From: Dean Snyder (email@example.com)
Date: Thu May 13 2004 - 10:44:58 CDT
Michael Everson wrote at 3:08 AM on Thursday, May 13, 2004:
>At 21:34 -0400 2004-05-12, John Cowan wrote:
>>Remember that "Phoenician" in this context includes Palaeo-Hebrew, an
>>we *have* seen evidence that this script is mixed with Square in the
>>same text, though not in the same word.
>Remember that we have likewise seen Greek text with the Palaeo-Hebrew
>text embedded in it in exactly the same way, yet we do not propose to
>interfile Phoenician with Greek.
Michael, your response exhibits faulty analogies and fundamental
misunderstandings of the issues involved. (At the very simplest level you
are confusing language and script.)
Your response is tantamount to saying - "Remember that we have likewise
seen Greek text with Fraktur German text embedded in it in exactly the
same way, yet we do not propose to interfile German with Greek."
Would you propose, by analogy, to separate Fraktur from Roman German? Do
you want to interfile Fraktur and Roman German?
You, or no one else here, have ever answered my objections based on the
analogy of Fraktur/Roman German to Palaeo/Jewish Hebrew.
This response also exhibits a complete ignoring of my Dead Sea scrolls
scenario, where both "scripts", Palaeo-Hebrew and Jewish Hebrew, occur
side by side FOR THE SAME TEXTS IN THE SAME LANGUAGE. Maybe you don't
want scholars to intercollate this material?
How can you and others keep on ignoring these serious objections, and
railroad this proposal through in spite of substantive resistance? I note
here, for example, Ken Whistler's recent pre-supposition that this
proposal will be adopted - "Phoenician (~ Old Canaanite, or whatever we
end up calling it)". In light of these kinds of foregone conclusions by
respected members of the Unicode Consortium, what else can we POSSIBLY do
to stop this proposal's adoption?]
On the other hand, to be fair, I have yet to answer the only viable
reason you have provided, and the one you and others keep repeating, for
separately encoding "Phoenician" - Classical scholars want to contrast in
plain text Phoenician characters with Greek characters.
Here is my answer:
As a person who does research in both disciplines, Semitics and Classics,
I say that what Classicists really need to distinguish in plain text is
Archaic Greek (read "Old Canaanite+") from later Greek. And the only
problem is that your Phoenician proposal will not help Classicists in
doing this. You see, we really need to encode ARCHAIC Greek, which is a
SUPERSET of the Old Canaanite alphabet - "Phoenician" is simply
inadequate for the job Classicists and others need to do.
If the UTC encodes Archaic Greek and does not encode Phoenician, it will
make both Classicists and Semiticists happy.
Besides, encoding Archaic Greek is more fun - it's more complicated, more
interesting, and I predict will be an increasingly ever more active area
of research. And, after all, it was Archaic Greek that was the direct
ancestor of the other, subsequent, "Mediterranean" scripts, not
Maybe I'll beat you to the punch and write an Archaic Greek proposal
Is there time to get an Archaic Greek proposal on the June UTC agenda? I
can write this up fairly quickly.
Dean A. Snyder
Assistant Research Scholar
Manager, Digital Hammurabi Project
Computer Science Department
Whiting School of Engineering
218C New Engineering Building
3400 North Charles Street
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, Maryland, USA 21218
office: 410 516-6850
cell: 717 817-4897
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