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

From: Dean Snyder (
Date: Fri May 14 2004 - 15:21:29 CDT

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    Michael Everson wrote at 7:29 PM on Thursday, May 13, 2004:

    >At 11:44 -0400 2004-05-13, Dean Snyder wrote:
    >>occur side by side FOR THE SAME TEXTS IN THE SAME LANGUAGE.

    It's your dogmatic assertion that Phoenician/Palaeo-Hebrew is a different
    script (in the ENCODING sense of that word) from Jewish Hebrew. I disagree.

    You've given no evidence to back this assertion, and I recall no one else
    here supporting this assertion of yours with any evidence either.
    (Legibility by modern readers is basically irrelevant in an ancient
    script context.)

    I, on the other hand, have given evidence, including several email
    attachments of palaeographical charts, showing that they are not
    different scripts - they are members of a diascript continuum, with a
    one-to-one mapping of letters, with the same writing direction, in the
    same alphabetical order, with practically the same letter names, used by
    scribes to differentiate archaizing text from more modern text in the
    same language contemporaneously, with both forms legible to the same
    people. The burden of proof is on you to show that these are different

    >>Maybe you don't want scholars to intercollate this material?
    >I don't care. If scholars want to tailor an ordering...

    Interesting attitude for an encoder, that "I don't care" statement.

    I DO care if Dead Sea scroll scholars have to always be doing workarounds
    just to overcome the results of a dogmatic assertion that Palaeo-Hebrew
    is a different, encode-worthy, script from Jewish Hebrew.

    >>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?
    >Nothing. Embrace the inevitable.

    If there is no possible way to prevent the adoption of a proposal like
    this, why put it up for review at all? The actual encoding content of the
    proposal is actually rather simplistic and straightforward; it's the
    question of whether or not to encode Phoenician at all that's in any way
    interesting or merits discussion.

    And if this is a foregone conclusion, an "inevitability", then the review
    process is a sham. I am proceeding on the assumption that it is not.

    My question is, do you really care what ANYBODY says about encoding or
    not encoding Phoenician, or has your mind been made up for 10 years and
    nothing can change it now?

    >>If the UTC encodes Archaic Greek and does not encode Phoenician, it will
    >>make both Classicists and Semiticists happy.
    >Nope. Archaic Greek can be properly unified with Greek.

    Then forget about plain text distinction of the two.

    Old Canaanite can be properly unified with Hebrew - de facto, it is
    unified right now.

    >on the other hand, cannot be properly unified with Hebrew, because we
    >are going to encode important nodes of the family tree.

    Are you going on record here as stipulating that Archaic Greek is not an
    important node on its family tree?

    Or are you saying that you are just not going to encode important nodes
    on the Greek family tree?

    >We're going
    >to do this because the Universal Character Set is a cultural artifact
    >for everyone, not simply a tool for certain kinds of scholars.

    My proposal to encode Archaic Greek instead of Phoenician is a solution
    that will work better for everyone - your proposal to encode Phoenician
    is an inadequacy for Classicists, an increased mess for Semiticists, and
    a convenience for makers of plain text alphabet charts.


    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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