|From:||Paul Bennett <paul-bennett@...>|
|Date:||Monday, November 17, 2003, 21:01|
On Mon, 17 Nov 2003 19:37:04 +0000, Ray Brown <ray.brown@...> wrote:
>> Biblical Hebrew (and I guess, Phoenician too) also did not indicate
>> vowels but
>> later scribes devised the system for the vowels to preserve the
>> since Hebrwe has become a dead language.
>> Jus tell me if I'm wrong.
> No; AFAIK you are correct. I'm sure there have been and probably still
> are some
> pure abjads about. I'm sure John can enlighten us :)
Looking at the West Semitic (i.e. "pre-Pheonician") scripts of the Middle
Bronze Age, we're probably looking at vowel-less scripts, although it is
worth noting that Ugaritic might be the first script of that family to
consistently mark (some) vowels, and that is of equivalent age. During the
Iron age, the Northern Linear script becomes Pheonecian, and that is when
there is some certainty of "matres lectionis" (i.e. vowel carriers) being
used to mark the presence and quality of vowels. Aramaic use of the Linear
scripts continued to be vowel-less until some time later, but it converted
roughly in the same time frame.
I can't find any pure vowel-less scripts in the modern world. I can find a
lot of scripts that are nominally abjads, but they all have at least
primitive markers for vowels.