Re: New contribution

From: John Hudson (
Date: Thu Apr 29 2004 - 16:51:15 EDT

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    Michael Everson wrote:

    > Students of various alphabet and writing systems, and authors of
    > educational and historical materials. Read the document, please. Look at
    > the bibliography. The Phoenician script has been recognized and
    > published about as a separate unique entity in those contexts for a
    > very, very long time indeed. That is a different user community from
    > students of ancient Semitic languages, and it is a real user community.

    I'm familiar with a number of the books in Michael's bibliography, and I think it should
    be noted that the use of the term Phoenecian may often reflect the Greco-centric tradition
    of much European writing on the subject. The script is commonly called Phoenician because
    the Greeks got their alphabet from the Phoenicians -- as every schoolboy learns --: sea
    traders who spread their writing system around the eastern Mediterranean.

    I wonder if some of the objections from Semiticists -- and I note that both Dean and Mark
    are not opposing the Phoencician proposal per se, only expressing concerns about what is
    or is not or may be unified in it -- might stem from their looking at this script in a
    different context, in which its use is not specifically linked to the Phoenicians and in
    which its place in a continuum of structurally identical and graphically related writing
    systems is more obvious.

    It is in light of this that I wonder whether the proposal might elicit less objection if
    the name were changed to make clear that a number of closely related ancient Near-Eastern
    writing systems are unified in the proposal.

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Vancouver, BC
    I often play against man, God says, but it is he who wants
       to lose, the idiot, and it is I who want him to win.
    And I succeed sometimes
    In making him win.
                  - Charles Peguy

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