Since there is some discussion about size and height related to
Hebrew/English text, I thought that I would make some comparisons:
Gesenius/Kautzsch/Cowley Hebrew grammar
This text by OUP (Clarendon) sets the line of the patah on the baseline,
puts an equivalent hairline width of WS over that, then has the ex
height of the letters rise to the cap height of the English ascenders.
Superscripted diacritics/tonals appear to flow into the interlineal
space, while subscripted diacritics/tonals take the space from the
baseline to the bottom of the descenders. The letters themselves tend to
have an ex height that is dissimilar to a Latin script and they fill not
only the cap height but also descend in cases of final forms and quoph.
Weingreen Hebrew grammar
The text uses variable ex height to try and set the nikud, consonants &
diacritics within a consistent type height.
Bartelt/Steinman Hebrew/Aramaic grammar
This is made by the firm I work for. The type height goes from the serif
at the top of the lamed to the bottom of kap & friends, with all nikud,
cantillation, etc. within that range. The ex height appears to include
the horizontal top stroke of the lamed and go to the baseline, and it
equals the type height of the corresponding English text capitals. The
book uses loose vertical spacing that accommodates the Hebrew type
height so, even though it is bigger, that appearance is attenuated.
Thus, everything figures to the ex height/type height of the Hebrew to
balance the text.
Jouon / Muraoka Hebrew grammar
The Hebrew font basically chops the descenders and keeps the ex height
of the Hebrew to the ex height of the English, with marks in the
ascender/descender space. I think that this looks quite unattractive.
Holladay ed. of Koehler-Baumgartner Lexicon
Hebrew ex type height goes from baseline to cap height of Latin type,
The serif on the lamed and the nikud take extra top space and the lower
marks occupy the descenders' area. The English text is spaced out to
accommodate the Hebrew.
Tends to follow similar conventions to Gesenius, varies, and is
Lissowsky appears to have been hand-crafted.
Hope this helps. Maybe some kind of standard macro structure needs to be
employed where either different font metrics live in nested boxes or
some kind of environment can be established that makes the different ex
and em heights play nice. It appears, however, that this is more than
something one font can do on its own; this is an issue of setting nested
environments and having them work well together.
Just a few thoughts from a theological editor that dabbles in design.