interaction of Arabic ligatures with vowel marks

From: Stephan Stiller <>
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2013 20:09:31 -0700


How is the placement of vowel marks around ligatures handled in Arabic text?

Does anyone have good pointers on this topic?

My guess is that this does not come up often (just like the topic of
pointing for handwritten Hebrew), as vowel marks are mostly not added in
ordinary text. Nonetheless, any text making heavy use of ligatures will
from time to time need to add vowel marks for a foreign name or as a
reading aid, and (as many of us know) the Quran is traditionally printed
with vowel marks.

I'm also wondering how font designers normally handle this. I think
there are analogous questions for various ligature-heavy abugidas, so
there must be an existing body of knowledge. There should be better
answers than "squeeze the vowels around the consonant clusters in
whatever way seems most intuitive". Do traditional printing presses use
extra metal types for such glyph clusters, or do they manually add and
adjust the positioning of vowels?

Received on Tue Jun 11 2013 - 22:16:24 CDT

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