R' Zalman Henna's Book of the Foundation of the Nikkud

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"Sefer Yesod HaNikud" - "Book of the Foundation of the Nikkud" - "ספר יסוד הניקוד"
by Rabbi Zalman Henna הרב שלמה זלמן כץ
http://www.amazon.com/Sefer-ha-nikud-Hebrew-Solomon-Zalman/dp/B00166S56S...

To properly create Hebrew typeface software in MicroSoft Volt, the tool for creating 'advanced' OpenType fonts, the type designer should also have an "advanced" knowledge of Hebrew grammar and correct diacritical placement.

I intend to create a set of Hebrew typeface software 'advanced' OpenType fonts, both for Biblical Hebrew, and for "enhanced" or vocalized Hebrew.

The basis for doing this correctly is the establishment of Hebrew grammar rules, which I decided can best be achieved by understanding the writings of essential great Hebrew grammarians, such as R' Zalman Henna.

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R' Zalman Henna divides his book, "Foundation of the Nikkud", into 10 chapters. He labels his chapters as 'gates', שערים.

Henna's first gate is: "Gate of Letters". It has 14 enumerated paragraphs, which Henna calls: 'fundementals' or 'foundations', יסודות.

In his first fundemental lesson, Henna reiterations how Hebrew letters are sounded, and their graphic form reflects that sound (without explaining how specific is the graphic form of each letter designed based upon the sound that letter makes).

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"Gate of Letters"
יסוד א

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First, Henna quotes the early Hebrew language grammarians, המדקדקים. They called the vocal instruments which produced the sounds which we refer to as letters by the term, מוצאות, motzaot.

What are 'motzaot'?

'Motzaot' comes from the same common Hebrew word, 'מוציא', like the blessing of 'המוציא לכם מן הארץ', 'He brings forth the bread from the earth'. Similarly, these 'motzaot' bring forth the letter-sounds from the areas of the mouth.

Henna lists these areas as 5: a) the throat, b) the palate, c) the tongue, d) the teeth, and e) the lips.

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Afterwards, Henna presents the five sets of letters to which these areas correspond:

1. א ה " ח ע
2. ג י " כ ק
3. ד ט ל " נ ת
4. ז ס ש " ר ץ
5. ב ו מ " ף

א ה " ח ע are sounded from the 'הגרון', throat, known as gutturals.
ג י " כ ק are from the 'החיך', palate, or roof of the mouth.
ד ט ל " נ ת are from the 'הלשון', tongue.
ז ס ש " ר ץ are from the 'השינים', teeth.
ב ו מ " ף are from the 'השפתים'. lips.

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Sefer Yesod HaNikud

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Isaiah 21 and 41

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David,

Which verses is he bringing?

Do you have Ibn Ezra on the second quote? Can you scan and post it, and send me a PDF attachment by email.

While you're at it, can you order me a pizza, too. I like mushrooms.

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The Source of the Letters

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The sounds to produce the letters is reflected in the shapes of those letters.

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The sounds to produce the letters is reflected in the shapes of those letters.

david h's picture

To properly create Hebrew typeface software in MicroSoft Volt, the tool for creating 'advanced' OpenType fonts, the type designer should also have an "advanced" knowledge of Hebrew grammar and correct diacritical placement.

I intend to create a set of Hebrew typeface software 'advanced' OpenType fonts, both for Biblical Hebrew, and for "enhanced" or vocalized Hebrew.

Israel,

Really? :) This is the first time that I hear/read about that.

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David,

I am referring only to Hebrew fonts, with nikud dagesh meteg (and taam). Why would anyone use Volt just for the Hebrew consonants, and not to align these diacritics? To align diacritics, one needs not to know Hebrew grammar or even the Hebrew language. Yet this activity is very much enhanced by knowing Hebrew grammar, as time will show us.

To date, very few OpenType Hebrew fonts are made with Volt processing. A few are made in Israel of very poor quality. I know of only two sources in the US/Canada of very high quality.

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Israel,

That was a... joke... like we didn't talk about that subject before.

To date, very few OpenType Hebrew fonts are made with Volt processing. A few are made in Israel of very poor quality.

