Re: Caucasian Albanian Alphabet: Ancient Script Discovered in the Ashes

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Sat Jan 03 2004 - 08:28:49 EST

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    On 03/01/2004 01:26, Michael Everson wrote:

    > At 15:47 -0800 2004-01-02, Peter Kirk wrote:
    >> I have found a new script which may need to be encoded in Unicode.
    >> Well, I haven't found it myself, Zaza Alexidze has done that. I was
    >> previously aware of this Caucasian Albanian script, but I have only
    >> just found out that for the first time an extensive document - 300
    >> pages of a lectionary, dating probably from the 5th century CE - has
    >> been found written in this alphabet, and in an ancient form of the
    >> Udi language. It seems to be a truly separate alphabet, although
    >> distantly related to Georgian and Armenian.
    > Does it? The links you gave were a bit less than conclusive in that
    > regard.
    >> But it is not even roadmapped for Unicode.
    > Must you use such rhetoric?
    > It wasn't roadmapped because we had no comprehensive information on
    > it. Now we have more information, which is excellent.

    Sorry. The "even" was intended to imply that this script is so obscure
    that it hasn't found its way into the excellent roadmaps. I hope now we
    can find space for it. But obviously we do need to confirm that it is
    distinct from Georgian and Armenian. Note the following, from

    > Curiously, the Albanian alphabet with its 52 letter has many letters
    > that resemble other alphabets, specifically Georgian (19 letters),
    > Ethiopian (14 letters) and Armenian (10).

    But these are resemblances only in shape, not also in sound. Obviously
    further work is required. We should await the publication of

    > Aleksidze, Zaza & Jean-Pierre Mahé & Jost Gippert & Wolfgang Schulze
    > (in preparation). /The Caucasian-Albanian Palympsest from Mt. Sinai.
    > Edition and interpretation./ Monumenta Paleographica Medii Aevi.
    > Turnhout: Brepols [prévue].

    Peter Kirk (personal) (work)

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