Re: Phaistos in ConScript

From: James Kass (
Date: Wed Jul 10 2002 - 21:56:57 EDT

Michael Everson wrote (in reply to Marco Cimarosti),

> >IMHO, the two characters in points 1 and 2 absolutely needed. Academic works
> >which consider them as part of the script could not be encoded without them,
> >while academic works which don't need them are not disturbed by their
> >existence in the encoding.
> I didn't think so. Any counter-arguments to the above?

Point 1 concerns the Phaistonian virama. It might not have an
Evans number, but neither do the separators. I'm with Marco,
here. The combining diagonal stroke needs to be encoded, it's a
distinct feature of the corpus and, as such, needs to be considered
when the text is studied.

If the dang thing is a comma, well, the difference between
'let's eat grandma' and 'let's eat, grandma' could signify the
difference between whether the Phaistonians were family-oriented
or cannibalistic. If it's truly a virama, then the opening string
on Side A without the virama (TADARAYASHA) could mean something
quite vulgar and unprintable, wheras with the virama (TADARAYASH)
it clearly means "I, Darius..."

Point 2 concerns the obliterated glyph glyph. Quoting from the
Everson proposal for Egyptian hieroglyphics (N1944.PDF):
"In general, these alternate formatting characters will be required also
for representation of other scripts, such as Maya Hieroglyphs or Runic.
Two of these marks identified as being particularly useful in a Mayan
context are given at U+x326 -- U+x327. U+x325, EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC
COMBINING CHARACTER SHADING shades not part of a broken quadrant
per se, but a single damaged character in a cluster."

While such a character need not be included in every paleographic
script range, a unified character for this purpose would be useful.
Just because mark-up has been suggested for this doesn't mean it's
carved in stone yet.
(Chipping off a bit of clay might have been the 17th century BCE
equivalent of white-out.)

As for directionality of the glyphs, the appearance of glyphs is
rightly left to the font developer. (smile and groan)

Best regards,

James Kass.

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