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Thread: Did Greek alphabet have any influence on Paleohispanic scripts? Or were Iberian scripts rooted solely in Phoenician influence?

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    Roma_Victrix's Avatar I am your sovereign now
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    Default Did Greek alphabet have any influence on Paleohispanic scripts? Or were Iberian scripts rooted solely in Phoenician influence?

    This is still a quagmire for modern scholars, made even more difficult by the paucity of surviving texts from pre-Roman Iron Age Spain and before the dominance of Latin. With the exception of the Greco-Iberian alphabet that was basically just an Ionic Greek alphabet tweaked for native Iberians, the Paleohispanic scripts weren't even purely alphabets or even purely syllabaries but rather semi-syllabaries that combined both. This makes it difficult to judge whether or not the Phoenician alphabet was the sole source of inspiration for these alphabets or if the Greek alphabet played a smaller or even equally influential role. What do you guys, think? The fact that the Greek alphabet is based on the Phoenician one certainly doesn't make it any easier to discern which one served as the model for the Paleohispanic scripts. These were not used just for the native Iberian language either, but also for the Continental Celtic language of the Celtiberians, who had their own script based on the Northeastern Iberian one.

    I have my own hypothesis, though!
    Like the primary writing systems of the ancient Shang-dynasty Chinese, Mesopotamian Sumerians and Early Dynastic Egyptians that spawned hundreds of others, the native Iberians invented writing all on their own!
    Unfortunately nobody subscribes to my hypothesis, at least not until I put a gun to their heads and make them see the light. It's time for you to accept my hypothesis, or you can just go ahead and die. Your choice pal.

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    Default Re: Did Greek alphabet have any influence on Paleohispanic scripts? Or were Iberian scripts rooted solely in Phoenician influence?

    Wasn't the Greek alphabet itself influenced by the Phoenician Alphabet?
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    Default Re: Did Greek alphabet have any influence on Paleohispanic scripts? Or were Iberian scripts rooted solely in Phoenician influence?

    Quote Originally Posted by alhoon View Post
    Wasn't the Greek alphabet itself influenced by the Phoenician Alphabet?
    Well, he did say:

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    The fact that the Greek alphabet is based on the Phoenician one certainly doesn't make it any easier to discern which one served as the model for the Paleohispanic scripts.
    And "based on" is more accurate than "influenced by". The Greek alphabet was simply the Canaanite alphabet adapted to the Greek language. In fact, most of the Greek letter names are Canaanite.
    Quote Originally Posted by Enros View Post
    You don't seem to be familiar with how the burden of proof works in when discussing social justice. It's not like science where it lies on the one making the claim. If someone claims to be oppressed, they don't have to prove it.


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    Default Re: Did Greek alphabet have any influence on Paleohispanic scripts? Or were Iberian scripts rooted solely in Phoenician influence?

    Yes, I mentioned that above.

    Funny enough, the Mycenaean Greeks originally had a Linear B syllabic script based on Minoan Linear A that operated somewhat similarly to Iberian syllabary scripts. It's quite clear the Greek alphabet of the late 9th or early 8th century BC was based on the Phoenician alphabet, which in turn was based on a Canaanite script rooted in Egyptian hieroglyphs/hieratic. The question here is how much did the Greek alphabet inspire or affect the course of the semi-syllabic writing systems of the Iberians. It's hard to judge this given how the Greeks borrowed the idea of writing an alphabet from the Phoenicians and hence many of the letters are quite similar. The semi-syllabic letters of the Iberian script are thus unsurprisingly similar to both of these alphabets.

    In terms of religion, the arts, architecture and material culture, we know the Iberians were culturally influenced in various ways by the Greek colonists in the north and Phoenician/Carthaginian colonists living on the southern parts of the peninsula. Frustratingly, in terms of a chronology for Paleohispanic scripts based on archaeology, it seems that the Iberian scripts appeared around the same time as the Classical era Greco-Iberian alphabet in the 5th century BC. The fact that Phoenicians in colonies like Gadir (Cadiz) used their alphabet on the peninsula beforehand doesn't really prove anything, since Archaic era Greeks had established colonies at Emporion and other sites as far back as the mid-7th century BC.

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    Default Re: Did Greek alphabet have any influence on Paleohispanic scripts? Or were Iberian scripts rooted solely in Phoenician influence?

