Script vs Writing System

From: Patrick Andries (
Date: Mon May 10 2004 - 16:44:55 CDT

  • Next message: "Re: Script vs Writing System"

    At 12:12 -0700 2004-05-10, Mike Ayers wrote:

    >> But all this leads me to finally ask: what does "script" mean? It
    >> seems clear to me that although the term has been used throughout the
    >> Phoenician debate, not everyone is using it the same way. I know
    >> that there is a definition of "script" that is used for encoding
    >> purposes, but can I find it written anywhere, or is it more of an
    >> ephemeral thing?
    [PA] The glossary has « A collection of symbols used to represent
    textual information in one or more writing systems. »

    Chapter 6 also defines Writing Systems summarized by Table 6-1 Typology
    of Scripts (Writing Systems then Scripts) :

    A writing system is then defined as « A set of rules for using one or
    more scripts to write a particular language. Examples include the
    American English writing System, the British English writing system, the
    French writing system, and the Japanese writing system. »

    Type Unicode Script(s)
    -------- ------------------
    Alphabets: Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, Armenian, Thaana, Georgian, Ogham,
                       Runic, Mongolian, Old Italic, Gothic, Ugaritic,
    Deseret, Shavian,

    Abjads: Hebrew, Arabic, Syriac

    Abugidas: Devanagari, Bengali, Gurmukhi, Gujarati, Oriya, Tamil, Telugu,
                       Kannada, Malayalam, Sinhala, Thai, Lao, Tibetan, Myanmar,
                      Tagalog, Hanunóo, Buhid, Tagbanwa, Khmer, Limbu, Tai Le

    Logosyllabaries: Han

    Simple Syllabaries: Cherokee, Hiragana, Katakana, Bopomofo, Yi, Linear
    B, Cypriot

    Featural Syllabaries: Ethiopic, Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics, Hangul

    Note : «Table 6-1 lists all of the scripts currently encoded in the
    Unicode Standard, showing the
    writing system type for each. The list is an approximate guide, rather
    than a definitive classification,
    because of the mix of features seen in many scripts. The writing systems
    for some
    languages may be quite complex, mixing more than one writing system
    together in a composite
    system. Japanese is the best example; it mixes a logosyllabary (Han),
    two syllabaries
    (Hiragana and Katakana), and one alphabet (Latin, for romaji).»

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