Re: Are Latin and Cyrillic essentially the same script?

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Mon Nov 22 2010 - 06:15:52 CST

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    On 19 Nov 2010, at 17:09, Peter Constable wrote:

    > And historic texts aren’t as likely or unlikely to require specialized fonts?

    Twenty years of historic text in Tatar isn't irrelevant.

    > It's also a notational system that requires specific training in its use,
    > And working with historic texts doesn’t require specific training?

    Not in terms of Jaŋalif. The training you need there is just "learn to read the language in another alphabet". IPA is more complex than that, especially if you go for close transcription.

    >> While several orthographies have been based on IPA, my understanding is
    >> that some of them saw the encoding of additional characters to make them
    >> work as orthographies.
    > Again, I don’t see how that impacts this particular case.

    This particular case is analogous to the borrowing of Q and W into Cyrillic from Latin.

    By the way I understand that there are many people who would like to revert to the Latin orthography for these Turkic languages. At present Russian law forbids this, but it is not the case that one may expect that this orthography will always remain "historic".

    > It boils down to this: just as there aren’t technical or usability reasons that make it problematic to represent IPA text using two Greek characters in an otherwise-Latin system,

    Yes there are. Sorting multilingual text including Greek and IPA transcriptions, for one. The glyph shape for IPA beta is practically unknown in Greek. Latin capital Chi is not the same as Greek capital chi.

    > so also there are no technical or usability reasons I’m aware of why it is problematic to represent this historic Janalif orthography using two Cyrillic characters.

    They are the same technical and usability reasons which led to the disunification of Cyrillic Ԛ and Ԝ from Latin Q and W.

    Michael Everson *

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