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Re: [ANE-2] Reading revolutions

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  • R. Lehmann
    But what about Gelb’s earlier statement that all West Semitic scripts were not alphabets, but rather syllabaries? (Daniels 1990, Gelb 1963, see also Powell
    Message 1 of 42 , Oct 2, 2010
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      But what about Gelb’s earlier statement that all West Semitic scripts were not alphabets, but rather syllabaries? (Daniels 1990, Gelb 1963, see also Powell 1991:238-245)?

      "Semaphorics" is the "Winkeralphabet". Admittedly, I was a little bit kidding.

      ¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨
      Reinhard G. Lehmann
      Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz


      Am 02.10.2010 um 05:02 schrieb Peter T. Daniels:

      > I refer you to Alfred Schmitt, *Die Erfindung der Schrift* (1980), aposthumous
      > collection of papers, and also to various articles of mine going back to 1992.
      >
      > What is "semaphorics"? --
      > Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
      > Jersey City
      >
      > ----- Original Message ----
      > > From: R. Lehmann <lehmann@...>
      > > To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      > > Sent: Fri, October 1, 2010 8:39:09 AM
      > > Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Reading revolutions
      > >
      > > ... syllabaries?
      > > An all-too simplistic kind of view. Gelb re-activated?
      > >
      > > Maybe syllabaries.
      > > maybe logograms.
      > > maybe semaphorics,
      > > or maybe something else.
      > > Nobody will know for sure how the mind of mankind would have gone.
      > >
      > >
      > > ииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииии
      > > Dr. Reinhard G. Lehmann
      > > Research Unit on Ancient Hebrew & Epigraphy
      > > Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz
      > > Germany
      > > lehmann@...
      > > http://www.hebraistik.uni-mainz.de
      > > http://www.ev.theologie.uni-mainz.de/297.php
      > > Subsidia et Instrumenta Linguarum Orientis (SILO):
      > > http://www.hebraistik.uni-mainz.de/182.php
      > > 10th Mainz International Colloquium on Ancient Hebrew (MICAH):
      > > http://www.micah.hebraistik.uni-mainz.de/204.php
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > > What is "it"?
      > > >
      > > > It's certainly true that there's nothing intuitive about the alphabet -- or
      > >it
      > >
      > > > would have been invented lots of times around the world. Instead, what gets
      > > > invented when people know nothing about writing except that it exists is
      > > > syllabaries. --
      > > > Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
      > > > Jersey City
      > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >From: Graham Hagens <rgrahamh@...>
      > > > >To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      > > > >Sent: Thu, September 30, 2010 3:23:19 PM
      > > > >Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Reading revolutions
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >But it was a 'functional' communication medium which was able to effectively
      > >
      > > > >compete with the alphabet for several centuries.
      > > > >
      > > > >As Brian points out in another post, its roots can probably be traced to a
      > > > >pre-alphabetic pictograms.
      > > > >
      > > > >My musing (no more than that) is that had the semitic alphabet not existed,
      > >we
      > >
      > > > >could now be communicating via some modern version of the Cypriot
      > >syllabary,
      > >
      > > > >and be involved in arguments about how amazing our 'syllabet' is, and
      > > > >consequently how it must have been the only one ever invented.
      > > > >
      > > > >I believe they say the same thing about Einstein, that- some of his
      > >relativistic
      > >
      > > > >competitors were just footsteps behind
      > > > >
      > > > >Graham Hagens
      > > > >Hamilton, Ontario
      > > > >
      > > > >--- On Sun, 8/29/10, Peter T. Daniels <grammatim@...> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > >From: Peter T. Daniels <grammatim@...>
      > > > >Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Reading revolutions
      > > > >To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      > > > >Date: Sunday, August 29, 2010, 1:55 PM
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >?
      > > > >
      > > > >The Cypriote syllabary is a syllabary. Why should it have been inspired by
      > > > >alphabets?
      > > > >
      > > > >In fact, it has some sort of connection with Linear B; Ventris used some
      > > > >Cypriote values in interpreting Linear B.
      > > > >
      > > > >The Iberian script has CV signs for each of the stops (+ a i u), three V
      > >signs,
      > >
      > > >
      > > > >and C signs for the other consonants, and it is an open question whether the
      > >
      > > > >Phoenician or the Greek influence is paramount.--
      > > > >Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
      > > > >Jersey City
      > > > >
      > > > >>
      > > > >>From: Graham Hagens <rgrahamh@...>
      > > > >>To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      > > > >>Sent: Sun, August 29, 2010 12:46:57 PM
      > > > >>Subject: [ANE-2] Reading revolutions
      > > > >>
      > > > >>
      > > > >>
      > > > >>
      > > > >>--- On Sat, 8/28/10, Peter T. Daniels <grammatim@...> wrote:
      > > > >>
      > > > >>> segmental writing (abjads and alphabets) is so_unnatural_ that the >fact
      > >that
      > >
      > > > >
      > > > >>>it was invented only once is not at all disturbing, and so >_useful_ that
      > >nor is
      > >
      > > > >>>
      > > > >>>the fact that it spread throughout the Old World >whenever anyone found
      > >out
      > >
      > > > >>>about it.
      > > > >>
      > > > >>This 'only once' hypothesis would imply that the Cypriote syllabary (which
      > >had
      > >
      > > >
      > > > >>sufficient functionality to compete with alphabets for several centuries),
      > >had
      > >
      > > >
      > > > >>originally been inspired by such alphabets.
      > > > >>
      > > > >>
      > > > >>Has this been established?
      > > > >>
      > > > >>Graham Hagens
      > > > >>Hamilton, ON
      > > > >
      > > > >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > > > >
      > > > >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > ------------------------------------
      > >
      > > Yahoo! Groups Links
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
    • Graham Hagens
      Peter - thanks for your insightful responses to what Brian called by enigmatic note. It is probably time to stop before I get into more trouble. But just a
      Message 42 of 42 , Oct 27, 2010
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        Peter - thanks for your insightful responses to what Brian called by 'enigmatic' note.
        It is probably time to stop before I get into more trouble.
        But just a couple of remarks:
         
        Peter Daniels wrote:
         
        >And a Chinese person tells us that he can _get a general idea of_ a Japanese
        >newspaper article even though he knows no Japanese. In neither direction are
        >they _reading_ in the other language.

        Precisely my point: they are not reading the other language, they are absorbing the information in their own.
        As you know various trades achieve this all the time by means of technical symbolism. 
        In my profession I am frequently required to understand chemical data embedded within a text written in any one of a number of languages with which I am unfamiliar. 
        It is surprisingly easy to do.
        In the case of mathematics even more so.  Marshall McLuhan famously stated that the medium is the message: in technical literature symbolism becomes the medium.
         
        >>This carries the implication that humans would have kept looking for something
        >>like the alphabet for a long long time had it not emerged when it did.

        >Sorry, I cannot fathom this statement. What is "something like the alphabet"
        >that could have been "looked for"? Seems like _you're_ suggesting some sort of
        >superiority for an alphabet!
         
        Exactly.  And why not?
        Don't you think it's a little odd that such an idea might appear so out to lunch that an exclamation mark is required?
        What if we could design a system which would allow us all to communicate in our own languages and have others anywhere in the world absorb the information in theirs?
         
        Anyway, as I said.  Probably time to stop, we're a long way from the ANE now
         
        Graham Hagens
        Hamilton, ON 
         




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