In orthography of the Arabic language, there is a condition where a noun ending with “fat-hatan tanween” (double fat-ha nunation) will have an Alef added to the end to support such tanween, with a few exceptions where Alef would not be needed.
The tanween can be placed over the Alef, but a more preferable and common practice is to place the tanween over the letter preceding the Alef, which would be the actual final letter of the word before adding the supporting Alef, or alternately, to the right of the Alef instead of above it. The first case has been common in the past half a century due to its simple implementation with the typewriter, then with the computer keyboards, while the second case was the more common practice since the earliest examples of Qurans where vowel marks are indicated in the text from the 9th century to the beginning of the 20th century.
I am adding a feature to an Arabic typeface to allow users to place the tanween to the right of the Alef as in the second case above, and I am writing this inquiry to see if you know of any other language written in the Arabic script that uses this writing convention?
Please see attached image where I show the first case on the right side of the image with marks colored black and placed over the Alef. In the center I show the second case where the marks are colored red and placed over the preceding letter. And on the left, I show my preferred placement colored green, just to the right of the Alef. Please note, that although I titled the green position as “correct,” all three options are actually acceptable and attested historically.
Yes Bahman, I’ve seen fat-hatan tanween used in Persian on words borrowed from Arabic such ‘masalan’,’ “tab’an,” “ihtimalan,” “mustaqiman,” “zimnan,” and so on. I can understand that the Red example would be confusing to anyone who is not familiar with this trandition. Thanks for the comment.
I find the green placement the most pleasant, except may be for the last line where I prefer the right red one.
As I side note, I personally never place the tanween over the alef because I find it ugly and illogical since the alef in not the letter the tanwin is being applied too, and also because words like حبَّاً (that should be حبًّا) are plain wrong IMO.
That is not very dissimilar from how some English words are spelled differently in different regions or even whether to place the comma inside or outside the quote.
It is not even the only common spelling difference in Arabic; some editors will insist مسئول be spelled this way, while others will never accept any spelling other than مسؤول. Not to mention the whole dots under final/isolated ي business (which reminds me, we do have initial/medial/final/isolated letter shapes in Arabic, that is not merely an implementation details, or how comes that many Arabic letters used in variously orthographies have different dot placement based on these categories, regardless of what actual sub variant the letter would take based on its neighbors).
Neither of the three coloured marks is correctly positioned. Where to place which mark is elaborated by these Ten Commandments of Arabic Fonts:
1. Longer Fatha on wide letters.
2. Longer Madda on Alif after wide letters.
3. Higher Madda on Alif after tall letters.
4. Longer + higher Madda on Alif after Wide+Tall letters.
5. Open loop sukun in place of the closed loop.
6. 69 Tansween instead of z9.
7. Standing Kasra similar to the Standing Fatha.
8. Isolated Kasra + (Tanween Kasr) from Shadda.
9. Closer Kasra + (Tanween Kasr) enveloped by final letters.
10. Marks on ط positioned slightly above where the dot of its sister ظ appears.
Hope the attached image and PDF files help.