    Compare Early Greek to Phoenician:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    There isn't much to distinguish them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Enros View Post
    You don't seem to be familiar with how the burden of proof works in when discussing social justice. It's not like science where it lies on the one making the claim. If someone claims to be oppressed, they don't have to prove it.


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    Default Re: Did Greek alphabet have any influence on Paleohispanic scripts? Or were Iberian scripts rooted solely in Phoenician influence?

    Quote Originally Posted by sumskilz View Post
    Compare Early Greek to Phoenician:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    There isn't much to distinguish them.
    Truly amazing how there are only a superficial changes to the letters from the Phoenician alphabet. In most cases the Greeks simply reversed the letters or turned them upside down in order to arrive at the Greek alphabet, the letters of which the Romans used with minor additions or curved modifications to create the Latin alphabet...the one we're using right now! Albeit they had evolving majuscule and miniscule forms rather than Early Modern lower and upper case types.

    Unfortunately there's no smoking gun in terms of an ancient Greek or Phoenician primary source claiming that they were the ones who imparted the very idea of writing onto the native Iberians. It's possible this was even done separately in and around their colonies. The Southeastern Iberian scripts read from right to left like the Phoenician alphabet while the Northeastern Iberian scripts read from left to right like the Greek alphabet (and by extension our Latin one). It is not entirely clear if the Northeastern variants are later adaptations of a Southeastern Iberian model or if they were created independently based on the Greek alphabet. It's possible that northeastern Iberians borrowed the idea of writing from their southeastern cousins but used the Greek alphabet as a guide instead of the Phoenician one.

    It certainly doesn't help that artefacts like the (possibly Tartessian) Espanca script tablet from Portugal later resurfaced in the hands of private owners rather than from their archaeological contexts. It would certainly make dating a lot easier.

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    Default Re: Did Greek alphabet have any influence on Paleohispanic scripts? Or were Iberian scripts rooted solely in Phoenician influence?

    Originally, writing right to left wasn't standard in Canaan (which obviously included Phoenicia). The text could go any direction, and the way that you would know which direction the text was meant to be read was by the facing of the letters, so it was common for the letters to be reversed or flipped in order to indicate the way it should be read. Right to left was how it was almost always done in stone, presumably because it's easier for a right-handed person to use a hammer and chisel that way. On pottery sherds used for inventories and day to day correspondence, left to right wasn't uncommon. We also assume there was a lot of writing on papyrus that hasn't survived. On sherds and papyrus left to right would have been more convenient for a right-handed person. One possible explanation for right to left eventually becoming standard was that it being the way monumental inscriptions were written made it seem more prestigious.

    I know nothing about Paleohispanic scripts, but having just looked at some examples, I saw some samek symbols that the Greeks supposedly never used, but then there were some symbols that were definitely more alpha than aleph, so hmm... Seems like a pretty complicated problem, it could have been introduced by either or both and then subsequently have been influenced by one or the other.
    Quote Originally Posted by Enros View Post
    You don't seem to be familiar with how the burden of proof works in when discussing social justice. It's not like science where it lies on the one making the claim. If someone claims to be oppressed, they don't have to prove it.


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    Default Re: Did Greek alphabet have any influence on Paleohispanic scripts? Or were Iberian scripts rooted solely in Phoenician influence?

    I would think the key would be not so much in the symbols and names but if the vowels are broken out. I would guess that should be an inductor of Greek influence vs a not intermediary adoption of Phoenician .
    Last edited by conon394; August 06, 2021 at 02:45 PM.
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    Default Re: Did Greek alphabet have any influence on Paleohispanic scripts? Or were Iberian scripts rooted solely in Phoenician influence?

