Re: New contribution

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Thu Apr 29 2004 - 05:12:42 EDT

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    On 28/04/2004 21:50, Mark E. Shoulson wrote:

    > ...
    > Samaritan (and likely Aramaic) you have to watch out for: unlike
    > "Phoenician" or ancient Canaanite, these have *modern* users who are
    > not academics, but people who use the scripts as living, working ways
    > of writing ordinary things. It isn't just scholars who need to be
    > heard on those. (yes, I am in touch with modern Samaritans including
    > a very prominent person in Samaritan culture for decades, and also
    > with a preƫminent scholar of Samaritan manuscripts. We're working on
    > it).

    On Samaritan, I agree. But where are your modern users of a distinctive
    Aramaic script? Well, there is Syriac; and there is the Hebrew script
    which is often known among scholars as Aramaic script, to distinguish it
    from paleo-Hebrew, and because it was used for Aramaic before it was
    used for Hebrew. And Aramaic is also written in Latin, Arabic, Cyrillic
    and maybe other already defined scripts. But I have never seen any
    evidence of any other distinctive modern Aramaic script. If you or
    anyone has any, please let me know. If not, you should drop your "likely".

    > For reasons I doubt I could explain, much less defend, I would see
    > Samaritan disunified from "Hebrew" and from Phoenician/Old Canaanite,
    > etc. Certainly Samaritan has non-letter glyphs that are unique to
    > Samaritan usage (vowels, cantillations, etc), but that in itself
    > doesn't prove much. I tend to see (Modern) Hebrew, Samaritan, and
    > just-about-everything-else as the divisions--which I guess shows how
    > my knowledge and research are distributed.

    I tend to agree, but my limitations are similar.

    Peter Kirk (personal) (work)

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