Re: New contribution

Date: Fri Apr 30 2004 - 03:07:07 EDT

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    Dean Snyder wrote,

    > 1) The script is wrongly called "Phoenician" - the same script was used
    > for Old Phoenician, Old Aramaic, Old Hebrew, Moabite, Ammonite, and
    > Edomite. That is why I propose it be named "[Old] Canaanite".

    The Latin script is used for English, German, Tahitian, Apache, etc..
    But it remains the Latin script. Likewise, Phoenician is Phoenician,
    even if other users borrowed it.

    Dean Snyder wrote,

    > Then why were Chinese, Japanese, and Korean unified?

    They weren't. There are three distinctive writing systems involved
    with CJK. They share some common ideographs and this is where
    some unification has been involved. In the case of ideographic
    unification, one can look at the glyphs involved and clearly observe
    the similarity. This is not so with Phoenician and Hebrew, clearly.

    Unifying Phoenician and Hebrew would be akin to unifying
    Katakana and Hiragana. *That* would be silly.

    Peter Kirk wrote in response to Chris Fynn's Telugu/Kannada comparison:

    > Yes, but two wrongs don't make a right. One past mistake of Unicode, or
    > decision it had to take for compatibility reasons, does not create a
    > precedent.

    Treating Telugu and Kannada as distinct scripts was not a mistake.

    Peter Kirk wrote,

    > Not really. Acceptance of the proposal would create an expectation that
    > Phoenician texts should be encoded with the new Phoenician characters,
    > and so that existing practices are wrong and should be changed.

    Not necessarily. The existence of a Cyrillic range doesn't preclude
    Latin script users from writing "Trotsky".

    > ...That
    > expectation is of course not acceptable to scholars. Also not acceptable
    > is the inevitable result that Phoenician texts will be encoded in two
    > different ways, leading to lack of searchability and potentially total
    > confusion.

    Chris Fynn previously pointed out a similar issue with Sanskrit texts
    written in various Indic scripts. Having one language encoded in more
    than one script is not unprecedented. Search features can just be
    programmed accordingly.

    > If there is such a small minority, let us hear from them. As far as I
    > know this is a minority of one.

    Please. When the Phoenician script is approved, I will post a hypertext
    version of the Meshe Stele.
    ( )

    John Hudson provided this scan:


    ...which shows the Phoenician script at various stages. It's a bit misleading,
    though. If the only available reference were this scan, we could infer
    that, although the Phoenician language used the letters K, L, and M from
    975 to 930 B.C.E., these letters were dropped from the language
    by 900 B.C.E. only to be added back into the repertoire by the Moabites
    around 830 B.C.E..

    Quoting Birnbaum from John Hudson's letter:

    > To apply the term Phoenician to the script of the
    > Hebrews is hardly suitable. I have therefore coined the
    > term Palaeo-Hebrew.

    In one sense, it is OK to call Phoenician a "Hebrew script", since Phoenician
    was used to write Hebrew. In another sense, calling Phoenician a "Hebrew
    script" would be just as incorrect as calling the Phoenicians "Hebrews".

    To apply the term Phoenician to the script of the Phoenicians seems
    eminently suitable.

    Best regards,

    James Kass

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