Re: Script Continuums (Was: Re: Greek glyphs)

From: Dean Snyder (
Date: Mon Feb 28 2005 - 19:13:44 CST

  • Next message: Michael Everson: "Re: Ezh or yogh?" wrote at 11:25 AM on Monday, February 28, 2005:

    >Any attempt to forceably and artificial standardize a complex ancient script
    >continuum like cuneiform, for example, destroys much of the purpose of
    >encoding in the first place (academic study of the variants themselves).

    By wise thinking, the encoding threshold in Unicode stops short of
    paleography; if it did not we would have to encode hundreds of cuneiform
    paleographical variation sets ALONG WITH the hundreds and thousands of
    other paleographical variation sets associated with the rest of the
    world's scripts. Besides, NO ONE can do paleography using computer fonts;
    paleography, almost by definition, requires original texts or their

    >the harshest critique, using an artificially standardized script on a highly
    >divergent sample -- rather than simply transliterating -- approaches the
    >kitsch of using an "ancient look" font to set the mood.

    The effort to encode cuneiform had nothing to do with the "the kitsch of
    using an 'ancient look' font to set the mood"; it had everything to do
    with enabling cuneiform text processing and interchange in mixed script
    systems text.


    Dean A. Snyder

    Assistant Research Scholar
    Manager, Digital Hammurabi Project
    Computer Science Department
    Whiting School of Engineering
    218C New Engineering Building
    3400 North Charles Street
    Johns Hopkins University
    Baltimore, Maryland, USA 21218

    office: 410 516-6850
    cell: 717 817-4897

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