Hi Claudio. Thanks for your note. Copying the Unicode discussion list with
my response to you.
>>Hi Claudio. People are still arguing about whether Etruscan should have a
>>basic left-to-right directionality in the encoding or a basic right-to-left
>>one. Do you have a view? Whatever it has, it will be possible to reverse
>>it, but it has to have a default.
>I should be clear that I'm not an "Etruscanist" in the sense that I make a
>living it out it, just a rather devoted amateur scholar, but I'll throw in
>my opinion for what it may be worth.
Devotion is fine. "Scholars and enthusiasts" are the users for many
scripts. Someone making a living out of a dead script is only one kind of
>Someone mentioned the CIE (Corpus Inscriptionem Etruscarum), the scholarly
>compendium of Etruscan texts. Not only are the inscc. all listed LTR there,
>but they are also all transliterated into Roman characters. This is the
>norm, as far as I've seen with most similar compendia of ancient languages.
>The native letters are used in the scholarly sources _only_ when some point
>is being made about the letter forms: in those cases, the inscription being
>cited is shown in whatever configuration it originally appears, LTR or RTL.
>I suspect this is partly due to the difficulty of cutting new printers'
>type, or just a tendency to standardize everything.
I suspect the former. Runic studies suffer from the same over-latinization.
>As has been pointed out there was a gradual transition, under Latin
>influence, from RTL to LTR. And yes, the majority of "classical" Etruscan
>inscriptions are RTL, at the time when the Etruscans were at their
>political and cultural height.
>So I see your confusion. But really, I can't answer this question. It comes
>down to your decision whether you want each script to be encoded in its
>most historically natural "classical" form, or whether you want to make
>concessions to modern usage. As a publisher I have to deal with this exact
>same dilemma all the time, and in the end it comes down to figuring out who
>the intended audience is and trying to anticipate what works best for them.
Which is just what we are trying to do.
>In your case, I would think that since there aren't a whole body of
>Etruscans out there waiting to write something down in their native tongue,
>and that all modern students of the language are understanding it through a
>Latinized medium, the LTR direction would be preferable as the default.
It is very convenient for today's potential users.
>Otherwise, in my humble opinion, you'll be designing a historically precise
>script for an audience that hasn't existed for 2000 years.
>I hope that helps.
We shall see.
My recommendation to the UTC, and what will be my recommendation to WG2, is
that the default direction for Etruscan shall be LTR.
-- Michael Everson, EGT * http://www.indigo.ie/egt 15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2; Éire (Ireland) Gutháin: +353 1 478-2597, +353 1 283-9396 27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn; Baile an Bhóthair; Co. Átha Cliath; Éire
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