Re: Berber/Tifinagh

From: Don Osborn (
Date: Tue Nov 11 2003 - 04:12:37 EST

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    Thanks, Michael. The lack of vowel markings (see also my reply to Patrick)
    does not defeat transliteration - only means character-to-character is not
    be sufficient, and that one would need to take into account morphemes, words
    and perhaps even context. I'm not worrying about it (I hope), but trying to
    look ahead, noting current non-computer-related issues of transliteration.

    I referred in my reply to Patrick to the "geography" of correspondences
    (relations) between different scripts for a language for a few reasons - one
    is that the terrain is complex and possibly changing in small details
    (hopefully no Vesuvius), and another is the observation that looking at maps
    and data on them (GIS) often gives rise to questions and insights one hadn't
    had before. In the case of Tifinagh and what some have called
    "neo-Tifinagh," is it possible that the newer uses of the script have been
    influenced by what people have been doing in Arabic and Latin
    transcriptions? If yes in what ways? And would understanding these
    enlighten any corners of the larger task of encoding Tifinagh?

    Again I agree with you and Patrick (and others) that the encoding of
    Tifinagh is not dependant on comparisons with the Latin or Arabic scripts,
    but am just wondering if - aside from the utility of eventual standards for
    transliteration as a separate matter - it is not useful to be aware of
    issues encountered in the other systems of transcription.

    Don Osborn

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Michael Everson" <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2003 1:30 AM
    Subject: Re: Berber/Tifinagh (was: Swahili & Banthu)

    > Don,
    > Berber is often written in Tifinagh without vowels. And sometimes
    > with vowels. Andd the same in Arabic. There is no point worrying
    > (without it even being encoded) about Latin transliteration standards
    > for it at this point.
    > --
    > Michael Everson * * Everson Typography * *

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