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Products for Grant PR-50205-15

Universal Scripts Project
Deborah Anderson, University of California, Berkeley

Grant details:

Unlocking the Mayan Script with Unicode (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Unlocking the Mayan Script with Unicode
Author: Carlos Pallán Gayol
Author: Deborah Anderson
Abstract: The Maya hieroglyphic script and the degree of its visual complexity have proven challenging for standard script-encoding approaches to be applied. A multidisciplinary collaboration established between UC Berkeley's Script Encoding Initiative and the University of Bonn's MAAYA Project aims to employ new methods combining linguistics, Maya epigraphy, digital palaeography and computer vision to overcome some of the major challenges preventing the encoding of Maya hieroglyphs in the Unicode Standard. Encoding the Maya hieroglyphs in Unicode would allow creation of vast open-access Maya hieroglyphic text repositories and libraries, where advanced search and query functionalities and text-mining could be applied. As a result, the ability to render any Maya hieroglyphic text in Unicode could impact the overall accessibility, reproduction, visualization and long-term preservation of the sum of ancient knowledge recorded by the Maya scribes on thousands of texts and inscriptions produced between ca. 250 BC and 1450 AD in Central America.
Date: 07/13/2016
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Conference website
Secondary URL:
Secondary URL Description: Full abstract
Conference Name: Digital Humanities 2016

Negotiating the issues of encoding and producing traditional scripts on computers: Working with Unicode (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Negotiating the issues of encoding and producing traditional scripts on computers: Working with Unicode
Author: Deborah Anderson
Author: Stephen Morey
Abstract: Over the past 30 years, developments in computing mean that almost every script and writing system ever created can be coded on a computer, used on Facebook, mobile phones and in emails, and large numbers of documents can be encoded, searched and archived in a range of different scripts. In South and Southeast Asia, there are a large number of different scripts, some used by quite small communities. Since the earlier part of this century, a great effort has been made to encode all of these scripts in the Unicode, a standard that allows for the encoding of any symbols used in writing that can be demonstrated to be in use, or to have been in use in the past. However, negotiating a script into the Unicode is a complex issue, involving considerable technical expertise and knowledge of script encoding principles, things that are difficult enough for an academic linguist but virtually impenetrable for members of the speech communities. Combining our expertise in both script encoding and in linguistics, we will raise issues of community involvement in the process by means of several case studies.
Date: 07/01/2015
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Slides of talk