RE: PH technical issues (was RE: Why Fraktur is irrelevant

From: Peter Constable (
Date: Thu May 27 2004 - 14:28:44 CDT

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    > From: John Hudson []
    > Sent: Thursday, May 27, 2004 11:59 AM

    > The concern I have is not so much with the Phoenician encoding per se,
    but with the
    > encoding of 'significant nodes' -- to use Michael's phrase -- on a
    script continuum...

    > In particular, if Unicode encodes a number
    > of 'significant nodes' on the semtitic script continuum, how should
    the standard be
    > used
    > to encode texts that fall between the nodes? This is an issue even if
    one accepts the
    > concept of nodes, i.e. of a linear continuum with clearly identifiable
    chronological or
    > cultural script instances. Dean has, convincingly I think, presented
    examples of
    > overlapping of use of such 'nodes' among ancient communities, making
    it harder to
    > distinguish them from within the continuum.

    To make discussion easier, let me speak in terms of an analogy,
    referring to the nodes as integers and the points in between as real
    numbers. If someone could show documents written within a single
    community in a reasonably concurrent time frame (i.e. they're
    communicating with one another) that mixed several rational values from
    the entire range between 0 and 1, then I'd say the nodes 0 and 1 were
    nothing more than an artifact of our classification. But if one can only
    point to cases of (say) documents from a given community containing 0
    and .6, or 0 and .9, then it would seem that the nodes had some
    conceptual validity within that community. IIRC, we have been given
    indication of the latter, but I'm not sure we've been given indication
    of the former.

    Peter Constable
    Globalization Infrastructure and Font Technologies
    Microsoft Windows Division

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