RE: Arabic aleph representation of glyphs

From: CE Whitehead (
Date: Thu Mar 04 2010 - 19:16:18 CST

  • Next message: Vinodh Rajan: "Re: [unicode] Problems with Windows 7 Unicode Font Rendering"

    Hi! The chart you provided had two parts: first the Arabic alphabet; second, the vowel diacritics, not alone, but in the company of consonants.
    So for someone learning Arabic letters the link you sent has some use.
    (I wish I could say it helped me with unicode characters; I see that there are some combining characters represented in the Presentation Forms at the Unicode code charts, and those are what I wanted I think.


    But for anyone learning Arabic also here's a link I found where you can learn about why certain characters have different glyphs: there is also: where you can meet the characters in order, and there is a song too)
    However, what I was trying to ask about was primarily a display question perhaps.


    There are versions of the Arabic vowel diacritics associated with the indefinite case endings, which actually consist of the short vowel plus the -n sound at the end, and these come only at the end of words--and in fact, only at the end of words that are 'indefinite' or 'not determined' by the article 'al.'
    You don't have to write the diacritics in Arabic, only the consonants (so these diacritics are secondary and more like accent marks and such in Latin-1). The problem comes with the indefinite accusative however, fathatan,
    because you have to insert an unspoken/not-pronounced alef as a seat for the diacritic and the alif has to be written of course.


    (Similarly, there is a 'consonant,' the hamza it is called, which is the glottal stop, that often takes a seat; unlike the seated fathatan diacritic for the accusative indefinite -- the seated hamzas are represented in the primary characters chart at:
    You can have the hamza alone and also represented with different seats: 0621-0626 -- although one of these characters actually involves a suppressed hamza -- or whatever [the hamza is suppressed when it comes between two vowels; I think I've got this right?] for 0622 [is this right?].

    This group might actually be considered to consist of combined characters since all but 0621 include both a diacritic and a character seat for it.
    The vowel diacritics are represented here in isolation, also on this page but not with seats.
    You represent the vowel diacritic fathatan with aleph [or alternately it's written alif] elsewhere in the supplements [Presentation Forms-A] and the hamza diacritics as well [Presentation Forms-B].
    [On the main page again, see 0627 - 064A for the primary consonants if you want those; those are the characters that have to be typed, that I consider primary.])
    But of course the only time the inflectional ending needs a seat is when it is in the accusative case; otherwise it is just a diacritic at word's end!

    * * *
    Now . . . for my questions:
    (1), The logical typing order for the vowel diacritic for sure is normally first the consonant seat and then the vowel diacritic--although the vowel diacritic appears above or below the consonant and not in rtl order.
    However, at the end of the word, with the inflectional ending, you don't have alternate ways of writing the vowel and its character seat; so whether you type the vowel diacritic before or after the alif that serves as a seat, there should be only one display possibility as far as I can think (I may be wrong).
    But my browser (IE) displays the vowel-aleph combo differently depending on typing order -- and I don't think it should in this case since this diacritic is an end of word character -- someone straighten me out on this. I'm sending the attachment again (renamed because the name was confusing because I call this a double vowel diacritic because there are two slashes and not one but it's not really a doubled vowel): on the attachment, you can see the characters together and the two different typing orders.
    (Maybe typing order matters?--someone correct me.)

    * * *
    (2), Also, further down in my attached page, the tah-marbutah is an end-of-word character, and I expected it to turn into an ordinary tah when I added an inflectional ending since in Arabic an ordinary tah must precede the inflectional ending; but the character remained a tah-marbutah; you can add inflectional endings to it and so I am wondering: shouldn't it display like an ordinary tah when there is an inflectional ending afterwards? (Do you code it as in someway an allo-glyph of tah?)
    Displaying it like tah before an inflectional ending would look Arabic. (Someone is going to argue with me and say that I should have typed a tah and not a tah-marbutah anyway before the inflectional ending but I would first type the word, then the tah-marbuta, then perhaps later add in my voweling.)
    C. E. Whitehead

    > Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2010 18:56:41 +0100
    > From:
    > To:
    > CC:
    > Subject: Re: Arabic aleph representation of glyphs
    > Dear CE Whitehead:
    > Your messages are confusing and I don't really understand
    > what you mean and what you want.
    > But have a look at
    > Perhaps this page will help you understanding the Arabic script
    > in Unicode.


    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu Mar 04 2010 - 19:22:03 CST