[ISO 15924] Georgian script systems and alphabets

From: Philippe Verdy (verdy_p@wanadoo.fr)
Date: Mon Mar 13 2006 - 17:33:07 CST

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    Four points:

    (1) CORRECTION: In ISO 15924, I note the following illogical French and English names for the ancient ecclesiastic Georgian script (in a bicameral script system) :
        Code: Geok
        Number: 241
        English: Khutsuri (Asomtavruli and Khutsuri)
        French: khoutsouri (assomtavrouli et khoutsouri)
    My opinion is that this should be:
        English: Khutsuri (Nukhsuri and Asomtavruli)
        French: khoutsouri (noukhsouri et assomtavrouli)
    Between parentheses are the names of the alphabets used:
    * The main name designates the Khutsuri (named ხუცური locally) script system.
    * (also the main small alphabet should be listed first).
    * Asomtavruli is the large rounded alphabet used for capitals
    * Nukhsuri is the small square alphabet also named "Kutkhovani")
    I think this is a bug that should be corrected in ISO 15924.

    (2) ADDITION: Modern Georgian is written with the Mkhedruli alphabet only (with small rounded letters, in a unicameral script system), and this is what this code designates:
        Code: Geor
        Number: 240
        English: Georgian (Mkhedruli)
        French: géorgien (mkhédrouli)
    However, some authors have attempted to reuse also the classic Asomtavruli alphabet for writing Georgian with a bicameral script system. The large rounded letters of the Asomtavruli alphabet are used as capitals, the small rounded letters of the Mkhedruli alphabet are still used for small letters.
    In fact, Unicode and ISO 10646 had first encoded the Georgian block assuming this system (and initially there were case mappings i Unicode between the two alphabets, although the normative names of Mkhedruli letters do not specify they are small as they are mostly used today in the modern unicameral system above). So I propose this addition in ISO 15924:
        Code: Geon
        Number: 242
        English: New Georgian (Mkhedruli and Asomtavruli)
        French: néo-géorgien (mkhédrouli et assomtavrouli)

    (3) ADDITION: Also, there's no ISO 15924 code assigned to the oldest Georgian script system (Mrgvlovani) used during Antiquity (in a unicameral script system), which only used the secular Asomtavruli alphabet (with large rounded letters), and that correctly designates texts written before the IX-th Century. So I propose this addition in ISO 15924:
        Code: Geom
        Number: 243
        English: Mrgvlovani (Asomtavruli)
        French: mrgvlovani (assomtavrouli)

    (4) QUESTION FOR ADDITION: Note that the letter alphabet has two historical variants, the first created in 412 B.C. by priests of the cult of Mithra, the second created after a reform in 284 B.C. by the king Parnavaz the First of Iberia (this reformed alphabet is what Georgians consider being the Asomtavruli alphabet used in the secular Mrglovani script system, and still used sometimes in New Georgian with the tentative bicameral script system).
    But, is the initial non-reformed Asomtavruli alphabet unified in Unicode and ISO 10646 ? If so we may need to encode new letters. But in any case, we should need this addition that I propose in ISO 15924:
        Code: Geoa
        Number: 244
        English: Ancient Asomtavruli
        French: assomtavrouli ancien


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