Re: Egyptological Transliteration Characters

From: Dean Snyder (
Date: Wed Oct 20 2004 - 20:01:04 CST

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    Philipp Reichmuth wrote at 10:24 PM on Wednesday, October 20, 2004:

    >For Semitics at least, this is *not* a "left quotation mark"; people
    >normally use a left half ring wherever the character is available.
    >(Take a look at Brill publications, such as the Encyclopaedia of Islam;
    >Brill's Baskerville variant has a pretty distinct ayin.) The quotation
    >mark is a substitute only. I guess the only difference in principle
    >with the Egyptological version is that the Egyptological ayin more or
    >less has an uppercase form.

    The following is a small and quickly generated sample list of
    publications in which transliterated Semitic ayins are represented by
    left single quotation marks (and alephs are represented by right single
    quotation marks):

    * Thomas O. Lambdin 1971 Introduction to Biblical Hebrew (Harvard University)
    * Giovanni Garbini 1979 Storia e problemi dell'epigrafia semitica
    (Oriental Institute of Naples)
    * Richard E. Whitaker 1972 A Concordance of the Ugaritic Literature
    (Harvard University)
    * Zellig S. Harris 1936 A Grammar of the Phoenician Language (American
    Oriental Society)
    * Hermann L. Strack 1978 Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash (Atheneum)
    * De Lacy O'Leary 1963 Colloquial Arabic (Routledge & Kegan Paul)
    * Paul Joüon 1996 A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew (Pontifical Biblical Institute)
    * James S. Pritchard, ed. 1969 Ancient Near Eastern Texts (Princeton
    * Choon Leong Seow 1987 A Grammar for Biblical Hebrew (Abingdon)
    * Geoffrey E. Bromiley, ed. 1979 The International Standard Bible
    Encyclopedia (Eerdmans)
    * Johannes Friedrich & Wolfgang Röllig 1970 Phönizisch-Punische Grammatik
    (Pontifical Biblical Institute)

    In none of these publications can one differentiate between
    transliterated ayins and left single quotation marks.

    Of course, there are many publications where transliterated ayin does
    differ slightly from the left single quotation mark. And there are a
    goodly number in which an even greater distinction is made.

    A decision to encode ayin characters needs to be accurately informed by
    such practices.

    To my previous list of ayin transliteration candidates already in
    Unicode, one could also add:



    Dean A. Snyder

    Assistant Research Scholar
    Manager, Digital Hammurabi Project
    Computer Science Department
    Whiting School of Engineering
    218C New Engineering Building
    3400 North Charles Street
    Johns Hopkins University
    Baltimore, Maryland, USA 21218

    office: 410 516-6850
    cell: 717 817-4897

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