    Quote Originally Posted by sumskilz View Post
    Originally, writing right to left wasn't standard in Canaan (which obviously included Phoenicia). The text could go any direction, and the way that you would know which direction the text was meant to be read was by the facing of the letters, so it was common for the letters to be reversed or flipped in order to indicate the way it should be read. Right to left was how it was almost always done in stone, presumably because it's easier for a right-handed person to use a hammer and chisel that way. On pottery sherds used for inventories and day to day correspondence, left to right wasn't uncommon. We also assume there was a lot of writing on papyrus that hasn't survived. On sherds and papyrus left to right would have been more convenient for a right-handed person. One possible explanation for right to left eventually becoming standard was that it being the way monumental inscriptions were written made it seem more prestigious.
    Interesting! I did not know that. I just assumed the Late Bronze Age Canaanite alphabet (Proto-Sinaitic) was from the very beginning much like the later standard Phoenician alphabet used throughout the Mediterranean in the the Iron Age, i.e. strictly read from right to left. Very fascinating how it changed direction according to the writing medium and materials involved and based on convenience for the scribe, most of whom would have been right-handed. I suppose the Greeks also technically did occasionally write from right-to-left, or at least partially so given how Boustrophedon incorporates both right-to-left and left-to-right writing, alternating directions from line to line.

    I know nothing about Paleohispanic scripts, but having just looked at some examples, I saw some samek symbols that the Greeks supposedly never used, but then there were some symbols that were definitely more alpha than aleph, so hmm... Seems like a pretty complicated problem, it could have been introduced by either or both and then subsequently have been influenced by one or the other.
    Yeah, it seems like a giant mishmash of different influences. Personally, I think it makes sense that the Southeastern Iberian script came first due to earlier and more widespread Phoenician and Carthaginian colonial presence. However, there's a problem with that idea: they represent only about 5% of surviving textual material for all Iberian scripts! The remainder is mostly comprised of texts using the Northeastern Iberian script (which seems to be more Greek-influenced given the left-to-right direction of the text). About a hundred carved stele samples of the Southwestern Paleohispanic script have survived, found mostly in Portugal, and oddly enough these aren't just written from right-to-left, but also in spirals and in alternating Boustrophedon style.

    Quote Originally Posted by conon394 View Post
    I would think the key would be not so much in the symbols and names but if the vowels are broken out. I would that should be an inductor of Greek influence vs a not intermediary adoption of Phoenician .
    Good question. I'm still learning about it so I'm unsure about this. It seems like there was a lot of variation between the different Iberian scripts, so it is difficult to generalize about all of them aside from the basics: they're all semi-syllabic and clearly borrowed syllabic symbols from Greek or Phoenician letters.

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    Default Re: Did Greek alphabet have any influence on Paleohispanic scripts? Or were Iberian scripts rooted solely in Phoenician influence?

    Any chance the possible Graeco-Punic fusion of letters came from Carthage? They seem to have been somewhat porous in military and possibly other matters, perhaps they adopted some Hellenic/Helladic letters as well?
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    Default Re: Did Greek alphabet have any influence on Paleohispanic scripts? Or were Iberian scripts rooted solely in Phoenician influence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclops View Post
    Any chance the possible Graeco-Punic fusion of letters came from Carthage? They seem to have been somewhat porous in military and possibly other matters, perhaps they adopted some Hellenic/Helladic letters as well?
    If I recall correctly, I remember reading that the whole reason Carthage started minting their first coins was so that they could smoothly conduct trade with Sicilian Greeks who they were determined to at least pull into their orbit of influence if not fully subjugate militarily.

    One must wonder if Iberians first got acquainted with writing by way of simple financial transactions with Greeks and Carthaginians who both commonly paid for items in coinage by the Classical period. The Etruscans (and after them the Romans) had likewise also ditched the barter economy and primitive ingot forms of money by that point. Coins were a means to proliferate propaganda and cultic religious messages to a wide audience across the Mediterranean. Many peoples were fluent in the universal tongues of Attic and then Koine Greek even if they weren't ethnically Greek. A smaller amount would have been fully literate, but unlike the nightmarish Chinese character system, an alphabet is a relatively easy writing system to master with cursory education. The semi-syllabic writing system of Iberian scripts operated on a similar level of simplicity.

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    Default Re: Did Greek alphabet have any influence on Paleohispanic scripts? Or were Iberian scripts rooted solely in Phoenician influence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    If I recall correctly, I remember reading that the whole reason Carthage started minting their first coins was so that they could smoothly conduct trade with Sicilian Greeks who they were determined to at least pull into their orbit of influence if not fully subjugate militarily.

