=?iso-8859-1?Q?Re: [b-hebrew] Hebrew with Aramaic, Phoenician etc in scholarlypublications?=

Peter Kirk peter.r.kirk at ntlworld.com
Sat Jul 19 06:27:45 EDT 2003

On 18/07/2003 12:14, Karl Randolph wrote:

>Presently, unicode encodes the sofit letters, which should be merely alternate glyphs, as separate letters. The same is true of the vowels. Thus, even if I make the glyphs print to screen as paleo-Hebrew, the underlying code will not be what I see. What I want is for the underlying code to be the same as what I see. (Online Bible uses their own unique encoding system, such that they can encode the sofit letters without it messing up the search function in word processors or in their own program. But the sin and shin are different.) Thus, while humans have no problem seeing them merely as different glyphs for the same letters, the computer is too dumb to do the same.
Certainly not! It is not at all hard to program a computer to take 
normal and word final letter forms as equivalent in searches, just as 
capital and small letters are generally taken as equivalent in searches. 
And I think Unicode specifies that this equivalence should be the 
default, though overridable as sometime people will want to search for a 
final form explicitly.

There is a good reason to specify final forms separately as the rules 
for using them have exceptions. See for example the second letter of the 
first word of Isaiah 9:6, in a printed BHS etc. Though Arabic has a 
different mechanism for allowing this. Anyway, there is no possibility 
of changing this convention as it is widely used for modern Hebrew. It 
is of course irrelevant to paleo-Hebrew, but you can use the same glyph 
for final and non-final letter forms.

>If Moses wrote the Torah as tradition avers, then the Phoenecians learned the alphabet from the Hebrews, not the other way around.
>Thanks for the references. I?m following them up.
>Karl W. Randolph.
Peter Kirk
peter.r.kirk at ntlworld.com

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