Re: Phoenician, Fraktur etc

From: Christopher Fynn (
Date: Fri May 28 2004 - 06:25:20 CDT

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    Peter Kirk wrote:

    > Square Hebrew and palaeo-Hebrew are used to write the same language
    > (e. g. Hebrew) with the same orthography. As there is no particular
    > encoding for palaeo-Hebrew, the very same text can be displayed in
    > either square Hebrew or palaeo-Hebrew without recoding it.

    Dear Peter

    Are there no non-Hebrew texts written in Phoenician (and the other
    archaic scripts Michael's proposal folds with Phoenician)?

    If people want to encode ancient Hebrew texts written in paleo-Hebrew
    using Hebrew characters, the presence of a Phoenician character block
    in the Unicode Standard would in no way prevent them from doing this.
    If there is as much of a consensus amongst the scholarly community that
    paleo-Hebrew texts should be encoded using only Hebrew characters as
    it has been claimed there is, it should not be at all difficult to get
    this established amongst that community as a standard convention. A
    block of Phoenician characters would in no way prevent this.

    >> ...
    >> I think that the case of old Phoenician vs. Hebrew is different, as
    >> there is no underlying common language and orthography -- but then
    >> I do know next to nothing about these scripts, so do not take this
    >> latter remark too seriously.
    > This is indeed not correct. There is a common language and
    > orthography, Hebrew, underlying palaeo-Hebrew and square Hebrew glyph
    > varieties, and the differences between Phoenician and Hebrew were
    > minor dialect differences at the time when both were written with
    > Phoenician/palaeo-Hebrew glyphs.

    As I asked above, are there no non-Hebrew texts written in Phoenician
    (and the other archaic scripts Michael's proposal folds with "Phoenician")?
    The presence of a Phoenician block would in no way prevent

    > On 27/05/2004 05:25, Christopher Fynn wrote:
    >> Peter Kirk wrote:
    >> ...
    >>> Well, what are these technical issues?
    >> There are some real users of Phoenician who have stated that they
    >> have a need to distinguish this script from the Hebrew script in/
    >> plain text .
    > This is not a technical issue. It is a case of *I want* rather than *I
    > need*. If they have a real need rather than a want, let them
    > demonstrate that need. This is what the proposers have consistently
    > refused to do.

    Personally, I accept they have a need if they say they do unless proved
    otherwise, just as I accept the stated need of others to encode
    paleo-Hebrew texts using characters in the Hebrew block.

    I'd say it is at least as incumbent on the "unifiers" to suggest a
    reasonable method to satisfy the requirements of those who have stated
    that they have a need for a separate plain text Phoenician encoding.

    >> /While there are technical means clearly specified by Unicode to
    >> accomplish interleaved collation, and folding of two scripts, in/
    >> plain text/ there is no other means to distinguish two scripts other
    >> than by separately encoding them.
    > Understood. Therefore I am asking for plain text distinction with
    > interleaved collation. But I want this collation to be specified by
    > the UTC, not left to the users.

    That's up to the UTC. If it were decided not to make collation of
    Phoenician Hebrew as the default, the UTC has specified a method to
    achieve interleaved collation through tailoring. To get a culturally
    correct collation of many European languages written in Latin requires
    tailoring of some kind. Though it might involve a few more characters, a
    tailoring to achieve interleaved Phoenician/Hebrew would be no more
    complex than these.

    As I wrote to Elaine, the relationship between Phoenician characters and
    Hebrew could probably also be explicitly indicated in the names list and
    described in the block intro for Phoenician - would you consider this
    satisfactory? If so, a comment on the Phoenician proposal requesting these
    additions could be submitted.


    - Chris

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