From: Christoph Päper (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Jul 27 2010 - 16:07:14 CDT
> On Tue, Jul 27, 2010 at 12:43 PM, Andreas Prilop
>> [U+0649] is no Arabic letter, but an Uighur letter.
> That's wrong, though. […] U+0649 must be an Arabic character;
Andreas probably meant that U+0649 is not part of the Arabic writing system, i.e. the Arabic script as used in writing the Arabic language (with some recognised orthography).
You probably mean that U+0649 is part of the Arabic script, which it certainly is.
No contradiction here, just not a good idea to use ‘Arabic’ as an adjective with ‘letter’ or ‘character’, unless you make sure everyone agrees – I would – that letters are constituents of writing systems, whereas characters form scripts.
Manywhere, though, ‘writing system’, ‘script’, ‘orthography’, ‘alphabet’ and even ‘language’ tend to be synonyms (and may share a name with people and religion, too), as do ‘character’, ‘letter’, ‘glyph’, ‘grapheme’, ‘sign’ and ‘symbol’. Some scholars like to use (or invent) alternative names to aid the distinction, e.g. I’ve seen – I think in one of Coulmas’ books – Latin/Roman and – elsewhere – Arabic/Arabetic/Arabian, but that would only really help if enough people understood and did it.
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