Re: For Phoenician

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Tue May 04 2004 - 11:31:39 CDT

On 02/05/2004 17:35, Philippe Verdy wrote:

> ...
>Please be polite Peter. You're talking to the official registrar appointed by
>Unicode, the ISO 15924 Registration Agency.
>Well, Michael is only the registrar. ISO 15924 will continue to have more
>details about what is considered as a separate script for bibliographic
>references and differenciation of publications.

I am really impressed - not! ;-)

>The situation for Phenician is quite different. The Hebrew script is already
>extremely complex by itself. Som of its most complex rules, that would work and
>produce desirable effects in the square hebrew variant, would become disastrous
>with another form. Can you really make semantic distinctions with the glyph
>layout of hataf vowels applied on top of Phoenician/Old Canaanite glyphs? If you
>had to create a special layout engine to handle multiple cantillation and vowel
>marks applied safely on square hebrew, would it work as well with the Old
>Canaanite base glyphs, which were not designed to support these diacritics and
>allow differentiating them?

This would require some creative font design to avoid collisions with
descenders, but would be by no means impossible.

>How will you handle the possible inclusion of new variants or additional letters
>from the base Phoenician script, without breaking some of the modern Hebrew
>script rules? These are probably lots of these additional variants and
>extensions, used in the genesis or evolution of other languages and scripts. If
>you integrate them into only the Phoenician script, with a more relaxed rule
>than for Hebrew which is strongly fixed today, you'll break the fragile buiding
>of the Hebrew script.
Of course I cannot already handle all hypothetical possible extensions
to the current scripts. But Unicode deals with existing scripts, not
hypothetical ones. If you have any evidence for any such variants in
actual use, please send it to me, and to Michael as he may wish to
incorpotate it in his proposal.

Peter Kirk (personal) (work)

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