Re: New contribution

From: Mark E. Shoulson (
Date: Thu Apr 29 2004 - 20:15:08 EDT

  • Next message: Mark E. Shoulson: "Re: New contribution"

    Dean Snyder wrote:

    >Mark E. Shoulson wrote at 1:01 AM on Thursday, April 29, 2004:
    >>>As the situation stands right now, one simply encodes it in Hebrew or
    >>>Latin transliteration, effectively deferring further analysis to other
    >>>processes. This has its benefits.
    >>And its drawbacks, since as you say, it's not an answer but a way of
    >>avoiding an answer.
    >Rather, deferring it to a level above the plain text level.
    No, refusing to answer (in the envisioned case in which there is a
    Phoenician encoding). If you DO have an answer, e.g. you DO intend to
    place this as, say, Phoenician script by setting it in a
    Phoenician-looking font, then you shouldn't be using Hebrew to
    transcribe: you should use the Phoenician encoding. If you are setting
    the text in Hebrew, you are simply not commenting on the nature of the
    script (at least there; you might be in your text).

    >>Mis-encoding? Another way to look at it is that by encoding it this way
    >>or that way, you are thus making a *claim*, declaring the script to be
    >>the one you most strongly believe it to be. What if you're wrong?
    >>People, even respected researchers, have been wrong before, and science
    >>marches on. (Other people, I mean; not me) If you don't want or don't
    >>need to make such a claim, then you can use Hebrew as you do even now.
    >>If you do want or need to make such a claim, then the consequences of
    >>being wrong are they same as for any other claim.
    >But I'm not sure these claims of distinction should be frozen at the
    >plain text level.
    There's that problem again: "plain text." There's no such thing as
    plain text, at least when it comes to old examples.

    "Should be frozen"? It depends who's doing the writing. Why shouldn't
    a person who wants to make such a distinction be allowed to make it?

    >The question whose answer we need to plausibly defend is - What, in
    >Ancient West Semitic "scripts", is usefully distinguished in PLAIN TEXT,
    >and what is not?
    >If I had to take a position right now, I would think that encoding Old
    >Canaanite (not Phoenician) and Samaritan is useful, but I would leave
    >Aramaic, et al. for more expert, soul-searching discussion.
    This sounds a lot like what is being proposed, modulo a name-change:
    we're working on a Samaritan proposal, Hebrew's already there, and
    Michael has proposed Old Canaanite, which for some reason he has chosen
    to call Phoenician. The name may be ill-chosen, and it isn't too late
    to change it, but it sounds like you're in general agreement with me and
    Peter Kirk.


    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu Apr 29 2004 - 20:48:02 EDT