[b-hebrew] Hebrew marks in ISO 8957 but not in Unicode

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Wed Oct 1 09:14:35 EDT 2003

I just came across the following in 
http://wwwold.dkuug.dk/JTC1/SC2/WG2/docs/n2584, which is a document from 
Michael Everson (I presume he wrote the "Response") dated from May this 

> /ISO 8957:1996 Hebrew alphabet coded character set for bibliographic 
> information interchange/
> / /
> /This standard has a small repertoire of cantillation marks which have 
> yet to be added to ISO/IEC 10646. JTC1 is waiting for Israel to make a 
> case for these, as they did when the TC46 standard was under 
> development. If no case can be made, TC46 may have little choice but 
> to give up support for them. /
> *Response*: It remains the case that experts on cantillation marks 
> have not made a definitive mapping of existing ISO/IEC 10646. In the 
> absence of such input little progress can be made.
> / /
These additional marks seem to be not so much cantillation marks as 
non-Tiberian pointing. Further relevant documents include 
http://std.dkuug.dk/jtc1/sc2/wg2/docs/n2498.pdf, and 
http://anubis.dkuug.dk/JTC1/SC2/WG2/docs/n2462.doc. In the last of these 
I read:

> NCITS/L2 and the Unicode Consortium recommend that the addition of 
> characters from Table 2 of ISO 8957:1996 be deferred. This will allow 
> experts on cantillation marks and historic pointing and scholars from 
> Israel and from other countries to clarify the nature of specific 
> marks, and to determine the correct mappings for certain TC 46 
> characters. This will allow a complete proposal for any missing 
> characters to be developed.

Perhaps members of these lists can help to provide the input which is 
being sought. The best forum for this is probably the Unicode Hebrew 
list, hebrew at unicode.org or send mail with subject "subscribe hebrew" to 
ecartis at unicode.org.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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