Re: The display of *kholam* on PCs

From: Chris Jacobs (
Date: Thu Mar 06 2003 - 05:54:02 EST

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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Dean Snyder" <>
    To: "Unicode List" <>
    Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2003 10:11 PM
    Subject: Re: The display of *kholam* on PCs

    > The case of (written) Yo'MaR is not an exception. The pronunciation is
    > "yomar", the aleph not being pronounced; and therefore the KHOLEM is
    > written after the consonant which directly precedes it in pronunciation.

    But not above that consonant.

    > In the examples 'oBeD, MoSHeL, and SoTeN the KHOLEM, as expected, follows
    > in pronunciation the letter with which it is associated.
    > I can't make out the transcription "The letter ??? will be "s<caron>o" to
    > commence a syllabe, e.g., ?????? (s<caron>oma<caron>'), and "os" in other places."
    > and I don't have Harrison's grammar at work to check the reading; but it
    > sounds like an explanation of how SHIN + KHOLEM are written, which has
    > already been discussed.

    It explains that SHIN+KHOLEM "sho" and KHOLEM+SIN "os" are written the same way. A shin with two dots above it.
    However, if it is KHOLEM+SIN, "os" then it is not a syllabe, i.e. the KHOLEM logically belongs to the preceding syllabe.

    [ ... ]

    > I don't have my Bagster here at work but I would suspect if you looked
    > closely, the location of the KHOLEM would be as I have suggested.

    Indeed. While the KHOLEM is above the he the shortest distance (which is horizontal) is not to the he but to the lamed.

    > If not I suspect this is idiosyncratic to works printed on that press.
    > [I did however misspeak technically when I said "after the consonant OVER
    > which it is written". The KHOLEM pronounced after LAMED is indeed written
    > OVER the scribal line, but is written directly AFTER the LAMED.]
    > >> About the only "unusual" orthographic phenomenon I can think of related
    > >> to KHOLEM is that when it occurs after SIN it "shares the same dot"
    > >> with SIN.
    > >
    > >And if those dots were above different letters there were no reason why
    > >they should share.
    > I must be missing your point here; this seems to support what I was saying.

    "shares the same dot" cannot only happen with SIN DOT, dot to the left, but also with SHIN DOT, dot to the right.
    I was thinking of the latter.
    As in MoSHeL. If the SHIN DOT here is a KHOLEM then clearly the KHOLEM belonging to the M is above the SH.

    It seems to be a _kerning_ problem.
    A hebrew letter with KHOLEM can have a part (the KHOLEM) which is above another letter.
    Are there hebrew computer fonts which do kerning?

    > But I'm surprised that no one has provided the one possible
    > counterexample to my statement about no vowel preceding its consonant (an
    > example I completely forgot about when writing my former post) - furtive
    > pathach (as in the second a-vowel in SaMeaKH).
    > Depending on your linguistic persuasion you might argue that the PATAKH
    > here is a vowel glide, both written and pronounced, which is merely
    > "extending" a non-a-vowel before guttural consonants in certain phonemic
    > contexts. Or you might want to posit that it is the only example of a
    > syllable in classical Hebrew beginning with a vowel - or an unwritten
    > consonant.
    > Probably more than we need to know about the originally posted problem,
    > but I have a feeling that readers of this list enjoy, like I do,
    > discussion of these orthographic quirks of the world's writing systems.
    > Respectfully,
    > Dean A. Snyder
    > Scholarly Technology Specialist
    > Center For Scholarly Resources, Sheridan Libraries
    > Garrett Room, MSE Library, 3400 N. Charles St.
    > The Johns Hopkins University
    > Baltimore, Maryland, USA 21218
    > office: 410 516-6850 mobile: 410 245-7168 fax: 410-516-6229
    > Manager, Digital Hammurabi Project:
    > Manager, Initiative for Cuneiform Encoding:

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