Re: Arabic swash letter Ya with dots

From: Behnam (
Date: Fri Aug 01 2008 - 21:00:30 CDT

  • Next message: Arno Schmitt: "Re: Arabic swash letter Ya with dots"

    On 1-Aug-08, at 7:37 PM, John Hudson wrote:

    > Behnam wrote:
    >> There is more tolerance about Arabic Kaf but the proper shape is
    >> Keheh.
    > The origin of these letter shape preferences is to be found in
    > script style preferences. The Persian and Urdu shape preferences
    > are nastaliq shapes, and the proper distinction is not between
    > Arabic K and Persian K, which is a typographic accident arising
    > from misunderstanding and technological limitations, but between
    > naskh and nastaliq shapes. This is most easily demonstrated by the
    > fact that Arabic written in nastaliq uses these same 'Persian'
    > shapes. In modern Arabic script typography, these misunderstood
    > script style distinctions find their way, via Unicode and
    > codepages, into every new typeface, regardless of style. So we have
    > 'neo-naskh' typefaces containing bastardised nastaliq letters for
    > Persian and Urdu; perhaps we will eventually see 'neo-nastaliq'
    > fonts containing bastardised naskh letters for Arabic.

    This is very true. The technological limitations had a great impact
    in modern typography. Nastaliq was simply out of question with metal
    foundry. In fact, I sometimes ask myself if this newly found
    abilities through digital foundry has taken enough into consideration
    the fact that all living generations of Persian speakers for example,
    have grown up using books written with a simplified Naskh which could
    lend itself easier to publishing limitations.
    It is also worth noting that despite this 'typographic accident',
    Persians went to a great effort to inject 'Keheh' instead of 'Kaf' in
    all school books and major publications. So identifying Keheh as a
    Nastaliq shape (therefore a stylistic option) may be true in Arabic
    perspective but it is not the case in Persian perspective. This may
    have something to do with the use of Gaf (U+06AF) in Persian which is
    essentially same 'Keheh' with an extra stroke. You would not find
    this in Arabic Naskh since it is not used in Arabic.


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