[tex-live] Outstanding question about Hebrew and Greek hyphenation patterns

Mojca Miklavec mojca.miklavec.lists at gmail.com
Fri Sep 20 08:40:07 CEST 2013

(was: [tex-live] Outstanding questions)

On Thu, Sep 19, 2013 at 12:57 PM, Philip Taylor wrote:
> 0) [Context: Hebrew] So all that we need is LHM=3, RHM=3, and
> patterns that permit hyphenation between all possible pairs of Hebrew
> characters that represent letters;

If hyphenation is allowed between any two letters, the patterns are
trivial (see hyph-mul-ethi.tex), but you can also automatically insert
"zero width breakable space" between all pairs of letters if you are
working with XeTeX. A third solution in XeTeX would be to use the
right locale which would break automatically (like in Thai).

> should I therefore move this part
> of the discussion to the TeX-Hyphen list ?

It's definitely more appropriate list than tex-live.

> 1) If a user installs TeX Live 2013 specifying
>       Collections: all; packages: all; schemes: all
> how does he or she ask the system for which languages
> \lang@<language> is defined ?

When you run pdflatex/xelatex/... you get all of the loaded languages
listed in each latex run. I don't know about plain TeX. One way is to
check `kpsewhich language.def`.

> 2) I would like to be able to install full support for Plain TeX (all
> languages, all fonts, etc), but zero support for other formats.  What
> is the correct combination of Collections/packages/schemes to
> accomplish this, please ?

You cannot do it, at least not automatically. A package like
hyphen-foo installs support for both plain TeX and LaTeX for all the
engines (TeX, eTeX, pdfTeX, XeTeX, [LuaTeX], pTeX, ...) automatically.
I don't know what to say about fonts because I don't imagine what it
means to install a specific font for plain TeX, but not for LaTeX, but
if you want to install hyphenation patterns just for plain TeX, you
need to (force) uninstall all hyphen-foo packages and create your own
language.def (probably in texmf-local) with all the languages you
need. Now, this will still install support across different engines
(pdfTeX, XeTeX, ... etc.) so if you only want it in plain XeTeX you
need to make sure that you put language.def to a place where only
XeTeX will find it (with a higher priority than the original one), for
example TEXMF/tex/xetex/....

> 3) Given that I am processing 16th-C polytonic Greek, should I be
> using \uselanguage {ancientgreek} rather than \uselanguage {greek},
> and if so, is it possible to summarise the difference(s) between
> the two sets of patterns ?

The first ones are for ancient Greek, the latter ones are for modern Greek.

Copy-paste from the sources:

% These hyphenation patterns are explained in "ancient.pdf", which
% can be found in the "elhyphen" or "hyphenation-greek" package.
% Hyphenation examples are given in the file "anc-test.pdf", also
% to be found in the "elhyphen" or "hyphenation-greek" package.
% Questionable patterns are marked by three question marks "???".
% Documentation in English can be found in: D. Filippou,
% "Hyphenation patterns for Ancient and Modern Greek," in
% "TeX, XML, and Digital Typography" (A. Syropoulos et al.,
% eds.), Lecture Notes in Computer Science 3130, Springer-Verlag
% Berlin-Heidelberg, 2004. ISBN 3-540-22801-2.

So please take a look at the documents (or the book) mentioned above.

Wikipedia says that 16th century Greek already counts as Modern Greek,
but I'm not a language specialist to be able to judge. If in doubts,
ask the author of the patterns.


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