RE: Arab Ma[r]ks

From: CE Whitehead (
Date: Sat Jul 17 2010 - 06:33:56 CDT

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    Hi, Khaled, Arno:


    From: Khaled Hosny (
    Date: Fri Jul 16 2010 - 08:09:39 CDT

    > In Arabic, all marks are either above or bellow their seat, the
    > horizontal position bears no significance and it is a matter of personal
    > preference or calligraphic custom.

    > Tanwin is not different here, when it is positioned before the Alef, it
    > is because it seat is the letter before the Alef not the Alef itself
    > (which is the case in most handwriting or calligraphy), calligraphers,
    > however tend to make it as high as the Alef and close to it, but as I
    > said it is a mere calligraphic custom for purely artistic reasons.

    > In typeset texts, some people place the Tanwin marks above the Alef,
    > whether this is correct or not is debatable, but it is the most popular
    > practice in in modern typeset texts, which even crept to some people's
    > handwriting.
    Thanks very much -- both to Khaled and Arno for correcting my misinformation here
    and supplying these details!


    Again, as I noted, IE 7 and 8 display the tanween characters almost in the same place whether you type the fathatan after the consonant or after the final aliph. (In the second case it appears slightly closer to the aliph, and I gather now from what Khalid says this is to please users' preferences.)


    On this same note, a while back Maher I think
    posted a url to a forum:

    So I am copying some of the discussion here:

    أيها الإخوة الكرام المختصون بالعربية وعلومها، هذا الموضوع دار حوله جدل لم أصل فيه لنتيجة بعد، وهو أنّ تنوين الفتح هل يوضع على ألف الإطلاق أم الحرف الذي قبلها؟ مثلاً: (بيتًا) أم (بيتاً)؟ وهل من بحوث حسمت هذه القضية؟
     in Arabic and its knowlege/science bi-'il Carabiyah wa'ca?luwm-haa
         typed before or after
    this subject hathaa-l madh.uc

    المسألة خلافية، ولكن الأكثرين على أن التنوين يوضع على ما قبل الألف
    ?'amsaa'alah xalaafiiyah of contention and not the greatest that the tanawiin ? it-sits? on not before alif
    { repeat
    ما قبل الألف
    not before the alif ??

    بل إن بعض المعاصرين يجعل الخلاف في هذه المسألة غير معتبر، ولذلك لا تجد في تحقيقات القدماء من المحققين إلا وضعها قبل الألف
    but that [it is] after 'al-m?caas.riin-contemporary {that's it because of online stuff computers and line breaking} ya-jacala--it-makes 'al-xalaaf in/fiy this[fem] 'al-masa'alat-i--this issue not muctaba?r--respectable
    and because of this not ta-jad-find in rights 'al-qadma-veterans of the rights but seat before the alif

    * * *

    الذي يحسم الخلاف في نظري
    which severs/terminates incongruity on/about speculation
     أن وضعها على الألف يجرّد الحرق السابق من الشكل، مع أنه أحق بالشكل
    its seat on alif yi-jarra?d--it strips/dispatches/frees ;al-h.arq (al-h.arq is a typo and should be al-h.arf character) of the previous from its figure,
    with it the right of the figure
    { مع أنه أحق بالشكل

    with that ?it has? the right of the figure???
    * * *

    هذا قد يحسم الخلاف إذا كانوا يعرون الحرف السابق من الشكل، ولكن بعضهم يشكل الحرف السابق أيضا فيضع فتحة عليه.
    This was resolved the dispute
    if it was yi/a-caruw-n? -- ??they laid it bare/they unfounded it? -- pl if they laid it bare / if they exposed it / if they debunked it? 'al-h.arf -- the character
    'as-sabaq -- ?priority/precedence/stake min from 'ash-shakul -- the figure
    but after them it forms al-h.arf-character together al-sabaq -- previous/precedence
    \also -- it is seated fatah on it ('the fatah is seated on it')

    (Sorry for the rough translation; I can try to smooth it out if you want it again but my response may be a little delayed as I have to go somewhere this weekend well I want to go camping but I never get anything done; I did it with the help of


    This discussion is where I got my info on the tanween's sitting on the aliph after being severed from the character before but this info is from one part of the thread and Khaled's discussion seems thorough.



    C. E. Whitehead


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