RE: ZWJ/ZWNJ in combining mark sequences

From: John Hudson (
Date: Wed Nov 05 2003 - 14:52:11 EST

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    At 11:11 AM 11/5/2003, Language Analysis Systems, Inc. Unicode list reader

    >I should probably know better than to jump into this discussion,
    >especially since I really don't know anything about Biblical Hebrew, but
    >I could have sworn that this had been discussed here before. I thought
    >what I remembered people saying was that the medial meteg was the
    >high-runner case and the versions with the meteg on either side were the

    In the _Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia_ text based on the Leningrad Codex,
    yes. There was not agreement, though, about whether the medial meteg should
    be considered the default rendering in the larger body of pointed Hebrew,
    including Jewish editions of the Tanach, prayer books, etc.

    > If that were true, you'd get
    >Medial meteg: < hataf patah, meteg >
    >Left meteg: < hataf patah, CGJ, meteg >
    >Right meteg: < meteg, CGJ, hataf patah >
    >Simple enough, if it makes any sense linguistically.

    This is certainly workable from a font perspective, although it would
    require careful ordering of lookups. I'd initially tried the same approach
    using ZWNJ to force the left meteg, but this caused all sorts of problems.

    >The discussion here seems to be suggesting that the left meteg is the
    >high-runner case.

    That is certainly the opinion that most of our Jewish correspondents have
    voiced. I'm not sure anyone here has the Hebrew printing history expertise
    to say *why* the left meteg might have become the more common norm: I
    strongly suspect that it was simply due to limitations in typesetting
    technology and lack of appropriate sorts in fonts.

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Vancouver, BC

    I sometimes think that good readers are as singular,
    and as awesome, as great authors themselves.
                                           - JL Borges

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