[Fwd]: Response to Mark's message]

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Thu Apr 10 00:51:13 CEST 2003

At 17:49 -0400 2003-04-09, John Cowan wrote:
>Kenneth Whistler scripsit:
>>  "Traditional Chinese" and "Simplified Chinese" are distinct
>>  *orthographies* for written Chinese.
>>  They are *not* distinct scripts.
>I was speaking solely in the ISO 15294 context.  Clause 3.7 of the DIS says:

In the 15924 context these would be script variants, in my view, not scripts.

># NOTE 1:  A script, as opposed to an arbitrary subset of
># characters, is defined in distinction to other scripts; in
># general, readers of one script may be unable to read the
># glyphs of another script easily, even where there is a
># historic relation between them.
>I submit that SC and TC stand in precisely this relation, despite the
>substantial overlap in ideographs.  There is no algorithmic mapping from
>one to the other, as there is in script variants like Fraktur vs. Antiqua.

There are mappings between T and S characters. The two orthographies 
don't *alternate* in the same way Fraktur and Roman might, but that 
doesn't make them different scripts.

>The fact that they are both used (by and large) for the same language
>and for no other is a historical oddity.

I don't agree.

>  > "Simplified Chinese" is a continuation of the millennia-long
>>  evolution of Chinese, with characters getting simplified and
>>  reformed. The difference from previous practice is that it
>>  was an officially sanctioned *revolutionary* reform of the
>>  Chinese orthography, enforced in practice and education by
>>  a modern totalitarian state.
>But the *result* of that revolution has been a bifurcation of the script's
>users into those who can read only SC and those who can read only TC.

Lots of readers of the Latin script can't identify thorn or gha or 
ezh, or read IPA.

>A good point, but it proves too much.  Mongolian can be written in
>Cyrl or Mong, and transliteration is not possible (at least not as
>the term "transliteration" is generally understood, as a more or less
>mechanical and mechanizable process).  Yet nobody doubts that Mong and
>Cyrl are distinct writing systems for Mongolian.

Non sequitur from what Ken was saying.
Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  * http://www.evertype.com

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list