    One must wonder if Iberians first got acquainted with writing by way of simple financial transactions with Greeks and Carthaginians who both commonly paid for items in coinage by the Classical period. The Etruscans (and after them the Romans) had likewise also ditched the barter economy and primitive ingot forms of money by that point. Coins were a means to proliferate propaganda and cultic religious messages to a wide audience across the Mediterranean. Many peoples were fluent in the universal tongues of Attic and then Koine Greek even if they weren't ethnically Greek. A smaller amount would have been fully literate, but unlike the nightmarish Chinese character system, an alphabet is a relatively easy writing system to master with cursory education. The semi-syllabic writing system of Iberian scripts operated on a similar level of simplicity.
    Now you've opened a kettle of worms! Lovely thought-warrens for the speculative mind.

    IIRC the EIC purchased the blanks of the Austrian Thaler to mint coins in India because the K und K thaler was so respected in the Islamosphere (which is almost as weird as US astronauts learning русский язык). Some cultural elements aren't indicators of hegemony so much as utility.
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    Default Re: Did Greek alphabet have any influence on Paleohispanic scripts? Or were Iberian scripts rooted solely in Phoenician influence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    This is still a quagmire for modern scholars, made even more difficult by the paucity of surviving texts from pre-Roman Iron Age Spain and before the dominance of Latin. With the exception of the Greco-Iberian alphabet that was basically just an Ionic Greek alphabet tweaked for native Iberians, the Paleohispanic scripts weren't even purely alphabets or even purely syllabaries but rather semi-syllabaries that combined both. This makes it difficult to judge whether or not the Phoenician alphabet was the sole source of inspiration for these alphabets or if the Greek alphabet played a smaller or even equally influential role. What do you guys, think? The fact that the Greek alphabet is based on the Phoenician one certainly doesn't make it any easier to discern which one served as the model for the Paleohispanic scripts. These were not used just for the native Iberian language either, but also for the Continental Celtic language of the Celtiberians, who had their own script based on the Northeastern Iberian one.

    I have my own hypothesis, though!
    Like the primary writing systems of the ancient Shang-dynasty Chinese, Mesopotamian Sumerians and Early Dynastic Egyptians that spawned hundreds of others, the native Iberians invented writing all on their own!
    Unfortunately nobody subscribes to my hypothesis, at least not until I put a gun to their heads and make them see the light. It's time for you to accept my hypothesis, or you can just go ahead and die. Your choice pal.
    If the Paleohispanic scripts contain vowels, they were influenced by the Greek alphabet, since the Phoenecian scripts did not have vowels.

    The paleohispanic scripts do contain vowel sounds, which makes it likely they were more influenced by the Greek alphabet.

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    Roma_Victrix's Avatar I am your sovereign now
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    Default Re: Did Greek alphabet have any influence on Paleohispanic scripts? Or were Iberian scripts rooted solely in Phoenician influence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Common Soldier View Post
    If the Paleohispanic scripts contain vowels, they were influenced by the Greek alphabet, since the Phoenecian scripts did not have vowels.

    The paleohispanic scripts do contain vowel sounds, which makes it likely they were more influenced by the Greek alphabet.
    That's a good point. I think it's possible the Southeastern ones were primarily based on the Phoenician model but the Northeastern ones took more influence from Greeks due to closer proximity to their colonies in and around Emporion. We'll probably never know for sure, but this is a reasonable guess based on the limited amount of evidence.

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    Default Re: Did Greek alphabet have any influence on Paleohispanic scripts? Or were Iberian scripts rooted solely in Phoenician influence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Common Soldier View Post
    If the Paleohispanic scripts contain vowels, they were influenced by the Greek alphabet, since the Phoenecian scripts did not have vowels.

    The paleohispanic scripts do contain vowel sounds, which makes it likely they were more influenced by the Greek alphabet.
    Maybe, although the Greeks represented vowels with the Phoenician alphabet without being influenced by some other system. The main reason why the Phoenician alphabet doesn't represent vowels is that vowels are semantically unnecessary in Semitic languages. All the meaning is in the consonants, vowels are just the way to get from one consonant to the next. So the only use for writing vowels is to indicate pronunciation, but if the reader already knows the language, then the reader already knows the pronunciation. I can think of a few minor exceptions, like when a vowel difference indicates the gender of a noun, but even then it's unnecessary because the gender will be indicated by the verb, which is kind of unnecessary anyway in that we get by fine in English not knowing the gender of the word "teacher" for example.

