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

From: Peter Constable (
Date: Wed May 26 2004 - 18:15:04 CDT

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    > From: []
    On Behalf
    > Of Peter Kirk

    > 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
    > Hebrew document as evidence that the two varieties of writing are
    > variants and not distinct scripts.

    I was "greenlighting" and speaking in very general terms. The divine
    name is certainly a special case -- it's only this specific text element
    that uses PH, not e.g. any book title, or any scribal annotation -- and
    I'm not sure what the most likely analysis should be. PH may have been
    used with a perception that it was a more prestigious form of the same
    Hebrew characters. On the other hand, PH may have been used with the
    perception that, while changing the script from PH to sq Hebrew was
    tolerable for the bulk of the text, no change from the earliest-known
    textual representation of the divine name was acceptable. Or, the
    scribes may have had some other perception regarding this practice. I
    have no idea what was in the mind of the scribes.

    Peter Constable
    Globalization Infrastructure and Font Technologies
    Microsoft Windows Division

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