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Re: Tanween variants and Unicode

Hello Gregg,

From: Gregg Reynolds <gar at arabink dot com>
>- Tanween ending
>> in meem: fathatan+superscript meem will trigger the "tamweem" symbol,
>> and so forth for kasratan+superscript meem and dammatan+superscript
>> meem. No new character code is needed, just a protocol that explains
>> that the combination will trigger the corresponding glyph. 
>I must respectfully but vehemently object.  You can't just merrily 
>redefine the semantics of codepoints that are already well-defined. 
>Fathatan means fathatan; any software that does not display it correctly 
>  is broken, by definition.  Ditto for superscript meem.  If the one 
>follows the other, they must both be displayed.

Well that is an interesting argument but I'm wondering what the practicality of it is. The only use case I can think of where someone would type a tanween and then a superscript meem would be when he is writing a document that lists various symbols used in Arabic. If he wants to simply write these letters next to each other, then it would be wise for him to put a space in between anyways since some of these symbols would be stacked on top of each other otherwise. So if the user puts a space between the tanween character and superscript meem he can display these characters next to each other. Other than this what else use case can you think of?

>> Silent/sequential tanween: fathatan+sukuun code will trigger the
>> silent tanween/sequential tanween glyph, and so forth for
>> kasratan+sukuun and dammatan+sukuun. Sukuun is a good choice for a
>> codepoint here since the noon sound of the tanween is in a way
>> silenced. No new character code is needed, just a protocol that
>> explains that the combination will trigger the corresponding glyph.
>Same objection.  What if the author *wants* a sukuun over an -atan?  By 
>the way, what exactly is a "silent/sequential" tanween?  All tanween 
>variants have names in Arabic that translate quite well into English; 
>why not use them?  By my reading, there is no such thing as a "silent 
>tanween"; there is an assimilated tanween, but assimilation and silence 
>are not the same thing.  "Sukun" is definitely the wrong term.
>See section 1.10 of http://www.arabink.com/patacode/encoding.pdf; see 
>also the bottom of p. 31 / top of p. 32.

Yes I mean the assimilated tanween. I used the word sequential because in this list the word sequential has been used most commonly to refer to this character so I wanted to make sure list participants understand what character I'm talking about. Thanks for the cue for using the word "assimilated". Sounds good to me.

>> New canonical equivalences (this one is not absolutely needed for the
>> Madinah Mushaf): ---------------------- - Basic tanween canonical
>> equivalence: fatha+fatha needs to be made canonically equivalent to
>> fathatan, and so on for kasratan and dammatan.
>Here's the problem with this: why stop there?  You can use precisely the 
>same argument to say that two consecutive vowels within a word should be 
>interpreted as one vowel + vowel lengthener.  E.g. kitAb spelled kitaab. 
>  Technically speaking, the alif in kitAb in fact denotes a lengthening 
>of the preceding fath, just as the second vowel in -atan denotes /n/. 
>Now consider kitaabaa - should the final aa be an alif or a fathatan?
>Plus, what does this do for searching and sorting?  A search for e.g. 
>fathatan won't find two consecutive fathas.  So if you do this sort of 
>thing you'll get surprised users.  OTOH, nothing says an editor can't 
>map two consecutive punches of the fatha key to the fathatan codepoint.

This canonical equivalence of fathatan with fatha+fatha, etc. is personally not very important for me. This is one of the things Tom wants to propose and feels strongly about. At this point I haven't comprehended the real importance for this canonical equivalence so I would suggest you direct your questions about this one to Tom.


Mete Kural
Touchtone Corporation