Re: Response to Everson Phoenician and why June 7?

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Mon May 24 2004 - 17:08:31 CDT

  • Next message: Philippe Verdy: "Re: MCW encoding of Hebrew (was RE: Response to Everson Ph and why Jun 7? fervor)"

    From: "John Hudson" <>
    > 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
    you cited
    > that suggested anything more significant than a recognition of a change in the
    style of
    > 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)...

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Mon May 24 2004 - 17:08:59 CDT