Re: Script variants and compatibility equivalence, was: Response to Everson Phoenician and why June 7?

From: Patrick Durusau (
Date: Sun Jun 06 2004 - 16:38:55 CDT

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    Peter Kirk wrote:
    > On 05/06/2004 08:25, John Hudson wrote:
    >> Peter Kirk wrote:
    >>>> All Hudson is pointing out is that long PRIOR to Unicode, Semitic
    >>>> scholars reached the conclusion all Semitic languages share the same
    >>>> 22 characters. A long standing and quite useful conclusion that has
    >>>> nothing at all to do with your proposal.
    >>> But I dispute his last sentence. If the writing systems of these
    >>> languages share the same abstract characters, they form a single
    >>> script, which conflicts with the proposal to encode Phoenician as a
    >>> separate script.
    > So let's drop "script" for now. My basic contention is that each letter
    > of the Phoenician abjad is not a separate abstract character, but that
    > it and the corresponding square Hebrew letter are glyph variants of the
    > same abstract characters. And this is clearly the understanding of
    > Semitic scholars, as summarised by Patrick Durusau and quoted above. On
    > the other hand, nearly everyone agrees that there should be a mechanism
    > for distinguishing them in plain text.

    The reason I pointed out that Semitic scholars had reached their view
    long prior to Unicode was to point out that they were not following the
    character/glyph model of the Unicode standard.

    In other words, if you ask a Semitic scholar a question about
    representation of Phoenician, you are most likely getting an answer
    based on a criteria other than the character/glyph model of the Unicode

    That in no way makes the Semitic scholar's answer wrong, in fact is it
    right, for their domain. It has no relevance at all for a proposal to
    encode a script based on the Unicode character/glyph model.

    Hope you are having a great day!


    Patrick Durusau
    Director of Research and Development
    Society of Biblical Literature
    Chair, V1 - Text Processing: Office and Publishing Systems Interface
    Co-Editor, ISO 13250, Topic Maps -- Reference Model
    Topic Maps: Human, not artificial, intelligence at work!

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