    I actually don't think the Greeks consciously invented the idea of representing vowels. For example, aleph isn't usually considered a consonant in Indo-European languages, rather it's just a silence. In Semitic languages, every consonant carries only a single vowel, and the vowel that aleph most commonly carries is the sound the Greeks resented with alpha. Ayin would have been unpronounceable to Greeks, and probably sounded to Greeks more like a weird inflection on the vowel it carries rather than a distinct consonant. The vowel most commonly carried by ayin, is the one Greeks represented by omicron (the ayin symbol). Yod is considered a consonant, but linguistically it's a semi-vowel and as such it has a tendency to merge with the vowel it's carrying in casual pronunciation. The vowel it most commonly carried is the sound the Greeks represented by iota. The exact same pattern fits for the origin of epsilon which came from the symbol for a soft H sound that has a tendency to merge with the vowel it carries, which is most commonly the vowel represented by epsilon.

    Similarly, without a formal understanding of how Semitic languages function, the Phoenician alphabet could have been (mis)understood as syllabic, since every syllable was represented by exactly one character (with the exception of final consonants). For example, the letter kaf can carry any vowel, but it almost always carries ə or a or ā, which all sound a bit like different lengths of the same vowel. So the the letter kaf could be (mis)understood as representing the syllable ka.

    A couple examples illustrating the point I was making about how Greeks would have adapted Phoenician script to their language. If you speak an Indo-European language as your first language and you hear someone who speaks a Semitic language say "Israel" or "Arab" you will almost certainly hear those words as beginning with a vowel, which is evident in the way we transliterate them, but both words begin with consonants.
    Last edited by sumskilz; August 08, 2021 at 07:49 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Enros View Post
    You don't seem to be familiar with how the burden of proof works in when discussing social justice. It's not like science where it lies on the one making the claim. If someone claims to be oppressed, they don't have to prove it.


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    Default Re: Did Greek alphabet have any influence on Paleohispanic scripts? Or were Iberian scripts rooted solely in Phoenician influence?

    Quote Originally Posted by sumskilz View Post
    Maybe, although the Greeks represented vowels with the Phoenician alphabet without being influenced by some other system. The main reason why the Phoenician alphabet doesn't represent vowels is that vowels are semantically unnecessary in Semitic languages. All the meaning is in the consonants, vowels are just the way to get from one consonant to the next. So the only use for writing vowels is to indicate pronunciation, but if the reader already knows the language, then the reader already knows the pronunciation. I can think of a few minor exceptions, like when a vowel difference indicates the gender of a noun, but even then it's unnecessary because the gender will be indicated by the verb, which is kind of unnecessary anyway in that we get by fine in English not knowing the gender of the word "teacher" for example.

    I actually don't think the Greeks consciously invented the idea of representing vowels. For example, aleph isn't usually considered a consonant in Indo-European languages, rather it's just a silence. In Semitic languages, every consonant carries only a single vowel, and the vowel that aleph most commonly carries is the sound the Greeks resented with alpha. Ayin would have been unpronounceable to Greeks, and probably sounded to Greeks more like a weird inflection on the vowel it carries rather than a distinct consonant. The vowel most commonly carried by ayin, is the one Greeks represented by omicron (the ayin symbol). Yod is considered a consonant, but linguistically it's a semi-vowel and as such it has a tendency to merge with the vowel it's carrying in casual pronunciation. The vowel it most commonly carried is the sound the Greeks represented by iota. The exact same pattern fits for the origin of epsilon which came from the symbol for a soft H sound that has a tendency to merge with the vowel it carries, which is most commonly the vowel represented by epsilon.

    Similarly, without a formal understanding of how Semitic languages function, the Phoenician alphabet could have been (mis)understood as syllabic, since every syllable was represented by exactly one character (with the exception of final consonants). For example, the letter kaf can carry any vowel, but it almost always carries ə or a or ā, which all sound a bit like different lengths of the same vowel. So the the letter kaf could be (mis)understood as representing the syllable ka.

    A couple examples illustrating the point I was making about how Greeks would have adapted Phoenician script to their language. If you speak an Indo-European language as your first language and you hear someone who speaks a Semitic language say "Israel" or "Arab" you will almost certainly hear those words as beginning with a vowel, which is evident in the way we transliterate them, but both words begin with consonants.
    You claim that Greek vowels were just an accident is, frankly unconvincing. Omicron sounds nothing like ayin, and the the fact that ayin was often associated with an omicron like vowel merely explains why that letter was chosen, not that the Greek inventor got confused. More importantly, there is not corresponding Phoenician letter for omega. Clearly, unlike semitic languages, inventer of Greek writing intentionally added vowels.

