[b-hebrew] Why Semitic languages had no written vowels?
VadimCherny at mail.ru
Sat Apr 30 13:14:37 EDT 2005
>> *** I don't argue that vowelless system "does not work" for a language
> differentiated vowels. Rather, "if" the vowels are differentiated before
> emerging of a writing system, then it is bizarre not to include them in
> writing. The vowelless writing might form at a stage of undifferentiated
> vowels, and then persisted. ***
>Vadim: what if the ancient Hebrew writing was not letters as we use them in
modern languages (and even in some ancient languages such as Greek) giving
every sound, rather it was a syllabery? And that each syllable was a
consonant followed by a vowel?
Cuneiform has diiferent signs for syllables differing by vowel. Hebrew has
no such distinction. I suggest that proto-West Semitic or Egyptian script
was syllabary (there was not concept of individual letters yet), but since
the language had a single vowel, syllables were equivalent to consonants.
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