Re: Transliterating ancient scripts [was: ASCII and Unicode lifespan]

From: Tom Emerson (
Date: Mon May 23 2005 - 17:05:03 CDT

  • Next message: Gregg Reynolds: "Re: Transliterating ancient scripts [was: ASCII and Unicode lifespan]"

    Dean Snyder writes:
    > Latin r in no way resembles Latin z; Arabic "r" & "z" are exactly alike
    > except for the tiny dot above "z".

    And in Buckwalter's transliteration reh (U+0631) is transliterated to
    'r' while zain (U+0632) is transliterated to "z". There is a
    one-to-one correspondence between the arabic letters and the latin
    letters used to transcribe them.

    Perhaps our definitions of transliteration are different? It is true
    that there are dialectical differences between the phonolgical
    realization of 'r' and 'z', but these differences are not generally
    reflected in orthography. The presence of the dot *is* the
    differentiating factor between reh and zain or between "dal" and
    "thal" or "sad" and "dad"...

    > You can when they're rendered; and I have been talking all along about
    > loss of GLYPHIC correspondences in transliterations.

    Who says that glyphic correspondence is a requirement for
    transliteration? There are adhoc Arabic transliterations where ASCII
    numerals are used for certain Arabic letters due to their glyphic
    similarity, e.g., '3' for 'ain' and '3.' (or '.3' or "'3") for 'gain'.

    This all comes down to different transliteration schemes server
    different purposes. The need for reversiblity or similarity to the
    original are axes along which they differ.


    Tom Emerson                                          Basis Technology Corp.
    Software Architect                       
      "Beware the lollipop of mediocrity: lick it once and you suck forever"

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Mon May 23 2005 - 17:05:54 CDT