Re: [ISO 15924] Georgian script systems and alphabets

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Mon Mar 13 2006 - 19:15:26 CST

  • Next message: Philippe Verdy: "Re: [ISO 15924] Georgian script systems and alphabets"

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Michael Everson" <>
    To: "Unicode Discussion" <>
    Sent: Tuesday, March 14, 2006 1:21 AM
    Subject: Re: [ISO 15924] Georgian script systems and alphabets

    > At 00:33 +0100 2006-03-14, Philippe Verdy wrote:
    >>(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)
    > Yes, this is an error. Nuskhuri should be in the parentheses there.


    >>So I propose this addition in ISO 15924:
    >> Code: Geon
    >> Number: 242
    >> English: New Georgian (Mkhedruli and Asomtavruli)
    >> French: néo-géorgien (mkhédrouli et assomtavrouli)
    > No. this is a question of orthgraphy mixing two
    > scripts. It is not question of script identity.

    The script identity is involved because it works differently from the old ecclesiastic system: the case mappings are different in New Georgian (Asomtavruli <--> Mkhedruli) and in old ecclesiastic Kuthsuri (Asomtavruli <--> Nukhsuri). Note that I don't want to propose there a new script for Unicode or ISO 10646. This would instead be needed for bibliographic and semantic purpose to annotate texts with the correct behavior.

    Also I'm opposed to your opinion! This is not a new orthography for Georgian (The orthography of words written with small letters are exactly the same)!!!

    >>So I propose this addition in ISO 15924:
    >> Code: Geom
    >> Number: 243
    >> English: Mrgvlovani (Asomtavruli)
    >> French: mrgvlovani (assomtavrouli)
    > No, I don't think Asomtavruli needs a code of its
    > own. Its being identified in Geok is enough.

    The script is CERTAINLY different because it is UNICAMERAL (So the Kuthsuri case mappings to lowercase would be completely incorrect for these ancient texts between 284BC and the 9th century AD). Note that I don't propose here a new script for ISO10646 or Unicode. But this would be for bibliographic and semantic purpose, in a way similar to the addition of the script code for the Fraktur variant of Latin (Note that the letter forms used in the ecclesiastic bicameral style may have been changed stlightly compared to the classic monocameral style used before)

    >>(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
    > I have nothing to say about this. No evidence is provided.

    I don't have the exact details of the 284 B.C. reform by Parnavaz the First. May be it was just the adoption of additional letters. But I've been told that the 284 B.C. style for Asomtavruli letters is using rounded letters (like those used in the Unicode charts), but the old style used before was using more square letters (as they were engraved on wood or stone). The reform would have consisted to adapt the script to a more cursive style for handdrawing. This might have then affected a lot the letter forms...

    That's why I asked the question: are there samples of Antic Georgian texts written or engraved between 412 B.C. and 284 B.C.? Can we compare it with texts created by Parnavaz after his 284 B.C. reform? If differences are significant, then it would justify a new script code for bibliographic purpose (in a way similar to the distinction of Latin Roman and Latin Fraktur styles), but also because the set of letters would be different (so there could have been a transition of the orthographies, adapted to the evolution of languages or the adoption of the script for writing other languages of the region).

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