Distinguishing Greek and Greek

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Wed Mar 9 01:39:31 CET 2005

At 16:25 -0800 2005-03-08, Mark Davis wrote:
>That is a possibility, but it is sub-optimal. It is thus again because (a)
>country differences are generally far less important than script (including
>major orthographic variants like monotonic vs polytonic), and (b) when
>language tags are matched, they are treated as most-significant-field first.

The difference between monotonic and polytonic is 
not a distinction of script. Every single one of 
the letters used is Greek, and has EXACTLY the 
same shape and identity whether in monotonic or 
polytonic orthography. (That is not the case with 
Fraktur and Gaelic, which are clearly script 

>This is very similar in that respect to Hans vs Hant, which is a choice of
>which different subset of Han characters encoding in Unicode that are used
>to represent Chinese, and the same reasoning applies.

Not at all. Hans and Hant differ because entirely 
different ideographs are used, which is clearly a 
significant script variation.

In polytonic orthography, a range of Greek 
diacritics are used. In monotonic orthography, 
all but two of these diacritics are not used. 
This is a distinction in SPELLING, not in SCRIPT. 
It is the same as when you find older Norwegian 
texts with ä and ö instead of æ and ø.

I don't believe that *Grkp and *Grkm are valid 
script variants according to the definitions and 
descriptions of ISO 15924. Monotonic and 
Polytonic orthography, however, are distinct, and 
are just as much orthographies deserving of RFC 
3066 tags as de-1901 and de-1996 were.
Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  * http://www.evertype.com

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