Re: Hebrew Vav Holam

From: Ted Hopp (
Date: Thu Jul 31 2003 - 10:57:50 EDT

  • Next message: Ted Hopp: "Re: Hebrew Vav Holam"

    On Thursday, July 31, 2003 10:00 AM, Peter Kirk wrote:
    > Ted, if we are to encode separately the dot in holam male, what would
    > you call that dot? We can't call it holam male because that is the name
    > of the combined vav and holam. But if that causes a difficulty, that
    > shows what the problem is. This dot is not a different character from a
    > regular holam, it is the same one positioned differently, because it
    > logically precedes the character above which it happens to sit.
    > I note, from the Unicode standard version 4.0 section 2.10
    > (, that some combining
    > characters are encoded according to their logical and pronunciation
    > order although this does not correspond to their visual positioning.
    > Perhaps holam should be considered as a similar special case, with vav
    > as it already is with alef.

    I think of holam male as an indivisible glyph that happens to look like a
    vav with a dot centered above it (or above its stem, if you will, but that's
    just how it might vary from font to font). It's much the same as a
    lower-case 'i' not being a dotless i glyph with a combining dot. (Sometimes
    an 'i' is just an 'i'.) I wouldn't call the dot anything but a dot,
    certainly not a holam male.

    Let's encode Hebrew, not dots. It may mean changes to what SIL, UniScribe,
    and others are doing, but there's no free lunch here.


    Ted Hopp, Ph.D.
    ZigZag, Inc.

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