Re: From [b-hebrew] Variant forms of vav with holem

From: Ted Hopp (
Date: Wed Jul 30 2003 - 12:25:35 EDT

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    On Wednesday, July 30, 2003 8:21 AM, Peter Kirk wrote:
    > ... The vowel form,
    > Ted's holam male, is encoded as holam followed by vav, and the consonant
    > vav with holam is encoded simply as that.

    Encoding 05B9 before the vav to create a kholam male can be a complicated
    business. Consider the (non-authentic) spelling used in the hugely popular
    "501 Hebrew Verbs" by Shmuel Bolozky (Barron's), where vowels and ketiv male
    (plene spelling) are mixed. (This is frequently done for pedagogical
    applications.) A particularly striking word is borrowers (f): <lamed-kholam
    male-vav-kholam male-tav>. Under the proposal, that would be encoded
    [05DC.05B9.05D5.05D5.05B9.05D5.05EA] -- somewhat difficult to parse, if you
    ask me. There will also be a bad ambiguity for the present, female, plural
    of borrow: <lamed-kholam male-vav-kholam chaser-tav>. The resulting encoding
    under the proposal is [05DC.05B9.05D5.05D5.05B9.05EA]. This could also be
    interpreted <lamed-kholam chaser-vav-vav-cholam khaser-tav> (with the
    reasonable but incorrect interpretation that the double-vav is to indicate a
    consonantal vav, analogous to the the past tense, female, second person of
    borrow: <lamed-qamats-vav-vav-qamats-he>.).

    How would one interpret: [05E7.05B9.05D5.05B9.05D5]? This is how the
    proposed scheme would encode a word that appears in Brown-Driver-Biggs under
    entry I for kavah (qof-qamats, vav-qamats, he). (It should be interpreted
    <qof-kholam khaser-vav-kholam male>. How'd you do?)

    It seems to me that it will be difficult-to-impossible to develop a parsing
    algorithm for this kind of thing, even without considering things like
    transliterations and other irregular applications. Combining characters
    should follow their base characters. We just have to live without the kholam
    male for now (or create it using "markup", which can apparently solve all


    Ted Hopp, Ph.D.
    ZigZag, Inc.

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