Tex via Unicode unicode at
Fri Nov 9 18:02:33 CST 2018

My notes on Hebrew numbers on  include:

"Using letters for numbers, there is the possibility of confusion as to whether a string of letters is a word or a numerical value. Therefore, when numbers are used with text, punctuation marks are added to distinguish their numerical meaning. Single character numbers (numbers less than 10) add the punctuation character geresh after the numeric character. Larger numbers insert the punctuation character gershayim before the last character in the number."

So perhaps Alef with diaeresis is a collapsed form of Alef followed by Gershayim when it is used as a numeric value. I wonder if that may also occur for other values.

(I am just speculating.)

-----Original Message-----
From: Unicode [mailto:unicode-bounces at] On Behalf Of Marius Spix via Unicode
Sent: Friday, November 9, 2018 3:26 PM
To: unicode at
Cc: Mark E. Shoulson
Subject: Re: Aleph-umlaut

Dear Mark,

I found another sample here:

On page 86 it says that the aleph with diaresis is a number with the value 1000.

See also the attached clipping.

A second source is the Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew-English Lexicon of the Old Testament which also mentions that ‫א‬ ̈means 1000, but there were no evidence of this usage in Old Testament times. See here (the very first lemma):

Yet another usage in a mathematical context of an aleph with umlaut can be found here, however they used U+2135 ALEF SYMBOL instead of U+05D0 HEBREW LETTER ALEF. This is not related to the value 1000, as the umlaut is used to mark the second derivative.
(page 28-29 or slide 41-42)

However, seems that there is no real font support for these characters, though. The only font on my computer, which could render aleph
+ umlaut correctly on my system was Unifont and 	
roughly Linux Libertine. Other fonts, in particular Arial, DejaVu Sans, Liberation Sans and Linux Biolinum rendered the diaeresis to much far to the left.

I even found a user has a similar issue with U+0308, here:

Maybe adding an annotation to U+0308 could sensitize font designers to be aware that this combining character is also used in the Hebrew alphabet.

My suggestion is to add the annotation “= hewbrew thousands multiplier”
to U+0308 COMBINING DIAERESIS and  a reference from 05B5 ◌ֵ HEBREW POINT TSERE to U+0308.

Best regards,


On Fri, 9 Nov 2018 07:42:54 -0500
"Mark E. Shoulson via Unicode" <unicode at> wrote:

> Noticed something really fascinating in an old pamphlet I was reading.  
> It's from 1922, in Hebrew mostly but with some Yiddish at the end.  
> The Yiddish spelling is not according to more modern standardization, 
> but seems to be significantly more faithful to the German spellings of 
> the same words, replacing Latin letters with Hebrew ones more than 
> respelling phonetically.  And there are even places where it appears 
> they represented a German ä with a Hebrew aleph—with an umlaut!  
> Actually it looks a little more like a double acute accent but that's 
> surely a style choice, since it obviously is mapping to an umlaut.
> (Note also the spelling דיע, a calque for German "die", where modern 
> Yiddish would spell it phonetically as די.)
> I do NOT think this needs any special encoding, btw.  I would probably 
> encode this as simply U+05D0 U+0308 (א̈).  Combining symbols do not 
> (necessarily) belong to a specific alphabet, and the fact that most 
> fonts would render this badly is a different issue.  I just thought 
> the people here might find it interesting.
> (Link is
> 609604&_ga=2.182410660.2074158760.1541729874-1781407841.1541729874
> look at the last few pages.)
> ~mark

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