Re: Hebrew Vav Holam

From: John Hudson (
Date: Thu Jul 31 2003 - 15:17:27 EDT

  • Next message: Michael Everson: "Re: Hebrew Vav Holam"

    At 05:03 PM 7/30/2003, Kenneth Whistler wrote:

    >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.

    The identity of this mark has been debated in a couple of forums. I don't
    recommend it for the kholam male, though, because the upper dot is often
    larger and higher then the holam mark.

    We're using the upper dot for two purposes: in Masoretic notes and to
    indicate Hebrew letters used as numbers. In both cases the upper dot is
    visually centered above the consonant.

    In the past, SIL were using it for above puncta extraordinaria: which occur
    only a few times in the Biblical text, and whose signifigance is debated by
    scholars. I think this is a misuse, since there is no corresponding below
    puncta extraordinaria in the Unicode Hebrew block. SIL seem to have come
    around to this view, and we are both currently using U+0307 and U+0323 for
    the above and below puncta, despite rendering problems in many current
    apps. Because the puncta are typically larger and further above and below
    the consonants than the upper and lower dots used for Latin script, and may
    also not be round, we favour separately encoding the two puncta marks in
    the Hebrew block.

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Vancouver, BC

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