DUH (was Re: Osmanya (Somali) script)
|From:||Danny Wier <dawier@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, June 28, 2000, 22:19|
>From: Danny Wier <dawier@...>
>Labials: b f m w
>Dentals: t d dh s n l r
>Palatal: j sh y
>Velar: k g kh
>Pharyngeal: x c
>Glottal: ? h
>Short vowels: i e a o u
>Long vowels: ii ee aa oo uu
>(in Osmanya: iy ey a? ow uw)
> The order of the letters are based on Arabic, but the letters themselves
>have more of a Greco-Coptic look to them. It is a true alphabet, not an
>abjad like Arabic or an abugida like Ethiopic (both of which are also used
>to write Cushitic languages including Somali, Oromo, Beja etc.) This
>could just as easily be used to write Swahili, except the alphabet lacks a
>p. There are no capitals in this script.
DUH! I just said that the script is based on Greek and Coptic, so for the
non-Somali sound /p/, why not use pi in this form:
Note the extension of the topbar beyond the legs, so as not to be confused
with Osmanya /l/.
I see resemblances between Osmanya x (/h./) and Latin H, Osmanya kh (/x/ or
/X/?) and Coptic khei (they look like h), Osmanya d and Greek delta, Osmanya
l and a rounded version of Greek lambda, Osmanya n which is Greek nu turned
on its side, Osmanya f an altered Coptic fai. Osmanya j /dZ/ is a single
vertical stroke, but the same vertical line is Greek iota. Osmanya lacks
the following Greek-Coptic letters:
zeta theta xi pi phi chi psi (Coptic) cima tei (= /tS/ and /ti/)
Greek-Coptic lacks Osmanya alif (= /?/ or /a:/), xaa (but it does come from
Greek eta and Latin H), dhaad, cain, qaaf, haa. I once considered using
Hebrew letters to expand on Greek-Coptic for aleph and ayin.
So Tech now has all the letters of Osmanya, plus Greek-Coptic additions.
The new value for dh is dl, and g becomes gh /G/ (the voiced uvular
But more consonants are going to be necessary. Using conventions in Arabic
and Hebrew, a raphe (bar above), or "umlaut" above a consonant, can produce
the letters missing in Osmanya but found in Arabic (and Persian-Turkic
extensions in parentheses:
(paa) (tsheem) thaa dhaal zaai (zhaai) saad taa zaa (vaa) (gaaf) (nguun)
The same diacritic can mark fronted vowels -- then it would be a true umlaut
(a > a" /&/, o > o" /%/, u > u" /y/).
And I just realized that /%/ is a good symbol for mid front rounded. DUH...
Daniel A. Wier ¶¦¬þ
Lufkin, Texas USA
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