Re: Palaeo-Hebrew, Phoenician, and Unicode (Phoenician Unicode pr oposal)

From: Mike Ayers (
Date: Wed May 26 2004 - 16:03:53 CDT

  • Next message: Kenneth Whistler: "Re: Palaeo-Hebrew, Phoenician, and Unicode (Phoenician Unicode proposal)"

    > From: []On
    > Behalf Of Dean Snyder
    > Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2004 11:45 AM

    > James Kass wrote at 4:37 PM on Wednesday, May 26, 2004:
    > >Shemayah Phillips of
    > >>It has some
    > >>differences in representing Hebrew because square script has more
    > >>characters (e.g., shin/sin) than Palaeo.
    > Not a relevant argument - Spanish has more characters than English.

            Not a relevant analogy - Spanish and English are languages, square
    and Paleo are "scripts".

    > >The discussion on the Unicode list concerning Phoenician has been
    > >*very* lively. It's had the most "bandwidth" and contention of any
    > >topic in the several years that I've been a subscriber.
    > >The people opposed to the Phoenician encoding consider that
    > >Phoenician/Palaeo-Hebrew script is identical *from the standpoint
    > >of abstract character identity* to the modern Hebrew script range
    > >already encoded. Therefore the opposition believes that ancient
    > >Phoenician texts should properly be encoded using the existing
    > >modern Hebrew script range, and that the display of Phoenician
    > >should be handled as a "font change". The opposition believes that
    > >there is no established *need* to be able to represent/display both
    > >modern Hebrew and palaeo-Hebrew in the same plain text document.
    > The last point is over-stated, and leaves out any counter-arguments.

            But it's accurate.

    > I think all acknowledge a demonstrated desire by some to
    > distinguish the
    > two in plain text, but I and others have suggested that that desire
    > should be weighed against the added complexity for text
    > processing that a
    > new encoding will introduce.

            ...and you have repeatedly ignored clear evidence that the
    complexity to which you refer is minimal.

    > >Those supporting the Phoenician encoding consider that Phoenician
    > >has a separate script identity from modern Hebrew and requires
    > >a separate Unicode range.
    > Leaving out the very important issue of ANCIENT Jewish Hebrew which IS
    > encoded in Unicode Hebrew.


    > >The supporters say that there *is* a
    > >need to be able to represent Phoenician and Hebrew in the same
    > >plain text document and that the practice of some scholars to
    > >represent Phoenician or palaeo-Hebrew using Unicode's modern
    > >Hebrew should be regarded as straight transliteration.
    > >...
    > >I realize fully that opinions on this subject do differ, and,
    > >whether you support one side or the other, your honest
    > >opinion as somebody who is working with the ancient script
    > >(which either has its own identity -or- is a stylistic variant
    > >of the modern Hebrew script) will be most helpful.
    > Your repeated use of the phrase "modern Hebrew" is
    > prejudicing your case
    > and calls into question the verdict rendered.
    > At a bare minimum, Unicode Hebrew encodes both modern Israeli Hebrew
    > script and ancient Jewish Hebrew script. One of the main issues under
    > discussion is whether it should also encode Palaeo-Hebrew script.


            Are we going to have to endure a month of you yammering about
    "ancient Jewish Hebrew" now? If you've got a point, make it, please.


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