From: Christopher Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Oct 27 2009 - 12:12:48 CST
I have been doing research on the "diagonal axis" scripts of Indonesia
and the Philippines (Tagalog, Buhid, Hanunů'o, Buginese, Rejang, Batak
etc.) and it has become clear that among the scripts of Sulawesi, the
Old Makassarese script is distinct in its structure and origins from
the Buginese script. (The most easily accessible example of Old
Makassarese script in published sources is in reproductions of a
Makassarese transcription of the 1667 Treaty of Bungaya, a section of
which is reproduced in the revised final Unicode proposal for Buginese
While current Buginese script, also used for the Makassarese language
from the 18th century or so on, is clearly related to the Philippine
scripts, the Old Makassarese script is closely related to the South
Sumatran scripts (Rejang, Lampung and Kerinci), with the addition of
some seven or eight characters adapted from Javanese and/or Balinese.
It is probable that this script was replaced by the Buginese script in
part because the latter, with its minimal letter shapes, is much
simpler to write compared to the often more complex Old Makassar
characters (which I have seen described as "birdlike").
Given this biscriptal situation, similar in a way to that of
Moldavian, Turkish, or other central Asian Turkic languages, I am
curious about the criteria that are used to decide when a script (that
apart from its letter forms otherwise corresponds to another) should
be treated and encoded as distinct from another. Cases that spring to
mind are Samaritan and Phoenician in relation to Hebrew.
The research I am doing is still in progress and has not been
published yet, but I anticipate it might have consequences for a
desire to encode Old Makassarese separately among members of the
research community and Makassarese interested in their cultural
Can anyone give me suggestions about this?
Montreal QC Canada
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