Re: Mayan numerals

From: Asmus Freytag <>
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2012 16:45:08 -0700

On 8/23/2012 3:19 PM, David Starner wrote:
> 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.

Good point.

> 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.

I tend to expect that this is the case here, as well, but would love to
see that argued in detail.

> * 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.
Received on Thu Aug 23 2012 - 18:46:10 CDT

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