Re: Mayan numerals

From: David Starner <>
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2012 15:19:26 -0700

On Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 11:49 AM, Rick McGowan <> wrote:
> In my opinion, the UTC would be irresponsible to approve the encoding for a
> set of digits for a complicated system like Mayan without even having a
> preliminary script proposal on record; and without any involvement of the
> actual serious scholars in the field.

There's a lot of stuff where the modern use gets encoded before the
ancient stuff gets investigated. Every major script seems to have been
encoded before considering exactly how Chinese shell script or Latin
medieval notation fits in. We have a body of characters used in modern
contexts in modern ways. Why not encode that now, and encode separate
digits for a complicated system like Mayan if it's necessary?
Certainly given that Mayan is a complex system, and modern usage is
usage in the context of Latin in the naïve way that Latin users often
use other scripts*, there's a very good chance that modern users are
going to need a separate encoding with different properties.

* When Distributed Proofreaders was working on Hypnerotomachia, the
16th century edition we were working from had Hebrew that was hard to
decipher, until we realized that the English printer had adjusted the
line-length of the Italian version and moved words down to the next
line, without realizing that Hebrew is read right-to-left.

Kie ekzistas vivo, ekzistas espero.
Received on Thu Aug 23 2012 - 17:21:13 CDT

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