Re: Aramaic, Samaritan, Phoenician

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Tue Jul 15 2003 - 11:26:41 EDT

  • Next message: John Cowan: "Re: Aramaic, Samaritan, Phoenician"

    At 07:53 -0700 2003-07-15, Peter Kirk wrote:

    >VVELLIHOPEVVEVVILL... ahem... Well, I hope we will count ancient
    >Roman as Latin script rather than add to Unicode yet another new
    >script which is almost identical to an existing one. But then it
    >would make more sense than proposals to add new scripts or partial
    >scripts for biblical Hebrew and for Aramaic, for at least ancient
    >Roman inscriptions can be distinguished from nearly all modern texts
    >by being in a different language.

    Nope. The Aramaic ranged far beyond the middle east and itself -- not
    Hebrew -- was the forerunner of Syriac, Manichaean, Sogdian,
    Mandaean, Parthian, Avestan, Pahlavi, and other scripts.

    >But the existing Hebrew characters in Unicode are already in use for
    >biblical Hebrew texts, as well as for what are probably the majority
    >of surviving examples of ancient Aramaic which is not Syriac - the
    >Aramaic portions of the Hebrew Bible, and presumably also the
    >Aramaic parts of the Talmud and other ancient Jewish writings.

    Aramaic is not only attested in Biblical texts. From Daniels &
    Bright: "Aramaic was the lingua franca of Southwest Asia from early
    in the first millennium BCE until the Arab Conquest in the mid
    seventh century CE."

    >Otherwise we end up with a new script for a few ancient inscriptions
    >which are only slightly different in glyph shapes and repertoire and
    >in language from an extensive corpus in an existing Unicode block.

    We need to do further research on the subject, but it seems to me
    that Late Aramaic is still a candidate for encoding.

    Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  *

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