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Re: Etrscan alphabet (was: Value of Latin _x_)

From:Steg Belsky <draqonfayir@...>
Date:Wednesday, April 18, 2001, 0:55
On Tue, 17 Apr 2001 21:28:47 +0000 Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>
> Did the corresponding letter have two sounds in ancient Phoenician > and > other related Semitic languages? It would seem odd to have one > symbol only > if this were so. > > Ray.
- I assume so, i'm pretty sure that grapheme had two sounds in Aramaic but i can't think up an example of <ssin> at the moment... maybe _`arsa_ "bed"? They might have abandoned the letter in favor of <samekh> since their sounds converged into /s/, there's a similar but weaker tendency in Hebrew. There were also other double-letters in the past. According to the descriptions of Biblical Hebrew that i've seen, the letters <`ayin> and <hhet> originally stood for two sounds each, one velar and one pharyngeal: <`ayin> = /3/ and /G/ <hhet> = /H/ and /x/ Until the /bgdkpt/ spirantization developed, when the [G] and [x] allophones of /g/ and /k/ 'pushed out' the original /G/ and /x/ phonemes, which merged with their similarly scribed pharyngeal counterparts. If they had survived as independent phonemes, it's conceivable that there would be rightdot/leftdot markers on <`ayin> and <hhet> too, as well as on <shin>. -Stephen (Steg) "...and do not be surprised, for behold one can sleep here and see a dream in España..." ~ the Talmud