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Farsi writing (was: Novus Scriptio)

From:Emily Zilch <emily0@...>
Date:Thursday, May 27, 2004, 17:53
{ 20040527,0618 | Jean-François Colson }

"IIRC vowel marks are mandatory in Persian which is written with the
Arabic alphabet."

Not so. Farsi uses the so-called "matres lectionis" to mark LONG vowels
- but so does Arabic. The letters of the Farsi &lEfbA in question are
(unsurprising to anyone who studied Hebrew or Arabic) &lEf to mark /A/,
yE to mark /i/ or diphthong /ey/, vAv to mark /u/ or diphthong /ow/ and
hE to mark final /e/ (the last is the Farsi pronunciation of ta
marbuta, which apparently was extended to other borrowed & native
words). the sounds /o/, /e~E/ & /&/, which are written with the
over/under-marks which in Classical Arabic mark short u, short i and
short a, are only written for learners, kindergarteners & for
disambiguation. My dictionary shows words using only the "consonants",
with an occasional vowel marks given to distinguish two words. This
vowel marking is limited to the syllable where it first becomes
apparent which word is meant, normally the first syllable of the word.

Argh. Let me tell you, what a nightmare to use. If you think Russian is
hard to read (handwritten), with all the d&ndUnE ("teeth") and noqtE
("dots"), even native speakers have to write with care. It's a writing
system out of a nightmare for Farsi, which is incredibly maladapted for
it. I wish they had an abugida or syllabary; it's fine for Semitic
languages but for Indo-European Farsi it's quite a disaster, let me
tell you. Gimme my Elamite syllabograms!