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In the last weeks I tried to work with LaTeX hyphenation functionality.

\c{e8\9es}

In the description at the end of this document \c is discribed as lower case letter but this doesn't make sense. So could it be that this command is the special sign cedilla and how can it be that two digits are written side by side without letter between them?

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In the file dehyphn.tex, \c{} is a no-op, so writing \c{e8\9es} is equivalent to writing e8\9es. Why is that? Because the same file, just with a different definition of \c can be used for the "old font" hyphenation patterns (dehypht.tex).

The string e8\9es is then translated into

e8^^Yes

which represents in internal format the pattern

eßes

and the 8 between e and ß means that no hyphenation is to be tried in that place: only another pattern where there's a 9 (say, just by way of example, xe9\9esa) could countermand such a statement.

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