RE: Yiddish digraphs

From: Jonathan Rosenne <>
Date: Wed, 19 Oct 2011 22:40:04 +0200

I guess the situation is somewhat similar to the ff ligature or the German
double s (): One cannot always tell just by looking at the text whether the
two Vavs or two Yods are part of a double Vav or double Yod ligature or just
happen to be next to each other.




> -----Original Message-----

> From: [] On

> Behalf Of Ken Whistler

> Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 9:55 PM

> To: Mark E. Shoulson

> Cc:

> Subject: Re: Yiddish digraphs


> On 10/19/2011 12:08 PM, Mark E. Shoulson wrote:

> > I think the issue here is (probably) a matter of legacy encodings,

> > though someone else would need to confirm that.


> O.k., as self-appointed historian of the standard, I guess I need to be

> the one to answer that. ;-)


> The Yiddish digraphs were added to the basic set of Hebrew letters for

> Unicode 1.0 on behalf of the Research Libraries Group, for compatibility

> with their existing usage on the Research Libraries Information Network

> (RLIN).


> Digging very deep in the old mailbox, I located email from Joan Aliprand

> of the Research Libraries Group, dating from July 11, 1991 confirming

> this, and noting that "I pushed very hard for inclusion of the Yiddish

> digraphs tsvey vovn and tsvey yudn."


> It is my recollection that the 3rd digraph was added during the

> discussion of

> the addition of those two.


> At any rate, there is your legacy encoding source for these. Whether or

> the digraphs are used in *current* Yiddish data (or would even be

> recommended for such use) is not relevant to reasons for the original

> inclusion.


> --Ken

Received on Wed Oct 19 2011 - 15:43:57 CDT

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