[b-hebrew] Hebrew with Aramaic,Phoenician etc in scholarly publications

Yigal Levin Yigal-Levin at utc.edu
Wed Jul 16 09:23:43 EDT 2003

Hi Peter,

Today, even Israeli academic (Hebrew-language) journals usually prefer
Latin transcription rather than Hebrew, though publications meant for the
lay public often use Hebrew. 

My personal feeling is that using specific scripts for any but the most
commonly-studies languages would be lost on the readership of all but the
most specialized publications. 


At 02:40 AM 7/16/2003 -0700, Peter Kirk wrote:
>I wonder if anyone on either of these lists can help me with a question 
>that has come up on the Unicode list 
>(http://www.unicode.org/mail-arch/). Outline proposals have been made to 
>define Unicode encodings for Aramaic (based on Palmyrene letter shapes 
>and presumably intended for inscriptional rather than biblical Aramaic), 
>Phoenician (to include paleo-Hebrew), Samaritan, and a few other ancient 
>Semitic scripts - see links from 
>http://www.unicode.org/roadmaps/index.html. I have questioned whether 
>these scripts need to be considered as separate from the Hebrew script, 
>which is actually based closely on the Aramaic square script. The lists 
>of letter names (consonants only) are identical (or very nearly so), and 
>the letter shapes are not  necessarily more different than modern 
>cursive Hebrew is from the standard prototypical Hebrew letter shapes.
>One of the criteria for whether a new script is justified for an ancient 
>language (which was decisive in the recent decision to encode Coptic as 
>a separate script from Greek) is whether both scripts are used in 
>scholarly publications with distinct appearances. Thus, presumably, 
>there are publications in which both Greek and Coptic are quoted and 
>distinct scripts are used.
>So, my question at last is: Are there scholarly publications (more 
>recent than BDB!) which quote inscriptional Aramaic, Phoenician, 
>Samaritan, paleo-Hebrew etc as well as Hebrew? In such cases, what 
>scripts are used for Aramaic, Phoenician etc? BDB (1906) quoted these 
>and even south Arabian inscriptions in Hebrew script. But what is the 
>modern practice? Are ancient alphabets (other than Hebrew, Arabic, 
>Syriac etc which are in  modern use) ever used in such publications? Are 
>these languages ever transcribed in Hebrew script, or only in Latin 
>script transliteration? I am interested in practice in Israeli journals 
>in modern Hebrew as well as in journals in western languages.
>Peter Kirk
>peter.r.kirk at ntlworld.com
>b-hebrew mailing list
>b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Dr. Yigal Levin
Dept. of Philosophy and Religion
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
615 McCallie Avenue
Chattanooga TN 37403-2598

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