[tex-eplain] hyphenation patterns in plain TeX

John Was john.was at ntlworld.com
Mon Aug 17 12:25:45 CEST 2009

Sorry if this seems a silly question, but does anyone know how to access the hyphenation patterns for different languages within a plain TeX set up (I am increasingly using (plain) XeTeX, and the usual  \input eplain works well with that)?  I normally get on well with standard out-of-the-box TeX hyphenation, building up an exception dictionary for different jobs depending on the foreign-language content, but I sometimes need to typeset extended Latin, Portuguese, etc., where the exception list can get pretty unwieldy.

I've never attempted to use initex to set up a language-specific version of TeX (or XeTeX) but I'd prefer just to be able to say \input XXXXX at the start of a file and then select the hyphenation rules for a given language - even in a job predominantly in (say) Latin I'd want to switch back to English rules at any time.  Ideal would be something analogous to \input eplain - which, as you all know, immediately gives access to the different functions without the need for any further adjustment or setting up.

None of this is covered by the eplain manual, of course, but I'm hoping that a fellow plain TeX user will be able to point me in the right direction at least.



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