From: Philippe Verdy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon May 24 2004 - 17:08:31 CDT
From: "John Hudson" <email@example.com>
> Michael Everson wrote:
> > Why, James, we gave evidence a month ago that the ancient Hebrews
> > considered it to be a different script than the one they had learned in
> > exile.
> To be fair, it isn't at all clear from your evidence that the Ancient Hebrews
had the same
> concept of 'script' as the Unicode Standard. I don't recall anything in what
> that suggested anything more significant than a recognition of a change in the
> writing *the same Hebrew letters*, or as they might have said, if they did use
> parlance, the same abstract characters.
Yes but it is significant that Phoenician letters have letters named a bit
differently than Hebrew letters, even when refered to by Semitists!
If they name the letters differently, it's a clear sign that they already
consider the letters as distinct (also because they want to respect the sacred
Hebrew alphabet by not naming with Hebrew names the Phoenician letters).
If Semitists make distinctions, then this is an evidence that these are distinct
_abstract_ letters. As Unicode encodes distinct abstract letters separately, the
Michael's proposal has some sense.
Now the fact that it is easy to tweak a Hebrew font to make it look like
Phoenician, or to encode it with Hebrew is a technical aspect which does not
change the fact that they are still distinct abstract characters. It was done
simply because there was no other easy choice, and depending on authors some
chose to tweak the Latin, Greek or Hebrew alphabet found in the standardized
encodings they also use everyday to work with modern texts.
There's already a problem for the interchange of data encoded in visual order
with tweaked Latin or Greek encoding, or in logical order with tweaked Hebrew
encoding... With a single coherent Phoenician encoding, both semitists and
Indo-Europeanists could exchange their texts using a common encoding which will
be treated unambiguously as Phoenician and not as Latin or Hebrew (depending on
who reads the rendered text)...
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