[hebrew] Re: Roadmap---Mandaic, Early Aramaic, Samaritan

From: Michael Everson (everson@evertype.com)
Date: Sun Aug 10 2003 - 18:59:33 EDT

  • Next message: ekeown@student.umass.edu: "Re: [hebrew] Re: Roadmap---Mandaic, Early Aramaic, Samaritan"


    I really, really, really don't have time to debug your
    dissatisfaction with the use of the word "Aramaic" in the Roadmaps.
    This is NOT something anyone is working actively on right now. When a
    proposal comes forth, there will be evidence in it that can be picked

    >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....

    We are not going to encode Phoenican and Samaritan and Palymrene as
    font variants of Hebrew. If you want to write those languages in
    Hebrew script, do so.

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

    The borders we draw are based on the analyses of script experts.

    >I gather that you are a font person, fascinated by the aesthetic
    >pleasure of wondrous shapes.

    I am a lot more than that.

    >I am a database person, concerned with minimizing unnecessary font
    >variation, which may interfere with future overworked Semitic
    >retrieval engines.....

    You will never be at as greater disadvantage than a Sanskritist is,
    considering that the Rg Veda can be written in a dozen or so scripts.
    >> 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.....

    Then we shall encode them.

    > > 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..

    Hebraists are discussing concerns about METEG and things. You're
    responding about things which don't even have formal proposals to
    respond to. If you want me to start working on encoding other early
    Semitic scripts, please give generously to the Script Encoding
    Initiative and ask for prioritization. Failing that, I will be
    working on things which have higher priority (and more complete
    proposals) at present, like Coptic, Saurashtra, Nuskhuri, Buginese,
    N'Ko, Ol Chiki, Avestan and Pahlavi, and so on.

    > > >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....

    We encode scripts so that we can represent texts. And we will do it,
    as we have, to the best of our ability, but not by lumping everything
    together just because it makes things easy for database programmers.

    Best regards,

    Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  * http://www.evertype.com

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