Re: Hebrew Vav Holam

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Wed Jul 30 2003 - 20:42:09 EDT

  • Next message: Peter Kirk: "Re: From [b-hebrew] Variant forms of vav with holem"

    On 30/07/2003 17:03, Kenneth Whistler wrote:

    >>At 16:50 -0400 2003-07-30, John Cowan wrote:
    >>>Michael Everson scripsit:
    >>>> >See the reference glyph for U+FB4B. One form looks like this with
    >>>> >the dot above further to the left, the other like it with the dot a
    >>>> >little further to the right. This glyph with the centred dot is a
    >>>> >compromise between the two.
    >>>> A picture speaks a thousand words.
    >>>These particular words combined with the picture in the U3.0 chart tell all.
    >>I see. This disunification tempts. I'd go to the bother of writing up
    >>the proposal for adding this combining character if on further
    >>discussion it appears the right thing to do.
    >and Ted Hopp posted the picture that spoke a thou..., err, well two
    >words in Hebrew and two character names:
    I posted some too, but they spoke so many thousand words, or bytes, that
    they were held up for approval. You should have got them now.

    >But how about:
    >What the heck is *that* thing for, and how would it be distinguished
    >if it isn't this holam? Note that U+05C4 does not participate in
    >any decomposition, so that isn't an issue here.
    >05B9;HEBREW POINT HOLAM;Mn;19;NSM;;;;;N;;;;;
    >05C4;HEBREW MARK UPPER DOT;Mn;230;NSM;;;;;N;;;;;
    >They only differ in combining class (and glyph). Both are
    >given the Alphabetic property currently, by the way, for whatever
    >that is worth in the discussion.
    Well, I have been having a discussion off this list about this very mark
    05C4, and we already had two candidates for its use, without needing to
    add this third one. One person thought this dot was for the dot which is
    sometimes found centred over Hebrew letters to indicate that they should
    be understood as numbers. But in that case, where is the double dot to
    indicate numbers over 1000? Another person thought this was for a dot or
    "punctum extraordinarium" which rather rarely appears above letters the
    biblical text (and is distinct from all vowels and accents); but in that
    case where is the similar but even more rare dot below letters? Does
    anyone have a long enough memory to know for what purpose it was
    originally encoded? And does such an intended purpose have any
    significance to Unicode? I guess it should have if the character has
    actually been used for its intended purpose.

    But as I see it the main problem with 05C4 is that it appears to be
    centred, and has the combining class to be centred, so is not
    appropriate for a dot whose main property is to be at the right.

    >P.S. I have always considered that dots will be the death
    >of Unicode. ;-) Maybe someday someone will write the
    >Comprehensive Guide to Dots in Unicode... Perhaps we should
    >just encode a new block of combining dots: 60 combining dots
    >arranged in 4 quadrants of 15 each at 6 degree intervals,
    >plus another 36 interior overlaying dots in a 6x6 grid of
    >positions, and then just tell everyone to pick the dot that
    >suits them best for whatever their intended purpose may be...
    Not enough dots for Hebrew! :-( Hebrew dots vary in shape, height etc
    as well as position, and in semantics even if they are in the same
    position. You could have suggested using shin dot for this right holam
    as well, but the protests which you would get for that would not really
    be about positioning.

    Peter Kirk

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