Urdu Script - diacritical marks

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by langnerd, Nov 19, 2012.

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  1. langnerd Member

    English (NE US), Hindi/Urdu, Punjabi
    (This post is not about religion.)

    I'm familar with zer, zabar, pesh, hamza - the basics, I suppose, of the Urdu script. But I came across a newspaper article title which has other diacritical marks, and I don't know what they signifiy.

    I can read the words, but don't know what to make of the other marks. The words as I would expect them:

    اعمال سے یسوع کے حقیقی پیروکار بنیں

    Aamaal se yesuuh ke haqiqii perokaar bane(n).
    (Become true disciples of Jesus by [your] deeds.)

    Here is the headline from the newspaper (Agahi News, a Catholic newspaper from Karachi):

    temp.jpg
     
  2. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    ^ All but one are there for the purpose of "ziinat" (adornment) to enhance the calligraphic effect. The genuine diacritical mark there is the tashdiid above the "siin" in "yassuu3" (Jesus- Peace be upon him), and even this has been given a bit of "touch up"!
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  3. UrduMedium

    UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
    I don't believe the mark on the siin in yasuu3 is a tashdiid. It's just more calligraphic adornment. Neither is a tashdiid warranted in yasuu3, in my view.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  4. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    In early Arabic and Persian manuscripts the unpointed (muhmal) letters are often written with an ʼishāratu l-ʼihmāl. This can be a small v-shaped sign above or below the letter, or a miniature of the letter itself, e.g. a small sīn to indicate that the letter in question is sīn and not shīn. Modern Arabic (and Persian, and Urdu) calligraphers no longer understand this and use these signs as purely decorative space-fillers. They are used thus here.

    As Urdu Medium correctly states, there is no tashdīd in Yasūʻ. What we see here is a miniaturised sīn, set here correctly (surely by accident) above sīn muhmala.
     
  5. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    I agree, it is a small siin.
     
  6. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Thank you all for the correction. It is much appreciated.
     
  7. langnerd Member

    English (NE US), Hindi/Urdu, Punjabi
    Thank you, all! So is there any method to the adornments now, or they are added purely for aesthetic reasons?

    Edited to add: Nevermind, fdb answered this already :)
     
  8. UrduMedium

    UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
    Many thanks fdb saahab, for your most helpful and educational comment. Very interesting. Curious about this phenomenon, I searched online a bit and found this interesting link.
     
  9. tarkshya Senior Member

    Marwari
    I was researching this forum to clarify some doubts on Urdu diacritic marks. While I will open another thread for my original question, this particular thread caught my eye. The question I have is, why is there a need for this so called "ʼishāratu l-ʼihmāl" sign? Aren't the non-dotted letters recognizable simply by the absence of dots?

     
  10. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    The point is that in early manuscripts the dots are in any case optional. So the absence of dots on its own proves nothing.
     
  11. eskandar

    eskandar Moderator

    English (US)
    Though this thread's title refers to Urdu, it seems as good a place as any to ask a question about a Persian diacritic as they should be shared between the languages. What is the meaning of the sign written above the yaa' in خیال in this image? I assume it might be meant to indicate that the letter below it is a stretched yaa' and not a siin, but it would be great to have some clarification.

    khiyal.jpg
     
  12. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    eskandar SaaHib, I don't know about this sign.
     
  13. eskandar

    eskandar Moderator

    English (US)
    Thanks for your response marrish SaaHib. Maybe I should open a new thread for it.
     

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