Re: Ambiguity and disunification

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Thu Mar 03 2005 - 14:11:41 CST

  • Next message: Dean Snyder: "Re: Ambiguity and disunification"

    On 03/03/2005 13:13, Dean Snyder wrote:

    > ...
    >If only hyphen/minus and hyphen have been encoded, and you have in a
    >single plain text passage a hyphen/minus along with a hyphen the hyphen/
    >minus has two possible interpretations - one as the original ambiguous
    >hyphen/minus or the other as an unambiguous minus contrasting with the
    >hyphen character. Thus its possible interpretations are controlled by the
    >presence or absence of a hyphen character in the same plain text passage.
    >That is context-bound and frankly stateful.
    Actually, no, because this kind of context is a very poor guide in such
    a case. Documents which have been edited by many different people could
    very easily contain a mixture of hyphen/minus and hyphen, even when the
    intended interpretation is always hyphen - especially because in this
    case there is no visual distinction at all. So it would be quite wrong
    to assume that every hyphen/minus in a document is intended as minus
    just because some hypen characters are found. In other words, the
    situation, although not a good one, is not stateful.

    This situation is of course a hypothetical one. In real cases like
    qamats and holam, there is a small visual distinction, indeed the point
    of the disunification is to allow the visual distinction to be made. And
    so there is less likely to be an unintended mixture of characters.
    Nevertheless, a single document may for example include passages in
    which qamats is contrasted with qamats qatan and others in which it is
    not. So it would be still be wrong to work on your assumption that the
    interpretation is controlled by the context in any mechanical way.

    Peter Kirk (personal) (work)
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