Unified Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics

From: William J Poser (wjposer@ldc.upenn.edu)
Date: Thu Oct 27 2005 - 21:36:38 CST

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    Treating the various writing systems derived historically
    from the Cree syllabics as a single system is roughly
    comparable to treating the Roman alphabet, the Greek alphabet,
    and Cyrillic as a single writing system. In fact just the
    core Cree-Ojibwe-Inuktitut-Dene branch is probably as diverse
    as these three together. Lumping them all into one range saves
    codepoints since there is a fair amount of overlap in glyph shapes
    but makes little sense from a linguistic point of view. Of course
    if one is concerned with names, the fact that none of these systems
    is actually a syllabary is also a problem. Since, for sound
    reasons, the existing Unicode ranges and names are fixed,
    there is no point in worrying over this, however much some
    may be attracted to the "rectification of names".

    In the case of French, where this range has no established
    name, if one is not constrained to a close translation of
    the English name, one might take these facts into consideration.
    Leaving aside the problem of writing system typology, which
    has no solution since (a) the systems are probably not of
    homogeneous type and (b) there is no standard name for one
    of the types, one could recognize the fact that the range
    really contains multiple writing systems. My own preference
    for referring to this range in French would be to make
    "syllabaire" plural: "Syllabaires Autochtones Canadiens Unifies".

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