Re: It is easy to predict the past.

From: Gregg Reynolds (
Date: Tue Jun 14 2005 - 16:18:13 CDT

  • Next message: Gregg Reynolds: "Re: It is easy to predict the past."

    John Hudson wrote:
    > Chris Jacobs wrote:
    >> Are there examples in arabic where a letter of the three-letter root
    >> ligatures with a letter outside the root?
    > The important thing to remember is that much 'ligaturing' in Arabic is
    > really a misnomer or, at best, a merely technical description of a glyph
    > processing model by which typeforms are rendered. There are many
    > different styles of written Arabic, and apart from the lam_alif ligation
    > -- and sometimes including even that -- most of the ways in which
    > letters connect to each other can by analysed not in terms of ligatures
    > but contextual adjustment of connecting lettershapes. It just so happens
    > that most typesetting technologies have handled the more complex of
    > these connections by casting precomposed combinations, i.e. ligatures.
    > But it is perfectly possible to conceive of a typesetting technology for
    > Arabic that would not employ *any* ligatures,

    Nah. The question is which "ligatures" (I prefer "compound forms") are
    required by Generally Accepted Principles of Arabic Writing. That would
    be the lam-alif only; I don't see how one could get rid of it. In some
    traditional pedagogies lam-alif was a distinct letter. All the other
    ones are stylistic variants, and they are pretty much infinite - it is
    an art form, after all.

    However, it is entirely possible to write Arabic with no "ligatures"
    (=ties binding one form to the next) at all, with a font designed for
    that purpose. But even in that case lam-alif is a single form (I
    think). It's been done for decades but hasn't caught on. Which is one
    argument against the entire notion of "conformance" definitions for
    rendering Unicode.


    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Tue Jun 14 2005 - 16:20:13 CDT