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Comments on Afro-Arabic_symbols.pdf

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BisharatNetPerson was signed in when posted
02:15 PM ET (US)
This topic is now closed. The new characters have apparently been approved.

If there is interest, I would like to have another forum on Arabic transcription (Ajami) for African languages, including specific character needs.

Write to Bisharat(at) (the (at) being replaced by @ of course).

Don Osborn
  Messages 34-26 deleted by author between 04-07-2005 02:11 PM and 02-23-2005 05:40 PM
BisharatNetPerson was signed in when posted
01:33 AM ET (US)
Here is a question from the Unicode list that does not concern African usages, but may still be of interest. DZO

Looking through some old Linotype-Paul documentation for extended Arabic, Fiona Ross notes a variant glyph form for the isolated and final gaf character (U+06AF) used for Kurdish. This takes the form of the typical gaf, but with the small script element normally found as part of the isolated and fina; Arabic kaf (U+0643), as shown in this sketch:

I wonder if anyone has any insight on whether this form is still in use, favoured or not favoured, and whether it might be appropriate for any languages other than Kurdish?

John Hudson


Tiro Typeworks
Vancouver, BC tiro (at)
Fallou Ngom
10:48 AM ET (US)
I suspect that it was meant to be a 'jiim' with three dots which is often used for 'ch', 'J' 'ny' etc. in Wolof, Mandinka and Pulaar. The only difference between the 'jiim' and 'ha' is the dot in the center. It may be that the dot is left out in error, but does not have any effect on the interpretation because it is known that the three dots mostly occur with 'jiim' and not 'ha'. Best regards


From: QT - Jacob Dyer [1] Sent: Wed 11/3/2004 7:03 AM
To: QT topic subscribers
Subject: Comments on Afro-Arabic_symbols.pdf

< replied-to message removed by QT >
Jacob Dyer
10:03 AM ET (US)
Fallou Ngom,

      In my 2002 study of Mandinka in the Gambia, I found that there were four examples of Ha with the three dots on top in a sample of 48. What is the value of this character?
      The samples that I got were for "cha", and "ja".

                                         -Jacob Dyer
Fallou Ngom
11:10 PM ET (US)
I have collected about 24 manuscripts of Ajami writings (Wolof, Mandinka, Pulaar) from Senegal, but the 'ha' with three dots on top does not occur in any of these manuscripts. However, the 'jiim' with the three dots on top is pervasive in all the manuscripts. This makes me think that 'ha' with three dots on top that is believed to occur in Senegal may be confused with the 'jiim' with the three dots on top. I look forward to any comments.

Deleted by author 09-08-2004 12:00 AM
09:14 PM ET (US)
  Messages 19-16 deleted by author between 08-17-2004 11:24 AM and 02-06-2004 05:37 PM
BisharatNetPerson was signed in when posted
03:04 AM ET (US)
"Proposal to encode additional Arabic-script characters" (submitted to the ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 2/WG 2 [?] by INCITS/L2; Unicode Technical Committee; Jonathan Kew, SIL International in July 2003) can be viewed at

It includes characters for West African languages.
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