[Ads-l] Invention of the Alphabet. Thank you Canaanites

Cohen, Gerald Leonard gcohen at MST.EDU
Sun Oct 4 19:12:27 UTC 2020

It's not simply that two Arabic letters can be joined but that many

of them are reduced in size in the process, so that only a small

part of the original letter may be used in a ligature. The result is a form of

shorthand writing,  And since vowels are usually omitted in writing,

the shorthand feature is double.

And on a side note, it's interesting to see how the individual letters


Gerald Cohen

James Landau <jjjrlandau at NETSCAPE.COM>, wrote Saturday, October 3, 2020 3:20 PM:

On Thu, 1 Oct 2020 06:05:26 Zone-0400=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0Wilson Gray <hwgray@=
GMAIL.COM>=C2=A0 wrote:
<quote>It's been said that the alphabet was invented only once. There is on=
ly one
alphabet, with many variations. Wikipedia says that this may well be the
case and says that the Arabic alphabet looks weird because it's based on a
cursive version of the alphabet.<end quote>
There is a strict rule in Hebrew that no two letters may be joined together=
, as by a ligature. As a result in Hebrew both the block letters used=
 in printing and the cursive letters used in writing stand alone and are ne=
ver joined.
Arabic never had such a rule and went slaphappy with ligatured letters, dev=
eloping into the present Arabic alphabet in which each letter has four form=
s, depending on whether it stands alone in a word, has only a preceding let=
ter, has only a following letter, or has letters on both sides.
James Landau
jjjrlandau at netscape.com

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list