Re: New contribution

From: John Cowan (
Date: Mon May 03 2004 - 23:56:07 CDT

Mark Davis scripsit:

> - There is a cost to deunification. To take an extreme case, suppose
> that we deunified Rustics, Roman Uncials, Irish Half-Uncial, Carolingian
> Minuscule, Textura, Fraktur, Humanist, Chancery (Italic), and English
> Roundhand. All often very different shapes. Searching/processing Latin
> text would be a nightmare.
> - There is also a cost to unification. To take an extreme case, suppose
> we unified Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, Arabic, and Hebrew (after all,
> they have a common ancester). Again, nightmare.
> So there is always a balance that we have to strike, looking at each
> situation carefully and assessing a number of different factors.

All this should become a UTC policy, IMHO.

> After all, it *is* unifying as it says "Proto-Sinaitic/Proto-Canaanite,
> Punic, Neo-Punic, Phoenician proper, Late Phoenician cursive, Phoenician
> papyrus, Siloam Hebrew, Hebrew seals, Ammonite, Moabite, Palaeo-Hebrew",
> but not unifying these with modern Hebrew (and I'm not sure where the
> cut-off point in the history of Hebrew is).

The Babylonian Exile, basically, but this particular cutoff is not
arbitrary. Square (modern) Hebrew script isn't the direct descendant
of Palaeo-Hebrew: there was a break in transmission, and the new glyphs
were borrowed from Aramaic script. It's analogous to the use of
Antiqua in modern German: it's not a descendant of Fraktur.

John Cowan
Female celebrity stalker, on a hot morning in Cairo:
"Imagine, Colonel Lawrence, ninety-two already!"
El Auruns's reply:  "Many happy returns of the day!"

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