Re: Aramaic, Samaritan, Phoenician

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Mon Jul 14 2003 - 20:11:06 EDT

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    Peter Kirk asked:

    > So is there a real justification for separate alphabets here?

    And Michael Everson can, no doubt, provide further
    justification beyond this sketch of how the roadmap has
    been structured for this script family.

    Note that when dealing with historic scripts it is not
    possible to have a completely axiomatic approach to
    determining what should or should not be designated
    as distinct scripts for encoding. To a certain extant
    it is an artform to discover what are the significant
    periods and ranges of forms to "draw a box around" to
    result in a sufficient set of encodings to match the
    scholastic need for representation of textual data,
    without erring either to the "lumping" side (just
    encode Aramaic once) or on the "splitting" side (encode
    each distinct local alphabet in each distinct,
    identifiable time period).

    Note also that decisions about what further Phoenician-derived
    scripts to encode is also influenced by the fact that
    for obvious modern reasons, Hebrew, Arabic, and Syriac
    are already encoded as distinct scripts.


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