This kind of attitude is not part of my 'diet'.

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David,

Who makes OpenType Hebrew fonts, processed with MS Volt?

I can count them on one hand.

Two folks on this continent. One is the lower hemisphere who...
Some guy in Israel - I've seen his fonts - lousy stuff.
Oh, I didn't count Eli - his suff looks very good.
[Raphael said they hired someone.]

I'm not counting those who generate OpenType from FontLab Studio. Some create really great stuff.

What does your diet consist of?

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David,

I was trying to look up the reference by R' Zalman Henna to his Binyan Shlomo about how the form and shape of the Hebrew letters reflect the sounds that produce them.

Do you have R' Zalman Henna's book, Binyan Shlomo, at http://hebrewbooks.org/6721? Are you familiar where this is?

david h's picture

about how the form and shape of the Hebrew letters reflect the sounds that produce them.

Israel,

Why do you need that stuff? your font is going to speak Hebrew? :)

Start with something simple. e.g. A Grammar for Biblical Hebrew -- Leong C. Seow; A Practical Grammar for Classical Hebrew -- Weingreen.

If you like the classic & 'heavy' stuff: Gotthelf Bergsträsser -- Hebräische Grammatik (1+2); Muraoka + Jouon

Typograph's picture

>To date, very few OpenType Hebrew fonts are made with Volt processing. A few are made in Israel of very poor quality. I know of only two sources in the US/Canada of very high quality.

Israel, your talk is rubbish.
Can you point out examples to that statment????

Israel, I am going now to be streight forwards:
your knowledge of hebrew typgraphi is very poor, and you have absolutly no clue of what you are talking about.
i hav'nt seen yet any new breakthroughs in your design.
You bubble alot and talk to your self over the threads, trying to self convince your self that you have any knowledge of hebrew design.
from what i can see, you steal other designers ideas (like Koren) and claim them as your own.

even your volt knowledge is very limmitet, and you talk as id you are an expert.
you should try to be more humble, and kisten to what others with expirience have to say.

I am sorry for comming out rude, but form previous threads, you are driving people creazy with your unclear bobboling talk.

So please stop HACKING A CHAINIK, and land back on earth.

all of these new threads that you open and talk with your self is starting to be redicolus.

Start a thread down to earth, and develo it insteat of creating threads where the only one talking is your self with your self, with on going nonsense.

all thise business with KOREN and KROWN is a pile of bullshit

SO PLEASE STOP DOING THIS.

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David,

>> Why do you need that stuff? your font is going to speak Hebrew? :)

Mysticism, like many others, attracted me to Orthodox Judaism, Chassidic style. Hence, I am fascinated with the notion that the sounds of the Hebrew letters, the places in the mouth which produce them, and their very shapes and forms, are related.

If this wasn't significant, why would R' Zalman Henna address it?

Thank you for the references.

Which language is "Gotthelf Bergsträsser -- Hebräische Grammatik (1+2); Muraoka + Jouon" in?

At www.hebrewbooks.org, I downloaded for free many PDFs of books in Hebrew on Hebrew Grammar, including a half dozen by R' Zalman Henna, and one from the Radak. Did Eliyah Bachur write books? R' Zalman Henna cites him, but I couldn't locate it.

quadibloc's picture

Yiannis Haralambous wrote a paper on Tiqwah, a system for typesetting Hebrew in TEX; you have probably already seen it, but there is a link to it from this page:

http://omega.enstb.org/yannis/

The paper is in English, despite this page being in French. The paper about typesetting Hebrew is entry number 55 in the list of publications.

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I'm very impressed with Prof. Donald Knuth's MetaFont system explained briefly in the previous link. The point size-specific features are sorely missed in outline font technology, that started in PostScript, TrueType, and now in OpenType.

I know that adding alternative glyphs to achieve this is doable, but not having point size-specific replacements (via Volt).

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Sir Clive Sinclair introduced in his Sinclair QL a third scalable font technology which used a different mathematical technology than PostScript or Metafont, in which the y axis was relative the definition of the x axis. Although it was not as flexible and easy to use for advanced fonts as PostScript, or as able to address anything like MetaFont, as we see in Yiannis Haralambous' example in the above link.

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