Re: Berber/Tifinagh (was: Swahili & Banthu)

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Mon Nov 10 2003 - 17:33:27 EST

  • Next message: Patrick Andries: "Re: Berber/Tifinagh (was: Swahili & Banthu)"

    From: "Patrick Andries" <>
    > This makes no sense : the modern use of the Tifinagh script cannot be
    > another script... You may have meant the modern day script used for the
    > berber language. This is highly disputable (Morocco just started teaching
    > Tifinagh in its schools and they are many Berber sites in Tifinagh and
    > Arabic scripts). It also does not follow that being able to switch fonts
    > between two scripts used for a language should take precedence over coding
    > properly the different scripts. What if there is no one-to-one mapping
    > between the characters of the different scripts ? What about a mapping
    > between the Arabic and Tifinagh transcriptions of Berber ? Should we be
    > able to switch between the Arabic and Latin transcriptions by a simple
    > adjustment ? What is one then to do with the « emphatiques conditionnées »
    > noted by some scholars in Latin and Tifinagh but for which no Arabic
    > character seems to be available ?

    This is the role of diacritics and symbols added to the target script, so
    that no information from the text written in the source script is lost.

    You seem to forget that Tifinagh is not a unified script, but a set of
    scripts where the same glyphs are used with distinct semantic functions.
    Byt itself, ignoring all other transliteration to Latin and Arabic, "the"
    scripts are already cyphers of another variant of Tifinagh script.

    And I think it is the major issue which requires to choose a policy for its
    encoding. If characters are encoded by their names (as they should in
    then we are unable to produce an accurate chart showing "representative
    glyphs", as no variant of the script covers the whole abstract character
    and so this would require several charts, i.e. multiple glyphs for the same
    abstract character. In this condition, why couldn't Latin glyphs be among
    these, when they already have the merit of covering the whole abstract
    character set covered by all scripts in the Tifinagh family?

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