AW: Greek/Etruscan/Gothic Unification Proposal

From: Marc Wilhelm Kuester (
Date: Wed Nov 26 1997 - 03:16:10 EST

Ioannes Sanguarius putat
>That is fine, if you are willing to accept reduction to plain text: i.e.,
>you are not a palaeographer. In that case, an alpha is an alpha,
>an omega is an omega, and modern Greek fonts serve you well.

>But if you need to know EXACTLY what the text looks like, you must have
>either a picture, or else some sort of markup. Any reduction to plain
>text is logically equivalent to transliteration, even if it is
>into the modern descendant of the same alphabet.

Placet. But in this case the best solution is, budget permitting, anyway a
facsimile of the original / a picture of the inscription, i. e. a way of
reproduction that avoids as far as possible interpretation by the editor,
as rendering in plain text and even in a markup language necessarily does.
The second best solution which budget restrictions often demand for larger
corpora is, however, the traditional scholarly edition which is in a way
nothing but a highly formalized type of a markup language.

  For these, of course, strict rules exist, and those require amongst
others the use of certain scripts for certain languages, e. g. Coptic for
Coptic passages and Old Church Slavonic for Old Church Slavonic passages,
often mixed with Greek and Cyrillic respectively. Common usage is clear
here and has established Coptic and Old Church Slavonic as distinct scripts
of their own right.
  I agree that "common usage" for Gothic is Latin transliteration, but
wonder, if that is rather not due to a lack of fonts of sufficient quality
and suitable typesetting mechanisms. Here we should take in the expert
opinion of Gothicists. I, at least, would not feel qualified to decide this
question. If experts are satisfied with a Greek / Gothic unification and
believe it represents their practice properly, so be it.

>But then on what principles can you reject the claims of Bunz and Gippert
>that Asomtavruli, Nusxa-Xucuri and Mxedruli must be distinguishable in
>(scholarly) plain texts and so require separate encodings?
  I feel absolutely not qualified to voice an opinion on these scripts
about which I do not know anything.


        Marc Kuster

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