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

From: Gregg Reynolds (
Date: Mon May 23 2005 - 18:04:40 CDT

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

    Dean Snyder wrote:
    > Gregg Reynolds wrote at 4:23 PM on Monday, May 23, 2005:
    >>Dean Snyder wrote:
    > Latin r in no way resembles Latin z; Arabic "r" & "z" are exactly alike
    > except for the tiny dot above "z".
    There is no Arabic "r" nor "z". ;)
    >>Can you tell that difference from the integers x0631 and x0632?
    > You can when they're rendered; and I have been talking all along about
    > loss of GLYPHIC correspondences in transliterations.

    Not if you render them "r" and "z".

    I see your point but I think it only applies if you are restricted to
    pencil and paper. Even then I don't really understand where the problem
    is. A transliteration/encoding is lossless (as I construe it anyway) if
    you can successfully encode and decode a message using it. I'll bet if
    I sent you a message using Buckwalter's scheme you could take a pencil
    and decode it into written Arabic and reproduce exactly the same text.
    The fact that the codepoints it uses can also be construed to denote
    latin letterforms in no way affects their interpretation according to
    his scheme. Hence, lossless.

    Actually I see this as a flaw in Unicode's conceptual structure; it sees
    codepoints as denoting "abstract characters", but it conceives of
    abstract characters as graphical abstractions. I think it better to
    think of them just like numbers: elements of a conceptual structure
    which have no natural physical representation. I.e. x0632 denotes a
    concept which can be represented in many ways (including audibly, with
    smoke signals, morse code, etc.). There should be no necessary
    connection between glyphs and "characters". Hence *any* physical
    representation is a kind of transliteration.


    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Mon May 23 2005 - 18:05:44 CDT