Re: Public Review Issues Updated

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Sun May 02 2004 - 13:37:59 CDT

On 02/05/2004 06:33, Michael Everson wrote:

> ...
>> If so, you might be able to cite a body of opinion that it is a
>> separate script.
> I have already done so. In the whole history of the study of writing,
> no scholar has ever suggested that Phoenician is a variant of the
> Hebrew script.

No, but they have suggested and continue to suggest that Phoenician and
Hebrew are variants of a common 22-letter Semitic script. On this basis
the Hebrew and Phoenician scripts should be unified just as CJK has been
unified, and Roman, Italic and Fraktur have been unified. Of course
ideally in such a situation the existing Hebrew block should be renamed,
although this may be impossible for other reasons.

>> There are clearly some opinions that it is not.
> I think the arguments for this "unification" on this list have been
> rather facile, willfully ignorant of the counter-arguments given
> regarding script genesis and legibility, and generally untenable.

Well, the arguments against this "unification" have been non-existent,
except for a few ad hominem comments, and the point about legibility
which has been amply refuted by the mention of Suetterlin. I don't see
the relevance of the script genesis issue, especially as it is in
dispute. If there are further counter-arguments, please supply them.

> That is my opinion as an expert on writing systems.
> Unless, of course, it is because I am not employed by a University as
> an expert that you don't consider me "qualified" to give an expert
> opinion -- in which case I should like to point you to the
> bibliography of documents I have authored over the past decade.

I accept your opinion as that of a single expert. Expert opinions are
not the unassailable truth. I have yet to see an expert opinion from a
real scholar of Phoenician in support of your proposal. And there have
been a number of expert opinions against your proposal.

Peter Kirk (personal) (work)

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