From: Cary Karp (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Nov 18 2005 - 02:38:59 CST
This question of need for GERESH and GERSHAYIM has been buffeted
around in a number of venues, not least at my instigation. I brought
it up this time with the intention of considering the needs of
languages written using Hebrew script, other than Hebrew itself.
Ladino, for example, uses GERESH to indicate semantically essential
distinctions in the way a single base character is pronounced (as
illustrated at http://www.omniglot.com/writing/ladino.htm).
Precisely the same type of phonetic transformation is also required
in Yiddish, but is indicated by combining punctuation marks that are
permitted without question in IDN. (In fact, GERESH and GERSHAYIM
are currently legal in that context, and the present discussion is
focused on the appropriateness of having that changed.) At least on
first consideration, it seems reasonable to provide similar
facilities in the IDN support of both of those languages. If we
can't, there needs to be a cogent and compelling statement of
justification for it.
Finding an authoritative source of information about Ladino
orthography is, however, not quite as straightforward a matter as it
was to consult with the Academy of the Hebrew Language about the
specific case described in a message posted to the present list in a
previous iteration of this discussion
The advice received from the Academy was that they regarded the
inclusion of GERSHAYIM in the ICOM acronym as absolutely essential,
were resolutely in favor of it being retained in the IDN, but if the
only alternatives were either forgoing the GERSHAYIM or abstaining
from participation in the IDN-space, the appearance of Hebrew in IDN
was more important.
Although what I have been saying here probably suggests the
opposite, my personal feeling is that there is good reason to be
extremely restrictive about permitting auxiliary marks in IDNs.
There is, however, also good reason *not* to implement such
restrictions without the most careful possible consideration of the
needs of the community in which the language under consideration is
used, as seen directly from that community's own perspective. I'll
report back on the situation with Ladino once I've followed the
leads I've been given. If anyone else on this list has something to
contribute in that regard, I would be truly grateful to learn about
There is an extensive literature about Yiddish orthography and on
its basis a prototypal document about policies for its appearance in
IDN in .museum has been posted at http://about.museum/idn/yiddish.html.
I will gladly discuss this either on-list or off with anyone who is
interested. The Ladino counterpart to that document is in abeyance
pending the resolution of the GERESH question.
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