Re: Japanese RTL (was RE: Mongolian (was RE: Syriac and Mongolian

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Thu Jan 13 2000 - 09:03:07 EST

Ar 12:29 -0800 2000-01-12, scríobh Roozbeh Pournader:
>On Tue, 11 Jan 2000, John Cowan wrote:
>> No, merely that they retain the writing direction which is most natural for
>> inscriptions on stone, where the left hand holds the chisel and the
>> right hand hammers leftward. I believe that stonecarvers even
>> today carve texts RTL in all scripts.
>I have not never heard about Arabic script being carved on stone. I think
>Arabic is newer than that. Would you please tell me about any references
>you may have to Arabic carvings?

It's not ARABIC per se that's suggested. What's suggested is that at the
genesis of the West Asian or Semitic scripts RTL directionality was
selected because right-handed stonecarvers find RTL easier. Arabic would
have inherited that.

Greek Boustrophedon would have arisen because of lazy stonecarvers who
didn't have a carriage to return them to the beginning of the line. :-)

Michael Everson ** Everson Gunn Teoranta **
15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2; Éire/Ireland
Vox +353 1 478 2597 ** Fax +353 1 478 2597 ** Mob +353 86 807 9169
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