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06 - October 15, 2013.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Danny Harvey

JAL328 October 15, 2013 Series of vertical lines – all look the same, but started adding 1. Tiddles to top of “i” 2. Abreva to the “u” (abreva is happy smile) Start with nice Latin lower case letters that look the same, then over the years, got more stuff to distinguish the letters QUIZ: Indic language important for final exam Will ask questions from this lecture (abjad) but won’t give transliteration questions Just pick either Hebrew or Arabic Disadvantages Arabic – memorize 4 different forms per letter Hebrew – half the letters look identical Next week’s lecture: Chinese; Korean/Japanese; Semitic scripts SEMITIC SCRIPTS LECTURE Semici scripts bridge between hierographic logographic scripts and what are seen in the world today Semitic scripts still in use all over the plac e On the left, Ladino language in Spain; right is in eastern Indonesia These scripts used in wide variety of areas and The move away from logography – although there were additional phonographs added, the mixed script Semitic scripts moved completely from logographic symbols altogether – Precursors? Had 2 very old civilziations on each side – Egyptians hieroglyphics and Mesopoteamia with cuneiform – both were relatively conservative writing systems The Near East was not at this point a cultural centre In middle where Semitic languages were spoken – a crossroads On east had related Semitic languages; on west, had distantly related but kind of familiar Egyptian language written in Heiroglyphic and Demotic – in this Crossroads language, first time Logograms were discarded Every script up to this point, at least wrote some of its text in logograms Semitic languages did not Unlike Egypt and Mesopotamia, not large empire – lots of small kinddoms, city states – many engaged in trade, espeiclaly on Medittearranean coast as far as Spain with the Cartoginians – all these city states spoke Semitic languages – each a little bit different but generally speaking, the phonology and grammar of these languages were similar Group of related language that more or less had the same phonology If had language like Phoenician and look at surrounding languages, it’s easy for Aramaic speaker to adopt the letters because the sounds were so similar The languages shared the same roots, but the letters were what was borrowed in – unlike Chinese/Japanese/Korean Where did the writing system come from? Circumstantial evidence, debate, Egyptian unliteral – these words were written in Egyptian with uniliterals – Kleopatra, Ptolemy Easy system to learn – a few uniliterals? When Egypt was up in Semitic territory or when some Semitic-speaking people were in Egypt – lots of transfer back and forth – areas were close to each other Acrophony – look at just the first sound – take Egypitan house hieroglyphic /bet/ Semitic – strip off the rest of it, and keep the first sound /b/ - the picture logogram from Egyptian – went through bilateral stage in Egyptian, but when Semitic-speakers got a hold of it, used the first letter only - /b/ only Use actual word for the letter Potential chart – Egyptian hieroglyphics on the left; early Semitic letters on the right Then there was script found on Sinai pinesula called Sinai script – seems to be showing up around the time when expect Heiroglyphics to be borrowed in to Semitic languages Do not have any way of knowing the sound values – a lot of symbols have not yet been deciphered; This is circumstantial evidence – some of the symbols do seem to line up, but some do not Transmission of script would have happened in that area, Timeline 1700 BCE, when there is cultural transference of writing from Egypt to Near East, stays for 300 years, then splits Split between north and south North Semitic scripts evolve into Phoneician, which spreads out widely Southern wanders beginning of 1400 Principle of acrophony resulted in 27 consonants 22 is innovation in Phoneician so when South Semitic split off, the innovation to 22 hadn’t happened yet Phoneicians lived along coast of modern day Isreal, Lebanon, Syria – travelling all over Mediterraean trading Sea-born civilization Proto-Canaanite period before writing took off 1200 BCE, see first inscription called Ahiram Epithaph – first big inscription in Phoneciain Transliteration in blue – NO VOWELS, only consonants Like Egyptians, where write only consonants Both IPA and other transcription systems used for Semitic languages Apostrophes are glottal stops; everything with dot underneath is emphatic; raised c is pharyngeal fricative or approximate SCRIPT DIRECITON? Flush on right side, ragged on left, so must be right to left Cuneiform – Sumerian to Akkadian to Assyrian But with Semitic scripts see massive proliferation for differnet styles for differnet languages Start with northern semitic; Phoneician – big starting point of northing semitic script and then it branches into Hebrew, Aramaic, Cartoginian, Syriac, etc. as go from city state to city state, from one language to another closely related one, get new scripts – has not been seen before Years do not matter Important to know start with Phoneician and what comes after is Hebrew and Aramaic 22-consnant system so useful it spreads thoughout Middle East Look at Semitic script Specifically called abjads Abjad comes form first four letters of Semitic script Greek included because Greek follows the same abjad order Aramaic Phoneician was local culture, spread due to trade, have lots of other scripts developing out of it But there was a time when a specific Semitic language e- Aramaic – became very dominant in the region Persian Empire used its de facto official language King would be using Old Perisian but everyone spoke in Aramaic Sanctioned, so became standardized – Aramaic takes on strong political role in Persia, becomes standardized until fourth century when Alexander dismantles the Persian Empire; Aramacid loses status to Greek; whatever culture and language is dominant, that script is dominant Aramaic – on the left – when used in Persia, this column is what everyone would have known Then diversitifcation Palmyra – z become vertical line for both Palmyra and Estrangelo Pretty similar – can see how they come in Aramaic, but the similarity ends when used in script Palmrya in left – separate Aramaic characters Estrangelo – cursive, linked characters Same 22 consonant base Aramaic was written in different scripts depending on who was doing the writing Aramaic still spoken in some places in Armenia, Azerbajian – but mostly used in liturgical language in Christian communitites Abjad – how does it work? All have consonants and started off with ONLY CONSONANTS – one common theory of why only consonants were written is that consonatsn are the important part of the lexeme – a word is a collection of consonants – insert vowel depending on inflection Almost all the roots are either two or three consonaonts; vowels do not play a role in lexical meaning of the word Whereas a language like Hungarian or English, add suffixes for inflection; in Semitic languages, that’s when you add vowels, which act as inflection and consonants act as lexical roots Semitic CCC root “to carry” Qbr is the underlying root – vowels serve to differentiate inflectional information If the vowels are schwas, then it’s second person masculine; if the last vowel is long e, then s.f. All that inflectional information is added by the vowels but the root carried by consonants These are modern spoken languages – so can know correct pronounciation Unlike Ugaritic – no more spakers and did not write in vowels, so do not know how pronounced If vowels out, it’s the same for all the languages – even though its QBR, even though in the sppken languages all diferent, once stop writing vowels, it’s the same word QBR Can have inter-language recognisability when take vowels out – the reason why it’s consonant only is because that’s what the language favours but did not last IMPORTANT CONCEPTS: MATRES LECTIONIS – Phoneician only written with consonants; would have been written “glottal-b-j” in Old Phoneician; Phoneician abija ended up pronounced as abij – spelling stays the same but pronounciation of the words changes; when get rid of final short vowels; start having convergenances of words that used to be separate and are now pronounced the same way Abij = my father; abi is father – SAME SOUND Due to final vowel deletion ,two words have same sound In abij, the final “j” is indicating long “I” vowel – any word ending with final “j” gets
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