From: Otto Stolz (Otto.Stolz@uni-konstanz.de)
Date: Mon Mar 07 2005 - 12:26:27 CST
Doug Ewell schrieb:
> German and other languages where ligation depends on syllable or subword
> boundaries might apply dictionary lookup,
For languages where ligation depends on subword boundaries (e. g., German),
MS Word should treat the pertinent marker (“bedingter Trennstrich”, in
the German user interface; I don’t know the English equivalent; the hot
key is “Ctrl” + “-”) as both a possible hyphenation point and as a boundary
across which no ligation must take place. This could be easily implemented
by inserting a ZWNJ at every hyphenation point entered by the user, when
the text is sent to a rendering process, or stored in non-Word format.
This would make proper ligation feasable without dictionary lookup.
Of course, this also applies to other text processing software; it is just
so that I know MS-Word better.
In German, subword boundaries are the preferred hyphenation points:
<http://www.ids-mannheim.de/reform/f.html#P111>. Authors, and typists,
are supposed to prevent misleading hyphenations:
<http://www.ids-mannheim.de/reform/f.html#111E2>. Hence, many typists
have made a habit of marking the subword boundaries with “Ctrl” + “-”
(at least, I have done so). Only in very narrow columns, one would allow
a hyphenation at a non-subword (but syllable) boundary, as those additional
hyphenation points tend to mislead the reader. Example, actually seen in
“Das große Haus- und Familienbuch der Spiele” by Robert E Lembke: “Radiosen-
dung” – never heard of “Radiosen”, they are not even in the encyclopaedia,
what might their dung look like – oh, now I see, that guy is discussing
a “Radio-Sendung” (radio broadcast).
Wrong ligation is much less conspicuous than wrong hyphenating, and many
fonts don’t do ligation, anyway; hence, it would be difficult to educate
typists to include explicit ZWNL to prevent wrong ligations.
Furthermore, there is no reason to mark, on data entry, subword boundaries
twice: for hyphenation, and for non-ligation, respectively. On the contrary,
there is orthographic, and typographic, reason to mark them just once
(for both hyphenating and non-ligation).
Word knows which parts of a document are in German; the rendering process
(or a plain text file) has no information about the language (or not
normally). Hence, Word should apply this information to enable proper
ligatures, if the font has the pertinent glyphs.
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