Archaic-Greek/Palaeo-Hebrew (was, interleaved ordering; was, Phoenician)

From: Dean Snyder (
Date: Thu May 13 2004 - 10:44:58 CDT

  • Next message: Dean Snyder: "Re: interleaved ordering (was RE: Phoenician)"

    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
    Phoenician/Old Cannaanite.

    Maybe I'll beat you to the punch and write an Archaic Greek proposal
    myself? ;-)

    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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