Re: Questions on ZWNBS - for line initial holam plus alef

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Mon Aug 11 2003 - 14:45:11 EDT

  • Next message: John Hudson: "Re: Questions on ZWNBS - for line initial holam plus alef"

    Peter Kirk responded:

    > On 11/08/2003 06:59, Jon Hanna wrote:
    > >There are only two theoretical problems that I can see here, the first is
    > >that a whitespace character other than space gets converted to space by
    > >attribute value normalisation, and that this changes the meaning of the text
    > >in some way. This could only occur if the combining character were the first
    > >character in a line of text, which is quite a nonsensical construct to begin
    > >with.
    > >
    > >
    > Not at all! Imagine a tutorial on a language, which might well list the
    > accents used, in a format like this:
    > ` (grave accent) is used with a, e and o, and indicates more open
    > pronunciation
    > ^ (circumflex accent) is used with any vowel, and indicates lengthening

    We're going round and round in circles here. Those are not lines
    starting with a combining character, but lines starting with
    a *spacing diacritic*.

    > So far so good, but when I get to an accent with no predefined spacing
    > variant, I have a problem!

    Either you have the spacing diacritic encoded (as in those instances),
    or the standard indicates that you can represent one by applying the
    nonspacing, *combining* mark to SPACE. In those instances, the line
    still doesn't start with a combining mark -- it starts with a SPACE
    character serving as the base character for the combining mark.


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