Re: Hebrew Vav Holam

From: John Hudson (
Date: Thu Jul 31 2003 - 16:58:47 EDT

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

    At 01:18 PM 7/31/2003, Ted Hopp wrote:

    >There are exactly two Hebrew vowels that are spacing glyphs: holam male and
    >shuruq. Neither one is encoded in Unicode. Neither one is a Hebrew letter
    >(in the traditional sense) nor is either a combining mark. I thought some
    >new nomenclature was in order. Since there are general category Lo code
    >points with names like LAO VOWEL SIGN AA [0EB0], I went with that. (Maybe I
    >shouldn't have dropped the "SIGN".)
    >It seems wrong to be calling a base character a HEBREW MARK. It also seems a
    >little odd to be calling a Hebrew vowel a HEBREW LETTER when every other
    >HEBREW LETTER is a consonant. But if that's what convention requires....

    Weingreen, _A practical grammar for classical Hebrew_ (2nd ed., Oxford,
    1959, pp.6-7) records yod, vav and he sometimes being used for common vowel
    prior to the development of the point system, in addition to their usual
    consonantal role:

    he = short a
    yod = short e and short i
    vav = short u and short o

    Weingreen uses the term 'vowel-letters'.

    My Hebrew knowledge is nowhere near good enough to judge the accuracy of
    Weingreen's explanation nor terminology on this issue.

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Vancouver, BC

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