Re: New contribution

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Tue May 04 2004 - 11:31:45 CDT

On 03/05/2004 05:19, Michael Everson wrote:

> ...
>> Suetterlin.
> Oh shut UP about Sütterlin already. I don't know where you guys come
> up with this stuff. Sütterlin is a kind of stylized handwriting based
> on Fraktur letterforms and ductus. It is hard to read. It is not hard
> to learn, ...

Nor is Phoenician.

> ... and it is not hard to see the relationship between its forms and
> Fraktur. ...

Nor is it hard so see the same relationship between Phoenician and
Hebrew with the help of alphabet development charts of the kind in your

> ... Its existence is not the same kind of historical relationship that
> Phoenician letterforms have to Hebrew letterforms. People have letters
> in their attics written by their grandfathers in Sütterlin. ...

The Phoenicians, paleo-Hebrews etc were not as tidy as the Germans, and
so left their letters lying about on the ground, where (since they were
written on bits of pottery) they could be dug up millennia later and read.

> ... You can buy books to teach you how to learn Sütterlin. ...

... and Phoenician script.

> ... Germans who don't read Sütterlin recognize it as what it is -- a
> hard-to-read way that everyone used to write German not so long ago.

And modern Hebrews recognise paleo-Hebrew as a now hard-to-read way that
everyone used to write Hebrew a rather longer time ago.

> Phoenician script, on the other hand, is so different that its use
> renders a ritual scroll unclean. If you ask me, who shall I believe,
> John Cowan who has a structural theory or the contemporary users of
> Phoenician/Palaeo-Hebrew vs Aramaic/Square-Hebrew in determining
> whether the scripts are unifiable or not, I shall believe the
> contemporary users, who considered the scripts anything BUT unifiable.

Which contemporary users? I thought you had not been in contact with any.

> ...
> Either way, pointed and cantillated text displayed in a Phoenician
> font is a JOKE at best. And not a very good one.

It is not very good, but it is not a joke, just an anachronism -
although potentially rather a useful one for people who try to
reconstruct Phoenician pronunciation.

Peter Kirk (personal) (work)

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