Re: Hebrew with Arabic-like pointing

From: Robert Wheelock <>
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2012 20:06:41 -0400



It’s very fascinating to have someone give examples of a divergent Hebrew
spelling system for a distant Jewish language; this kind of research is
rarely heard of—let alone recognized—in the academia marketplace.

When writing far-and-distant Jewish languages with the Hebrew *ʾalef-beth*,
care MUST be taken to use the closest Hebrew letter possible to the actual
sound in a given language (Ex.: The /p/ sound—ordinarily written as פּ *
peʾ-daghesh* in regular Hebrew—must be written as a ב *beth* having 3
upwards dots above in, let’s say, Juhuri—due to the influence of the
Arabic-Farsi letter پ *paʾ*. It’s because the /p/ sound in Arabic is an
allophone of the /b/ sound, so—it takes a letter from Farsi to faithfully
represent /p/!).

As a result of this research, here’s how Hebrew letters would be mapped
into Juhuri (Judeo-Arabic) phonemes:

א: ʾ (bare); ב: B (1 dot), P (3); ג: J (1 dot), TS (2), CH (3), DZ
(4); ד: D (1 dot), DH (2 dots); ה: H (bare), Ħ (2 dots); ו: W (bare),
U (1 dot), V (3); ז: Z (1 dot), ZH (3); ח: Ḥ (bare), *KH* (laryngeal—1
dot); ט: Ṭ (bare), Ẓ (1 dot); י: *ʾalif-maqṣurah* (bare), I (1 dot), Y
(2); כ: K (bare), G (3); ל: L (bare); מ: M (bare); נ:
*nun-ghunnaʾ* (bare),
N (1 dot); ס: S (bare); ע: ʿ (bare), *GH* (laryngeal—1 dot), Ñ (palatal
nasal—2), Ṅ (velar nasal—3); פ: F (1 dot); צ: Ṣ (bare), Ḍ (1 dot); ק:
 Q (2 dots); ר: R (bare); ש: Ś (bare), SH (3 dots); ת: T (2 dots), TH
(3); ﭏ: ʾAL (*the*—bare), LAʾ (1 dot); או: AW (bare), O (1 dot), Ö (2);
 אי: AY (bare), E (1 dot), Ü (2)

The Hebrew *nǝquddoth* (vowel points) would also be used to represent
vowels and diphthongs.

The dot groupings would appear thus: (1 dot)—a single dot above; (2
dots)—a dieresis (umlaut sign) above; (3 dots)—a dieresis with an overdot
atop that (looking like an upwards-pointing triangle); and (4 dots) would
look like a box consisting of 2 dieresii (umlauts) on top of each other!

In my new upcoming ISRI Font Series, I reserved the U+E800 area of the
Private Use Zone for these extended Hebrew characters (beginning with the 5
extras that Microsoft already uses for backwards compatibility)—which also
include oddities like: a *waw* bearing a true *shuruq* (Û) point (that
lies a bit higher than a daghesh, like Gesenius recommends), a
*waw-daghesh* bearing
a *ḫolam* (Ô) point above, another like that—but with a true *shuruq* (Û)
point directly above the daghesh, a doubly-pointed *shin*, and an identical
letter with an added daghesh!

You may still find certain Arabic characters mixed in with Hebrew letters
(like ء *hamzaʾ*, for instance) in these texts.

I do hope this note is of great help to y’all. Thank You!

Robert Lloyd Wheelock
International Symbolism Research Institute
Augusta, ME U.S.A.
Received on Tue Sep 25 2012 - 19:15:04 CDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Tue Sep 25 2012 - 19:15:07 CDT