From: Gregg Reynolds (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Jun 14 2005 - 16:18:13 CDT
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
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