Re: Why Fraktur is irrelevant (was RE: Fraktur Legibility (was Re:Response to Everson Phoenician)

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Wed May 26 2004 - 17:25:45 CDT

  • Next message: Peter Constable: "RE: Why Fraktur is irrelevant (was RE: Fraktur Legibility (was Re: Response to Everson Phoenician)"

    On 26/05/2004 14:50, wrote:

    >Peter Kirk scripsit:
    >>So I have an honest question. Can anyone, please, remind me of any
    >>technical arguments other than legibility for the separate encoding of
    >The same as the general argument for separating any two scripts: the desire
    >to create plain-text documents which contain combinations of them. We
    >do not identify Greek with Coptic any more because Michael was able to find
    >mixed-script documents that the UTC agreed would deserve plain text
    Thank you for reminding me of this technical argument, although I am not
    convinced that it was ever made clearly before during this debate. Well,
    where are the mixed-script documents in this case?

    The only such documents I have seen involve representations of the
    divine name in Palaeo-Hebrew characters in otherwise square Hebrew
    texts. Well, representation of the Hebrew divine name is a very
    interesting subject which Mark Shoulson has gone into in some detail. He
    made a proposal in 1998,, and has recently
    been considering revising and resubmitting it, as discussed on the
    Unicode Hebrew list. Should the UTC accept the principle of encoding all
    of these variants as distinct plain text? I would be surprised if that
    idea is accepted (and it is not what Mark was proposing). The ancient
    practice of writing the divine name in Palaeo-Hebrew is simply an early
    example of this kind of special rendering of the divine name. As such it
    should be treated either as the regular letters yod-he-vav-he with
    special markup for a Palaeo-Hebrew font, or else as a glyph variant of
    the special divine name character which Mark was proposing.

    Of course I can easily use this example of the divine name in
    Palaeo-Hebrew as an argument for unification of the scripts. Peter
    Constable wrote a few hours ago:

    >If they were considered "font" variants, then you might
    >expect to see different documents using one or the other, or see
    >different elements within a single document using one or the other.
    As I understand him, he would see use of Palaeo-Hebrew words in a square
    Hebrew document as evidence that the two varieties of writing are "font"
    variants and not distinct scripts.

    Peter Kirk (personal) (work)

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