Re: Unicode politics (was: A basic question on encoding Latin cha

From: Scott Horne (
Date: Mon Oct 04 1999 - 15:05:50 EDT

> >And this is how it has always been in the history of writing systems. As far
> >as I know, languages have always been put in writing by natives who were
> >previously acquainted with the (then) dominant language *and* its writing
> >systems.
> Not Mayan. Not Rongorongo. Not Indus. Not Cherokee, really (Sequoyah knew
> about writing and had samples, but didn't read English).

Nor Akkadian, nor Chinese....

> But mostly writing
> has been spread by diffusion, primarily due to religion, but sometimes due
> to business.

One and the same, really.

> >Who decided, for instance, to use rare IPA
> >symbols to write some African languages?

They're much better than ! and || and other bizarre symbols that have
been devised for the representation of clicks.

> In 1983 the Nigerian Federal Ministro of Education worked with Herman Zapf

Please don't deprive the great Hermann Zapf of one of his _n_s.

> But
> on the whole the hooks quite nicely represent the ejective and impulsive
> consonants they are intended for.

*Implosive* consonants, you mean.

Scott Horne

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