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

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Wed Jul 30 2003 - 15:47:14 EDT

  • Next message: Peter Kirk: "Re: Hebrew Vav Holam"

    On 30/07/2003 12:24, John Cowan wrote:

    >Peter Kirk scripsit:
    >>Understood. But that is really what we have in the text. In the second
    >>word we have consonant vav with vowel holam. In the first word we really
    >>do have consonant dalet with vowel holam, and then a silent vav which
    >>originated as a placeholder for a long vowel in an otherwise unvowelled
    >>text. But the holam which really belongs with the dalet has become
    >>shifted on to the right side of the silent vav as an orthographic
    >So let me see if I understand this. In the second case we have a glyph
    >consisting of a vav with an ordinary (left side) holam. In the second
    >case, we have a bare dalet glyph followed by a vav with a right-side holam.
    >That sounds to me like an argument for encoding a second holam character,
    >strictly for right-side uses.
    Precisely. Well, almost, the dalet also carried an accent merkha, 05A5.
    In principle pretty much any accent can occur here.

    >>just as it is shifted on to a following silent alef -
    >>something which no one here seems to have questioned, or suggested to be
    >>too complex to implement, although the algorithm is identical.
    >Is this case also a right-side holam?
    Yes, graphically. The orthographic rules for shifting holam on to a
    following alef are identical to those for shifting it on to a following
    vav, except that because the alef is wide no one confuses the two
    positions, and no one gives a special name to alef plus right side
    holam. But for some reason the current or legacy rules for encoding
    these combinations are quite different and uncontroversial; on 24th July
    Jony posted:

    >2. The Holam on the right side of the Alef belongs to the [preceding] Resh. There is no
    >encoding problem here.
    So do we create a problem where there isn't one by adhering to the
    principle which the same Jony just enounced, that:

    >the marks follow the base character
    If we want to fix the problem with vav without breaking what isn't
    broken with alef, we have the choice between fixing vav so that is
    processed in the same way as alef, or fixing it in an inconsistent way
    so that for vav but nor for alef "the marks follow the base character".
    Which is preferable?

    Peter Kirk

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