Posted by Sharon Correll on 2013-03-24 09:38:00
As part of the development process for the Nastaliq-style font I'm working on, I've needed to come to grips with the different forms of "hamza" characters and how they are rendered.
This is the standard hamza base character, essentially the head of an ain (). It is always displayed as an isolate form, causing breaking in the middle of the word. It never has cursive connections to other characters.
This character can be called a "hamza-yeh". Although it appears to combine in interesting ways with other characters, it is not a combining character in the typical sense.
In the initial and medial forms, it takes the form of a beh () with a hamza above and no nuqta. In final or isolate form, it takes the form of a yeh ( ) with a hamza above.
Contextual shaping of yeh with hamza above
These characters are true combining characters; they behave like diacritics. It is unlikely to find them on letters that also contain nuqtas, so for rendering purposes they could take the place of nuqtas. You would generally expect to find them on vowels or approximants such as alif, waw, yeh, yeh-barree (bariyeh), heh, goal-heh, reh, or laam.
The wavy hamza looks like this: . It is used in lesser-known languages written with Arabic script.
This character is intended only for use in a few languages like Kazakh and perhaps Uyghur. It is considered a base character, but is written in conjunction with other characters in a unique way.
Since I am working with Nastaliq, I don't need to support it, so I haven't bothered to research it much. :-) If you can describe its behavior or usage, please comment below!
Characters that include a hamza
Some other characters that include a hamza are:
- U+0623 ARABIC LETTER ALEF WITH HAMZA ABOVE
- U+0624 ARABIC LETTER WAW WITH HAMZA ABOVE
- U+0625 ARABIC LETTER ALEF WITH HAMZA BELOW
- U+0672 ARABIC LETTER ALEF WITH WAVY HAMZA ABOVE
- U+0673 ARABIC LETTER ALEF WITH WAVY HAMZA BELOW
- U+0675 ARABIC LETTER HIGH HAMZA ALEF
- U+0676 ARABIC LETTER HIGH HAMZA WAW
- U+0677 ARABIC LETTER U WITH HAMZA ABOVE
- U+0678 ARABIC LETTER HIGH HAMZA YEH
- U+0681 ARABIC LETTER HAH WITH HAMZA ABOVE
- U+06C2 ARABIC LETTER HEH GOAL WITH HAMZA ABOVE
- U+06D3 ARABIC LETTER YEH BARREE WITH HAMZA ABOVE
- U+076C ARABIC LETTER REH WITH HAMZA ABOVE
- U+08A8 ARABIC LETTER YEH WITH TWO DOTS BELOW AND HAMZA ABOVE