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

Peter Kirk peter.r.kirk at ntlworld.com
Wed Jul 16 11:00:45 EDT 2003

On 16/07/2003 07:40, Trevor Peterson wrote:

>Peter, you and I have been through this issue before (on this list, I 
>believe). I'm personally inclined to agree with Sokoloff that producing Syriac 
>script is desirable in an Aramaic lexicon, if not also in a Hebrew one. But 
>I'm not sure that the editors of HALOT, for instance, share this sentiment. 
>They transcribe comparative evidence everywhere in Latin except where square 
>script is appropriate. Perhaps it was ony because of the lead type issue, but 
>I suspect that it was also the desire to make the material *appear* less 
>opaque to those untrained in these languages. This desire will probably remain 
>a factor in publishing, regardless of where technology goes. Fortunately for 
>this discussion, Syriac and Arabic are already established in Unicode. I would 
>not generally advocate the use of script fonts for epigraphic material, but I 
>consider manuscript traditions another matter.
>Trevor Peterson
Well, personally I would be opposed to use of alphabets other than 
Hebrew and Latin in a Hebrew-English dictionary. Users of a dictionary 
should not be presumed to know languages or their scripts other than the 
dictionary's source and target languages and their scripts. I find the 
Syriac and Ethiopic forms in BDB annoying, though I can manage the 
Arabic ones. Similarly, in a paper discussing languages X and Y, it may 
be appropriate to set material in the scripts of languages X and Y as 
well as in the script of the main text of the paper, but the different 
script of language Z should not normally be used, in my opinion. I hope 
that the Unicode support for multiple scripts doesn't lead to scholars 
and typesetters showing off their abilities at the expense of the end user.

But the question I asked was not what we think should be done, but what 
actually is done, or perhaps what would be done apart from purely 
mechanical typographical restrictions.

Peter Kirk
peter.r.kirk at ntlworld.com

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