From: Asmus Freytag (email@example.com)
Date: Fri Nov 18 2005 - 23:31:50 CST
On 11/18/2005 8:04 AM, Michael Everson wrote:
> At 06:59 -0800 2005-11-18, Doug Ewell wrote:
>> There would probably have to be either an orthographic difference of
>> some sort (certain words are spelled differently) or a genuine
>> literacy threshold (a noticeable percentage of readers of one variant
>> are unable to read the other) in order to consider this a separate
> "...in order to consider these variants of the Arabic script
> significant enough to encode uniquely in ISO 15924."
I regard the question of "orthographic differences" as a red herring.
The reason that the roman and Fraktur styles are treated as (enumerated)
script variants is most likely because of the fact that you have a large
corpus of classical German works for which the (major) difference
between edition is whether they were typeset in Fraktur or Roman - as a
result of the historical transition of German typesetting between these
two styles. Whether primarily, exclusively or coincidentally for this
reason, it appears cataloging records have made this distinction and (my
guess is that) rather than creating one more field, valid only for a few
languages, the bibliographers were content to subdivide the script.
If the case for Arabic is sufficiently parallel, at least insofar as the
need of cataloging authorities is concerned, it might make sense to also
subdivide that script. It if is uncommon to classify publications by the
style, or if that's already done in ways that are independent of the
'script', then I see little reason to make further subdivisions of
existing script values.
In particular, the mere 'consistency' argument (what Michael meant when
he used the term 'academic') would not be sufficient without a
corresponding practical need (and that includes people ready to use the
new codes in cataloging books).
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