Re: Phoenician

From: Mark E. Shoulson (
Date: Thu May 06 2004 - 21:12:33 CDT

Dean Snyder wrote:

>The issue is not whether this particular proposal represents Phoenician
>"script" adequately, it does; the real issue is whether Phoenician should
>be separately encoded at all.
I thought we had pretty much thrashed this one out by now. We've
demonstrated that users of Hebrew don't consider them the same script,
AND we've heard from real live Semitic scholars who also think Hebrew
and Phoenician should not be unified. What more needs to be shown? We
have real actual users saying "We need this," and you're saying "No, you

>But, what I'm afraid of with this proposal, as I've stated before, is
>that its adoption will set a precedent that will result in a snowballing
>of West Semitic encodings, leading to the third scenario, which I find
>* Separately encode Phoenician, Old Hebrew, Samaritan, Archaic Greek, Old
>Aramaic, Official Aramaic, Hatran, Nisan, Armazic, Elymaic, Palmyrene,
>Mandaic, Jewish Aramaic, Nabataean ...
No, nobody is suggesting that. It's already been stated that we can't
encode *every* node on the tree, but we should try to get a few
prominent ones. Which exactly those are is definitely going to be the
source of some disagreement, but there seems to be broad support for at
least *something* beyond Hebrew and Arabic.

I tend to see the divisions as "Hebrew," "Samaritan," and "Everything
Else," for reasons I probably can't explain or defend. And Samaritan
probably should also be in the Everything Else category, but it has its
own living community and maybe deserves a little extra identity.


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