Re: AW: Greek/Etruscan/Gothic Unification Proposal

From: Mark Davis (
Date: Thu Nov 20 1997 - 13:24:07 EST

That is a bit stronger than the point I was making, which is not whether they
would find it 'acceptable'--that is a bit hard to quantify, since aesthetic
considerations could enter, but whether they would find it legible. In this
case, for example, would a Coptic (non-Greek) reader be able to make out the
text if the characters were in a Greek font, and vice versa?


Marc Wilhelm Kuester wrote:

> Michael Everson wrote:
> > I would object very strongly to the unification of Greek,
> Etruscan, and Gothic.
> Mark Davis wrote:
> >One of the key points is whether native speakers of the three scripts
> would
> >recognize the standard character shapes as being the roughly the
> same. (Since we
> >are talking about dead scripts, it would be the academic users of the
> scripts.) It
> >sounds from the descriptions that this would not be the case--that at
> least some
> >letters would not be recognized as being the same.
> Having once had the trouble to implement a Unicode true type font for our
> multilingual type-setting system - TUSTEP - which is used by experts to
> print e.g. mixtures of Greek and Coptic or Cyrillic and Old-Slavonic
> passages I can only strongly second those statements. It is Unicode's
> stated aim that
> "Plain text must contain enough information to permit the text to be
> rendered "legibly, and nothing more." (Unicode Standard, Vers. 2.0,
> p._2.7)
> That implies in my eyes that I should be able to reach a legible (not
> *fancy*, of course) result without font switching and without taking
> recurse to higher level protocols. Or, to use Mark Davis' words: native
> speakers or experts in the case of dead languages should consider the
> result as being a correct and readable representation of the text.
> This is already not the case with the unified Greek and Coptic letters
> (U+0370-03F5). Without higher level protocol and font switching you are
> unable to print out a text which contains passages in both Greek and
> Coptic, a usual requirement in academic circles. While obviously related to
> each other, experts view these two as distinct scripts, not font variants.
> (A similar, though admittedly more borderline case are Old Church Slavonic
> and Cyrillic, where I would, too, argue for two distinct code ranges.)
> Things will become worse when Etruscan and Gothic are mixed up
> similarly, possibly other dead languages likewise. The criterion cannot be
> if two scripts are closely related to each other --- where do you draw the
> line? ---, but if experts in the field would consider it acceptable (not
> necessarily beautiful!) to find their sources rendered in the other script
> and vice versa. If a majority or even a sizable minority would not, then
> give that script a distinct code range.
> Marc
> WINMAIL.DAT Type: unspecified type (application/octet-stream)
> Encoding: x-uuencode

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:20:38 EDT