Re: Hooks and Curls and Bars, oh my (was: New contribution)

From: Ernest Cline (
Date: Fri May 07 2004 - 00:06:50 CDT

> [Original Message]
> From: D. Starner <>
> "Ernest Cline" <> writes:
> > I wasn't aware that there was an ARABIC SMALL LETTER D to add
> > a curl to,
> There wasn't a Devanagari question mark to make a glottal stop
> out of, but the Latin glottal stop was added to Devanagari anyway.

But the process I am referring to is character modification not character
addition. In any case, DEVANAGARI GLOTTAL STOP is a clear case
of a letter from another script being modified to fit the conventions of a
new script. In this it is not so different from how the thorn was adapted
Latin script. But there was nothing about the position of the glottal stop
that makes it difficult to add to another script, and the position of the
vowel points is the chief difficulty one would have in unifying Hebrew
with any glyph repertoire that doesn't already have them.

> > Still, even with potential glyph unifications of distinct characters,
> > if Phoenician is unifiable with Hebrew, one should be able
> > to come up with a system for Phoenician that would incorporate
> > the richness of the Hebrew point and cantilation marks. I'm not saying
> > that it can't be done; I don't know enough about the scripts to say
> > I am saying that unless it can be done, unification would be a mistake.
> The points are just accents; add them to the Phoenician characters at
> the same locations. When descenders get in the way, either move the accent
> or transform it, ala LATIN SMALL LETTER D WITH CARON. If anyone really
> cares, they could be added without problem, whether or not Phoenician is
> unified with Hebrew.

The transformation of SMALL D WITH CARON was made by a living
community of users to improve the aesthetics of the character. Using
an actual caron would be correct, but not aesthetically pleasing because
of how a living community adapted the original accretion. As for arbitrary
transformations, of dead glyph repertoires, if you allow that, then you
"unify" Aztec and Hieroglyphics, but you certainly wouldn't prove anything
by doing so.

But several of the Hebrew accents are differentiated by their position from
other combining marks. Are you of the opinion that for example, HEBREW
unified? After all, they both place a horizontal pair of dots below the
The position of the points as being irrelevant is something I'm not willing
accept, considering the investment that has been made in Unicode for
Hebrew by defining them as being just so and giving them unique
combining classes.

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