From: Philippe Verdy (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Nov 30 2004 - 16:22:18 CST
From: "Peter Kirk" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> On 30/11/2004 19:53, John Cowan wrote:
>>Your main misunderstanding seems to be your belief that WG2 is a
>>democratic body; that is, that it makes decisions by majority vote. ...
> Thank you, John. This was in fact my question: will the amendment be
> passed automatically if there is a majority in favour, or does it go back
> for further discussion until a consensus is reached? You have clarified
> that the latter is true. And I am glad to hear it.
Probably, the WG2 will now consider alternatives to examine how Phoenician
can be represented. The current proposal may be voted "no" for other reasons
that just a formal opposition against the idea of encoding it as a separate
script, possibly because the proposal is still incomplete, or does not
resolve significant issues, or does not help making Phoenician texts better
worked with computers...
Ther may exist arguments caused by the difficulties to treat several
variations of Phoenician, or possibly a misrepresentation of what the new
script is supposed to cover (given that Phoenician is itself at the
connecting node of separate scripts, and may cause specific difficulties
when some variations are occuring in direction to the future Greek or Hebrew
or Arabic scripts).
If the script itself is not well delimited, there's no reason to encode it,
but preferably to approach it from one of the existing branches. How the
various branches will converge to the original script may cause lots of
unresolved questions, and other more complex problems if Phoenician is not
the root of the tree and as other predecessors.
So may be it's too soon to encode Phoenician now, given that its immediate
successors are still not encoded, and a formal model for them is still
In addition, there may already several alternatives for its representation,
with too strong and antogonist arguments from either Ellenists or Semitists,
that have adopted distinct models for the same origin text, based on the
models they have established for its successors.
So there's possibly a need to reconciliate (unify) these models, even if
this requires encoding some "well-identified" letters with distinct codes,
depending on their future semantic evolutions, or the set of variants they
My opinion, is that Semitists are satisfied today when handling Phoenician
text as if it was a historic variant Hebrew, and Ellenists satisfied as if
it was a historic variant of Greek (which itself could be written
alternatively as RTL or LTR or boustrophedon).
A way to reconciliate those approaches can consist in a transliteration
scheme. So until such a working transliteration scheme is created, that will
specify the matching rules, it may be hard to define prematurely the set of
letters needed for representing Phoenician texts.
My view does not exclude a future encoding of Phoenician, to avoid constant
transliterations for the same texts, but for now the need to do it now is
not justified, and not urgent.
In the interim, fonts can be built for Phoenicians according to the encoding
of Hebrew, or according to the encoding of Greek, and this can fit with the
respective works performed by the two categories of searchers.
Now if both agree on the same set of base letters and variants, they could
create a more definitive set of representative letters and variants, and
formulate a future proposal for a separate script encoding, from which an
easy transliteration scheme from legacy Hebrew or Greek will be possible.
What do you think of this answer?
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