Re: Kana and Case (was [totally OT] Unicode terminology)

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Thu Nov 23 2000 - 14:27:12 EST

Michael Everson <> wrote:

> What has fictionality have to do with it? The criteria for encoding
> rest primarily in the area of information interchange. Now it seems
> perhaps not very likely that most users of Klingon (which is a
> language people learn and use whether anyone else likes it or not;
> it's no worse than Volapük or Esperanto just because it's invented)
> actually employ the Klingon script. But Tengwar and Cirth are
> "fictional" scripts which are used and studied by linguists and
> enthusiasts, and there are manuscripts containing text written in
> these that people want to digitize and so on....
> Arguably, more has been written in and about Tengwar and Cirth than
> has been written about the "non-fictional" Elbasan or Nsibidi scripts.

Someone observed that all languages and scripts are invented; the only
question is how long ago and by whom.

Cyrillic was invented in the 9th century to support the early Slavic
languages. Cherokee and Canadian Syllabics were invented within the
past 200 years, also to provide writing systems for languages that were
not adequately convered. Deseret and Shavian were invented to provide
"better" (in one way or another) orthographies for English, and some
people still support this goal. Tengwar and Cirth were invented to
support fictional languages in literature, and Klingon to support a
fictional language for TV and the movies.

It is clear that some of these scripts can be considered more "real"
than others, yet I have no idea where to draw the line such that the
"real" scripts are on one side and the "fictional" or "artificial" ones
are on the other.

-Doug Ewell
 Fullerton, California

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