From: Michael Everson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Apr 30 2004 - 10:24:33 EDT
At 23:01 -0400 2004-04-28, Dean Snyder wrote:
>Michael Everson is one of the authors of the proposal to encode 2400
>years of cuneiform in one unified encoding. There is far greater
>disparity between URIII Sumerian and Neo-Babylonian embodied in that
>proposed single encoding than there is between Old Phoenician and
>Modern Israeli Hebrew script. Where's the consistency? Where's the
>pattern here for us to follow?
There isn't a recipe, as Ken said:
> >There *are* no axiomatic principles of
>>script identity which can be applied across the board to decide
>>that and all other instances of historical boundaries for a
>>candidate script to have its repertoire of characters separately
>>encoded in Unicode.
>I'm not asking for self-evident principles - I'm asking for TRIED and
>PROVEN principles, or maybe just guidelines, but at least explicit ones.
>If I would expect it from anyone on earth it would be from you encoding jocks.
Well, I have pointed out script history, ductus, and modern
legibility as criteria which I have followed. What I hear back is
nothing more than "It is Hebrew! It is Hebrew!"
> >1. Hebrew is already encoded, so just use Hebrew letters for
> >everything and change fonts for every historical variety.
>Which, along with transliteration, is precisely what the Phoenician
>scholarly community is doing now.
So you say. Most Phoenician fonts I have seen are Latin hacks. If
some are Hebrew hacks, well, they are still hacks. There are Hebrew
hacks for Samaritan, too, and there are Arabic hacks for N'Ko.
> >2. Encode a separate repertoire for each stylistically distinct
>>abjad ever recorded in the history of Aramaic studies, from
>>Proto-Canaanite to modern Hebrew (and toss in cursive Hebrew, for
>>that matter), starting with Tables 5.1, 5.3, 5.4, and 5.5 of
>>Daniels and Bright and adding whatever you wish to that.
>There is so much fluidity in such competing classifications that freezing
>any one of them into several standard encodings would cause much data and
Quantify. I do not find such a high degree of fluidity (until you get
to Aramaic proper which is so complex that we aren't looking into it.
The scripts proposed for unification under Phoenician are pretty
well-behaved, where REAL font variation can be seen.
> >> I'm not saying we shouldn't encode the "landmarks" in the Canaanite
>>> script continuum;
>>You aren't? Good. Then instead of objecting on generic grounds
>>to the Phoenician proposal, answer the following question:
>>A. Does Phoenician constitute a "landmark" in the Canaanite
>> script continuum? Yes/No
>It depends ;-)
>As I've stated on the Hebrew list, my reticence to the proposal is based
>on two factors:
>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"
I would consider Canaanite to be the pseudo-hieroglyphic Sinaitic.
That splits into three: Ugaritic, South Arabian, and Phoenician. Mark
and I will look at some more charts, but these seem to be the
>2) Discussions of this proposal have always been closely linked with
>proposals to encode Aramaic and Samaritan.
There are no proposals to encode Aramaic, as I say for the dozenth
time. And Samaritan is definitely a beast of its own, descended from
Phoenician, as Hebrew also is (through a separate and distinct path).
>And this is where we step into really turbulent waters (to keep my
>metaphor alive). My only suggestion has been that we slow down, do
>not proceed precipitously, and get more scholarly input.
The repertoire for Phoenician has not changed for a decade, apart
from the numbers (and I did take note that we need to look at the
fours and the fives again).
-- Michael Everson * * Everson Typography * * http://www.evertype.com
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