RE: Phoenician

From: Peter Constable (
Date: Thu May 06 2004 - 04:46:39 CDT

> Somewhat echoing Deborah Anderson's contribution from a few days ago,
> am categorically against any script unification in this matter and I
> believe that Phoenician script should be encoded separately from
> Hebrew script - when I have the need to encode both scripts within one
> XML / XHTML document, I want to be sure that both scripts are rendered
> accurately without confusion, and without having to step though a font
> minefield...

> Hope this helps,

I think so.

There are situations in which we allow certain differences in appearance
to be relegated to a font issue. But one of the defining criteria that
has been used for plain text on numerous occasions is the criterion of
legibility: plain text must represent distinctions legibly -- meaning,
that no matter what font those (say) CJK characters are displayed with,
a reader will recognize what the text is, even if the glyphs are not
what they consider culturally preferable.

I think it has been established that those that use square Hebrew
characters (apart from Hebrew paleographers) do not find text in PH to
be legible as Hebrew. And it seems like the concern you and Debbie
expressed for the right fonts is more like this and rather of a
different order than what we'd normally consider a typographic
preference -- if square Hebrew glyphs show up where you want PH (or vice
versa), then it's just plain wrong as far as your purposes are
concerned, and would be mis-interpreted as the wrong thing -- that means
a failure wrt being legibly distinct.

I've been persuaded that new characters should be encoded (not
particularly helped by many lengthy and repetitive posts). Whether those
characters should be called "Phoenician" or "Old Canaanite" or what, and
how many historic written variations this set should encompass, I don't

Peter Constable

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