[texhax] hebrew help?

Dubin, David M. MD David.Dubin at ehmc.com
Fri Oct 30 16:46:17 CET 2009



Alec Julien suggested I contact you about a project that I am starting
which will require manipulating Biblical Hebrew text.


In Biblical texts, there are multiple markings (such as diacritical
marks, vowels and musical notation) which appear above & below letters
(sometimes 3 or 4 per letter!).  While there are scholarly fonts that
can handle this, I want to split several characters to eliminate
ambiguity, and Unicode doesn't allow such innovation.


For example, the Hebrew vowel called schva (the origin of schwa in
English) either connotes no sound or a short schwa sound after the
letter it appears under.  I would like to have two different glyphs to
connote the two sounds. I would like to split some other symbols into as
many as three, each of which would have a bold & regular glyph.


Mr Julien thought maybe TeX/LaTeX could help me around a specific
problem -that  manipulating a vowel in Unicode fonts required
manipulating the whole letter & its markings at the same time, defeating
my purpose. Even changing color was impossible, as the letter and its
attendant symbols are considered a unit. Does TeX/LaTeX have the same


Do you think my project can be undertaken using TeX/LaTeX? If so, I'll
spend the hours trying to figure out the system while I'm not treating


Thank you for your help.




David Dubin

545 Rutland Avenue

Teaneck, NJ 07666-2925



fax (201) 541-2463


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