----Original Message-----
    > From:
    > [] On Behalf Of Peter Kirk
    > Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2003 8:46 PM
    > One of the specific issues he brought up was this one: how do you
    > distinguish the holam-waw vowel combination from the consonant waw
    > followed by the vowel holam? They are clearly visually
    > distinct in BHS
    > and other printed Hebrew Bibles, see Genesis 4:13, contrast
    > words 4 and
    > 5 in BHS. And they are clearly semantically distinct. On a related
    > issue, how do you encode holam above the right side of aleph,
    > as in the
    > very common Hebrew word for "head", see Genesis 3:15 12th
    > word? This is
    > another issue on which different texts differ, and in nearly
    > every verse
    > as holam-waw is very common. (Consonant waw with holam is not very
    > common, but it is not rare either.)

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