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Re: orion-list writing systems
Your question about a "23rd" letter cannot be answered for a very
simple reason: we cannot know how many variant forms there are
until the graph-to-phone system has been mapped. There may be as
many as 45 symbols in the set. If your mind balks at this, please
remember that modern French, for example, has far more than 26
symbols - even though people like to refer to its alphabet as
containing "only 26 letters." How many? well, we have 26 capitals
plus the accented a's, e's, i's, o's, and u's plus c-cedille... (26
my foot - not to mention the same number of symbols in lower case.)
>I need at least three Sins in sequence by the same scribe, by
>which to check with at least three interspersed Shins. That
>is a reasonable, minimal request, which should require perhaps
>three sentences in a brief post to provide, with simple
>descriptive characteristics that you see as systematically
If all you want are 3 and 3, that's a very different story -
I gave you 6 shins and at least 2 sins by Scribe 1 in that column
already... 'sins' are not all that common, but I'll do something over
>I don't think Emanuel Tov, in his extensive, exhaustive work on
>Qumran scribes, has ever noticed any such thing in Qumran texts.
I was under the impression that he had, but if you say no, I'll
have to believe you.
>The typical Qumran word, if it is two syllables, will have 50
>percent stressed syllables.
If it does, then it is violating the parsing rhythms, the cadences,
the paralanguage, the supersegmentals - whatever you want to call it -
the spoken music of the Hebrew language - which has an underlying 3
times x/8 rhythm.... that is, triple time. Of course, we may not
be referring to the same thing when we are talking about "stressed"
syllables - nor are you paying attention to levels of stress (normal,
>To find a stroke in a letter in that
>syllable slightly longer than average, in a single example, will
>occur by complete chance about 50 percent of the time. You
>cite single examples of this as if you have shown something.
Come off it Greg. We are not talking about "slightly" longer in those
'yods' I cited - we are talking about 'yods' that can be read as 'vavs' -
they extend almost the full length of the writing limit area and are
practically ligatured to the previous 'nun' at *the bottom cross stroke*
of the 'nun'. All three examples are immediately followed by 'yods' of
normal size - twice in the word "Israel" AND this shows up in the hands
of *two* different scribes...
>Again, all it would take is 1-2 lines of writing from any
>Qumran text by the same scribe, and just go through at least
>6-8 words in sequence analyzing the letters and "elongations"
>and lack of elongations systematically, correlating them to
Piece of cake <G>. BUT, I'll have to do this in parts... after all,
we are talking about two different script systems in use at Qumran -
Paleo-Hebraic and Square Aramaic. While both use trilinear limits,
which I see I will have to explain and illustrate, for the Paleo,
we have to go back to epigraphic material, first: why not see if you
can find a photo of, let's see, ah, yes, the Yadi stele is just right
to illustrate the early technique... it has the writing limits as part
of the carving; there is a good picture in Naveh. Paleo uses a drop down
from the outer upper limit as well as "elongation," while square uses
only a drop below the lower limit... as in that 'nun' in "ani." You might
also check out the 'alephs' on the stele - there are three - just like
Ugaritic. Remember, on a carefully carved, royally commissioned bas-relief
(excised) stele you can't pull scribal variance as an excuse <VBG>.
>I am a very slow learner, and sort of need to see for myself.
>Would you give just one demonstration, in any Qumran text,
>of the nature I have just described, showing systematic use
>of this writing enhancement technique?
Dr. Rochelle I. Altman, co-coordinator IOUDAIOS-L firstname.lastname@example.org
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