[XeTeX] hyphenation in Ethiopian languages

Mojca Miklavec mojca.miklavec.lists at gmail.com
Tue May 10 23:07:14 CEST 2011

On Fri, May 6, 2011 at 19:24, Jonathan Kew wrote:
> For line-breaking after the word separators, doesn't it work to just set
>  \XeTeXlinebreaklocale "en"
>  \XeTeXlinebreakskip 0pt plus 1pt
> or similar?

Yes, thanks a lot. This does work. However there are two problems with it:

- Only ETHIOPIC WORDSPACE has "BA" (Break After) mark while ETHIOPIC
FULL STOP has "AL" (Alphabetic) mark, so text won't break after the
full stop. This is probably a bug in Unicode standard.

- We cannot control the space before "ethiopic wordspace" with that,
just the space after it. Without some stretching glue it is impossible
to align/justify text.

And another nasty issue (that might deserve its own thread). We wanted
to have no hyphenchar at all, but using \hyphenchar\font=0 has a nasty
consequence that lines with broken words are not properly justified
(some extra space is squeezed between the last character in line and
the non-existent hyphen char). It took me a while before realizing
solves the issue somehow, but I still find that totally weird and I'm
not sure if using number 10 only solved the issue for that particular
font or if that is a stable behaviour for other fonts as well.

I wanted to compare the bahaviour with pdfTeX, but I realized that
pdfTeX doesn't offer any option to really remove the hyphen char; one
can only disable hyphenation with -1 or use a number between 0 and 255
(which usually points to an existing glyph).


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