Re: Roadmap---Mandaic, Early Aramaic, Samaritan

Date: Sun Aug 10 2003 - 18:42:04 EDT

  • Next message: Kenneth Whistler: "Re: Aramaic scripts"

                   Elaine Keown
                   still in Madison

    Dear Michael Everson and Other Interested People,

    > script does not mean that every script is just a font variant of the
    > Hebrew script.

    In actuality, one could make a very good case that all extant Semitic/
    extended Aramaic-Moabite-Amorite-Yaudic-Hebrew etc. type alphabetic scripts
    between the earliest----Sinaitic / Wadi El-Hol---and middle Parthian
    are font variants....

    Any border(s) you draw will be either completely artificial or mostly
    artifical. That's the problem.

    I gather that you are a font person, fascinated by the aesthetic
    pleasure of wondrous shapes. I am a database person, concerned with
    minimizing unnecessary font variation, which may interfere with
    future overworked Semitic retrieval engines.....
    > The Mandaic and Samaritan scripts apparently
    > enjoy at least some modern liturgical use.

    Yes, they do! But the Samaritan is also heavily used within
    Jewish studies / Biblical studies communities. The Samaritans
    also use their shapes in private correspondence.....I don't
    know what kind of media presence Samaritans have in Israel, but they
    might have radio or some TV allocated to them also. So conceivably
    Samaritan font shapes may already be on TV.....

    > of Aramaic script to encode has not been looked at carefully. Indeed
    > we have no current proposals which are well-advanced at this time.

    I'm responding now because this may be the only time period where
    Hebraists interact with Unicode........Carpe diem..

    > >I am responding at great length to the Roadmap proposals
    > >for the Semitic dialects Mandaic, Early Aramaic, and
    > >Samaritan.
    > We are proposing to encode scripts, not languages.

    Yes, that is your take on it. But scripts are frozen language,
    not the liquid language of speech or the gaseous language of
    poetry...... You encode scripts so we can manipulate languages.....

    > And a set of base letter glyphs which differs strongly from Hebrew.

    But which resembles Hasmonaean Hebrew letter shapes, which also
    resemble some very early Hebrew letter shapes.......there's an
    endless continuum of shapes, Michael E.


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