Ancient Scripts and Phonological Knowledge by D. Gary Miller

By D. Gary Miller

This learn investigates the houses of a number of historic syllabic and linear segmental scripts to make specific the features of linguistic wisdom they try and signify. a few fresh experimental paintings means that nonliterate audio system should not have segmental wisdom and that basically syllabic wisdom is 'real' or obtainable, whence the ubiquity of syllabaries. Miller disputes this via displaying that such checks don't distinguish suitable sorts of wisdom, and that linguistic research of the ordering and writing conventions of early Western scripts corroborates the proof from language acquisition, use, and alter for section know-how. by way of coding segments, the traditional syllabaries represented more phonological wisdom than the alphabet, which was once a terrible compromise among the vowelless West Semitic scripts and the vowel-redundant syllabic scripts.
A wide selection of data approximately early scripts and their improvement is mixed with a brand new concept of the syllable as 'Sonority Phrase'. The book's price is additional more advantageous through thorough dialogue of the problems from a vast diversity of theoretical and utilized viewpoints, together with language play and alter, cognition, literacy, and cultural history.

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1400, and the Greek alphabet ca. -1200/ 1 100. Sass ( 1988: 167) demonstrates that a -10th century borrowing is also possible (cr. Diringer 1968:359). The Proto-Canaanite script contained 27 consonant signs, reduced to 22 by the -13th century. The signs were pictographs and most had acrophonic values (Sass 1 988: 106- 134; Cross 1989:80). These signs evolved into linear letters. The pictographic conception pennined writing in any direction: right to left, left to right, vertical (columnar), and vertical or horizontal boustro­ phedon.

2 Northwest Semitic Scripts and tIN Adaptation to Greek The phonological system in ( 1) could be accommodated by a Canaanite script. On the sibilants, see Faber (1981, 1993). Since there is no phonolo­ gical system without vowels (at some level), I will assume that the Northwest Semitic alphabet ignored vowels for root recognition and their morphological predictability (discussion in §4. 1 1). 41 1HE GREEK ALPHABEf (1) Phonological Inventory of the Source Canaanite Script LABIAL DENIAL VELAR lNULAR PHARYNG GLOTIAL STOP [-VOICE] [+VOICE] [+PHARYNG) t d � P b AFFRICAlE q ts (semk) dZ (zai) [-VOICE) [+VOICE] fRICATIVE [-VOICE] [+VOICE] NASAL SONORANT '1 k g s � � § n m w h I r y A glance at the Ancient Greek phonological system in (2) reveals that the borrowed script has both more and fewer characters than needed.

5. 54+-; Epic NOM ' EPI1Elac;' Herme(� Od. ) "vessel for washing hands" (cf. XEpy�­ ov /fftemibon 11. 304) ' liquid + stop larthm6s1 "fellowship, league" (h. Mere. 524+) wodowe Iword6+wenl "rose-scent­ ed" (of oil; POSOEYTl... elaifi "(with) rose­ scented olive-oil" 11. 23. ereweijo /etewoklew�hiosl "son of Eteocles" (cf. �(1) ' ETEO" ICA1)El1) hf� Eteoldeefe n. 386) dereuko /dl�wkos/ "sweet new wine" ( y�elilCo&; gle iI«Js Arist Meteor. 3801>:32+) erutara /eruthri/ "red" (NOMsgF) (epv9p6t; eruth� n.

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