Re: Arabic letters separated by markup

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Tue Jun 14 2005 - 17:38:26 CDT

  • Next message: Peter Constable: "RE: Arabic letters separated by markup"

    On 14/06/2005 22:39, David Starner wrote:

    >On 6/14/05, Gregg Reynolds <> wrote:
    >>Peter Constable wrote:
    >>>Think about it: why does someone want to colour part of a ligature
    >>>differently than the remainder of the ligature? Probably because they
    >>>are discussing something to do with the letterform itself. There's just
    >>>as much likelihood, I think, of someone talking about the cross-bar of a
    >>>t, etc.
    >>Now why would you take your own inability to imagine something as
    >>evidence that there is nothing to be imagined? Tsk. To anybody who
    >>knows Arabic the usefulness of such coloring is quite obvious; M.
    >>Kural's response is correct. I've seen elementary school texts that use
    >>such coloring.
    >The point is, they do so in talking about the letterform itself. ...

    Really? All of them? Are you sure? Is it not just possible that some of
    them might do so because they wish to give special emphasis to the lam
    or to the alif? After all, it is reasonably common practice in Latin
    script texts to colour or otherwise emphasise individual letters within
    a word, for example to point out a spelling error or irregularity, or to
    show a grammatical rule. Within cursive Arabic script this cannot be
    done by a font change, but in principle it can be done by a colour
    change. So, if I was writing a text about the Arabic language
    (describing the grammar, not the writing system), I might well want to
    emphasise the alifs in each of a set of words, for example to
    demonstrate the rule by which either alif, waw or yeh is used as the
    seat for hamza. And I would want this emphasis to be preserved even in
    words in which alif follows lam. Now I can't prove that there are books
    that do this, but I would be surprised if there are none.

    >... I'm
    >sure there are elementary school texts that color the cross-bar of the
    >t or the dot of the i, too.

    Peter Kirk (personal) (work)
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