From: Philippe Verdy <>
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2011 11:06:33 +0200

2011/8/20 mmarx <>:
> In the Qur'an the hamza is not always above:
> if there is kasra on the letter, the hamza
> is below too.
> Is there someone preparing a proposal for
> missing Quranic characters  or should one
> do it one by one?

I was told long ago that the normative placement of kasra below the
letter was also requiring it to go below the shadda (above the letter)
when there was one, and this suffered no exception, at least in
Koranic texts: the shadda effectively modifies the consonnant, not the
vowel, and defines the new higher baseline of the consonnant cluster,
under which the kasra is simply position

So the case is similar here, going in the reverse direction for the
placement of hamza, relative to kasra that logically comes after the
hamza and that may be omitted if vowel precision is not needed.

Both exceptions are highly related to the logical order of binding for
those hamza and shadda diacritics.

The rule relative to the shadda is so strong that this is even one of
the very first thing you're taught in some didactic tutorials on how
to read Arabic.

An example here, in the first lesson (redacted for French learners,
with audio description, and videos showing how to manually draw the
glyphs, with just three simple consonnants, the 3 basic short vowels,
the sukun as a mark for vowelless, and the shadda for gemination, and
the 3 basic long vowels represented using a mandatory matres
lectionis, after the optional short vowel on the previous consonnant):

Then the rule for the placement of kasra relative to shadda is
constantly used in all the 12 lessons, in a systematic list of
syllables, as well as in sample words explained completely, and in
longer lists of words left as an exercice to the reader (there are a
few minor errors in this web version, which you can correct easily
even if you're a beginner). That's one of the free initiations to
Arabic writing I've found on the web that is the easiest to understand
and memoize rapidly (in about 15-30 minutes per lesson, you can
hear/pronounce and read/write correctly almost all the Arabic script,
at least phonetically, even if you don't know the vocaculary and
grammar and you're a complete beginner to the script and language).

This last method looks to me even much simpler than the one I had to
use years ago (with lot of difficulties because I could not have the
pronunciation, reading and writing rules all at the same time)... And
it is definitely simpler to understand than the complex introduction
to the Arabic script given in the Unicode standard (which immediately
formulates the joining behavior of Arabic letters, in a way that looks
much more complicate than necessary, but still forgets some essential
things about the 5 basic diacritics).

Yes the case of hamza is tricky, that's why these lessons above do not
enter in its details (these are left to the advanced lessons after
this initiation, only available on paid subscription). For the same
reason, there's nothing in this initiation about the variants of other
consonnant letters, turned into small diacritics used in Koranic texts
to annotate the correct reading or interpretation, where some basic
letters are not written in texts that are not fully pointed.

-- Philippe.
Received on Sun Aug 21 2011 - 04:10:21 CDT

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