From: Michael Everson (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Apr 04 2006 - 12:37:03 CST
At 10:34 -0700 2006-04-04, Mark Davis wrote:
>My only question is: I had thought that the Phaistos disk was
>undeciphered. With undeciphered scripts, we can't say that "the set
>of characters is stable", since we don't know which glyphs represent
>variants of the same characters.
Thanks for your question, Mark.
In this regard, the Phaistos Disc characters aren't very much
different from Carian, which has recently been accepted by the UTC
for encoding. Those who haven't read the Carian proposal may see it at
Now, Carian is partially deciphered, and Phaistos has not
successfully been. But some Carian letters whose values are not known
are being encoded, and some Carian letters which are now known to be
variants of other letters are being encoded. Why? Because it is not
only Carian texts that needs to be represented, but the long history
of Carian studies, which treated all of the letters as distinct. As
the proposal states: "Scholars wishing to publish normalized Carian
texts might avoid the use of the "redundant" letters, or might choose
to use them as indicative of the temporal or geographical provenance
of a text. But documents relating to the decipherment itself
distinguish them regularly, and that distinction must be maintained."
The same can be said for the Phaistos Disc characters. But more than
that... Look at the characters themselves. These were all made out of
individual stamps made to be impressed into the clay. Do you really
think it can be argued that any of these are "glyph variants" of any
others? I don't believe so.
-- Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com
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