RE: New contribution

From: Dean Snyder (
Date: Thu Apr 29 2004 - 10:42:07 EDT

  • Next message: Andrew C. West: "Re: New contribution"

    Peter Constable wrote at 6:54 AM on Thursday, April 29, 2004:

    >I think a close historical relationship and behavioural equivalence are
    >minimally necessary requirements for unification.

    All Ancient West Semitic scripts exhibit "close historical relationship
    and behavioural equivalence" (if by "behavioral" you mean the kinds of
    things specified by Unicode properties). They do however exhibit
    sometimes more, sometimes less independent paleographic development over
    the centuries, along with sometimes more, sometimes less independent
    orthographic innovations.

    >Another possible criterion is conventionally distinct identities. E.g.
    >today we look at Cyrillic text, and we all say it's Cyrillic, and not
    >Greek, not Latin, not anything else. 3000 (or however many years ago),
    >would people have looked at Phoenician text and said unequivocably,
    >that's Phoenician, not paleo-Hebrew?

    No. They are the same script, even very close paleographically; they do
    often, but not always, differ orthographically (Phoenician not using, as
    does Old Hebrew at times, some of the consonants as vowel indicators, the
    so-called "matres lectionis").


    Dean A. Snyder

    Assistant Research Scholar
    Manager, Digital Hammurabi Project
    Computer Science Department
    Whiting School of Engineering
    218C New Engineering Building
    3400 North Charles Street
    Johns Hopkins University
    Baltimore, Maryland, USA 21218

    office: 410 516-6850
    cell: 717 817-4897

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