[b-hebrew] linguistics, was Re: Prov. 30:19

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Mon Oct 13 17:06:11 EDT 2003

On 12/10/2003 08:32, Karl Randolph wrote:

>... (As for the early Scandinavian runic writing, did the early Vikings have only 16 phones in their speech, or did their 16 glyphs correspond to 16 phonemes? Only an interview with a surviving Viking can answer that.)
Or did they have many more than 16 phonemes but for some reason only use 
16 glyphs?

>It is my belief that Hebrew started out as a phonetic writing system, where each grapheme corresponded to a consonantal phone with a couple of exceptions where waw and yod sometimes indicated vowels, only later, as the language changed, added new phones and split one phoneme into two, were the graphemes adjusted by adding dots to show the new phonetic values. We see the same development in Arabic.
Does your belief correspond with historical reality? Only an interview 
with a surviving Hebrew can answer that.

>Karl W. Randolph.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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