RE: Orthographies using ZWNJ (was: Displaying control characters)

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Mon Jul 23 2007 - 21:20:24 CDT

  • Next message: Asmus Freytag: "Re: Orthographies using ZWNJ (was: Displaying control characters)"

    Karl Pentzlin wrote:
    > Am Sonntag, 22. Juli 2007 um 20:47 schrieb Philippe Verdy:
    > PV> SHY is a perfect example of an explicit syllable break.
    > No. There may be a significant correlation between syllabe breaks and
    > the places where SHY is applicable in several orthographies, but it is
    > not 100% e.g for the pre-reform German spelling (e.g. for "Liste"
    > (list) the syllabes are "Lis/te" but using SHY you had to spell
    > "Li<SHY>ste").

    This does not make any difference, for any Unicode application,if some
    language has such tricks that it allows hyphenation on places that are not
    phonetic/morphologic syllable breaks; they are only concerned by the place
    where such hyphenation occurs. For Unicode applications like renderers,
    hyphenation/line breaking candidate places are the only thing important, and
    they will treat SHY as an explicit syllable break in all cases (even if it
    is misplaced by the author of the text), exactly like they treat SPACE as a
    word separator.

    Unicode does not have to handle spelling errors.

    > PV> I saw this concern when replying to the message sent by Karl Pentzlin
    > PV> speaking about the compound word "Schilfinsel" (i.e. "Schilf" +
    > "Insel"
    > PV> without a "fi" ligature), that he wants to encode as
    > "Schilf<ZWNJ>insel",
    > PV> where the absence of ligature is expected to really mark the internal
    > PV> syllable break.
    > The absence of ligature is plainly wrong at most of the syllabe breaks
    > (if ligatures are used at all). E.g., "offen" (open) requires the "ff"
    > ligature although the syllabe separation is of-fen. Thus, the spelling
    > "of<ZWNJ>fen" would be an orthographic error (while "of<SHY>fen" would be
    > correct).
    > (Ligatures are not to be used at the part borders of compound words,
    > with some exceptions, and for some grammatical suffixes, also with some
    > exceptions.)

    I also know all this. I already said that SHY did not prohibit ligatures
    like in "...f<SHY>f...". (May be you have not read).

    Still nothing explained about my true question: since the beginning I am
    interested in the effective difference of ZWNJ and WJ, and I still cannot
    see any difference.

    And in your case, "Shilf?insel" I am still not convinced that ZWNJ is the
    appropriate character to insert, given that this is a compound word where a
    ligature should not be drawn between "f" and "i". I expect that ZWNJ will be
    used even in the middle of a syllable (or even in the middle of a grapheme
    cluster). And I am wondering if WJ would not be more correct.

    I cited SHY in the middle of this discussions because of its possible
    interactions, but also because SHY does not prohibit a ligature (it has no
    visible effect except when a line break effectively occurs in the middle of
    a word where SHY is placed), unlike ZWNJ (and WJ?).

    My first question remains. ZWNJ or WJ ?

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