[b-hebrew] Why Semitic languages had no written vowels?
peterkirk at qaya.org
Fri Apr 29 19:32:30 EDT 2005
On 29/04/2005 16:36, Vadim Cherny wrote:
>>Looks are subjective, but the objective historical evidence proves that
>>you are almost certainly wrong.
>Would you please point out that evidence at least broadly? Wadi el-Hol shows
>very limited resemblance to hieroglyphs, and that semblance could result
>from assimilation of style, couldn't it?
I am not an expert on this, but the following quote is from a popular
book, The Alphabet, by David Sacks, p.37:
"Study has confirmed that every letter of the two [Semitic] inscriptions
[at Wadi el-Hol] is copied from some preexisting symbol in Egyptian
rock-writing and/or hieroglyphics. ... We know enough about Egyptian
rock-writing to track the evolution of its symbols, and several Wadi
el-Hol letters clearly reflect Egyptian symbol forms of the early Middle
Kingdom, around 2000 B.C. Yet the Wadi el-Hol date of /carving/ looks
close to 1800 B.C. The implication: The Wadi el-Hol writign preserves
letter shapes bequeathed from the alphabet's invention, around 2000 B.C."
>>>It did. Masoretic vowel marks, Arabic diacritics.
>>Which are not used by most modern writers of Hebrew or Arabic script.
>They are fluent, sophisticated readers. I'd like to point again that
>ancients are more like students in their reading skills ...
This is untrue. Ancient scribes were generally professionals who spent
most of their time reading and writing. Their reading skills in an abjad
would have been just as good as those who spend most of their time
reading an abjad today.
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
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