    Also, Greek consonant xi sounds nothing like samekh. Clearly, the inventor of Greek was deliberately repurposing Phoenician letters for sounds not used in Greek, and invented new letters when there were no Phoenician letters to repurpose, phi and psi for example.

    Inventing letters for vowels as well as consonants is not necessarily as intuitive as you might think. Despite the imperfect fit of Arabic script with Turkish, a bunch new vowel letters were not invented as far as I know to remedy the situation. And the fact that both Arabic and Hebrew added diacritic markings to indicate vowels shows that vowels were not as unnecessary for Semitic languages as claimed. Yes, you can get by without vowel letters, but that does not mean it is ideal, and Turkish got by for centuries with using a script that did not suit it well. Simply because a language can get by without vowels does not necessarily prove it would not benefit from them.
    Last edited by Common Soldier; August 09, 2021 at 03:58 PM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Did Greek alphabet have any influence on Paleohispanic scripts? Or were Iberian scripts rooted solely in Phoenician influence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Common Soldier View Post
    You claim that Greek vowels were just an accident is, frankly unconvincing. Omicron sounds nothing like ayin, and the the fact that ayin was often associated with an omicron like vowel merely explains why that letter was chosen, not that the Greek inventor got confused. More importantly, there is not corresponding Phoenician letter for omega. Clearly, unlike semitic languages, inventer of Greek writing intentionally added vowels.

    Also, Greek consonant xi sounds nothing like samekh. Clearly, the inventor of Greek was deliberately repurposing Phoenician letters for sounds not used in Greek, and invented new letters when there were no Phoenician letters to repurpose, phi and psi for example.
    Speakers of modern Indo-European languages rarely notice the ayin at all, other than noticing its effect on the vowel (which can just be interpreted as an accent). Both "Arab" and "Iraq" begin with an ayin, yet we transliterate them as if they begin with vowels. You are correct that there is no corresponding Phoenician letter for omega, but omega didn't exist in the early Greek alphabet.

    Samek is a voiceless alveolar fricative and xi ends the same way (voiceless velar plosive to voiceless alveolar fricative).

    What I said was that "I don't think Greeks consciously invented the idea of representing vowels". I'm not aware of any evidence from this period that people consciously made such a distinction at all. I assume the Greeks' adaptation of the Phoenician system to the phonemes that mattered in Greek occurred organically. While possible, I doubt that there was an inventor who sat down and devised a system, especially since it seemed to take more than a century to occur. There is likewise no reason to assume that the Phoenicians or anyone else in Canaan had a formalized system by which only consonants would be represented. It simply occurred that way because those are the phonemes that mattered in their language.

    Quote Originally Posted by Common Soldier View Post
    Inventing letters for vowels as well as consonants is not necessarily as intuitive as you might think. Despite the imperfect fit of Arabic script with Turkish, a bunch new vowel letters were not invented as far as I know to remedy the situation. And the fact that both Arabic and Hebrew added diacritic markings to indicate vowels shows that vowels were not as unnecessary for Semitic languages as claimed. Yes, you can get by without vowel letters, but that does not mean it is ideal, and Turkish got by for centuries with using a script that did not suit it well. Simply because a language can get by without vowels does not necessarily prove it would not benefit from them.
    As I said, the diacritics are only useful for teaching pronunciation to people who don't already know the language. Hebrew diacritics were invented after the language was dead in order to teach people how to recite the Bible. Modern Hebrew speakers don't use the diacritics and most don't even know them. There is no point to them for native speakers of the language. As far as I know, it's the same for Arabic. I never see the diacritics.
    Quote Originally Posted by Enros View Post
    You don't seem to be familiar with how the burden of proof works in when discussing social justice. It's not like science where it lies on the one making the claim. If someone claims to be oppressed, they don't have to prove it.


  18. #18

    Default Re: Did Greek alphabet have any influence on Paleohispanic scripts? Or were Iberian scripts rooted solely in Phoenician influence?

    Quote Originally Posted by sumskilz View Post
    Speakers of modern Indo-European languages rarely notice the ayin at all, other than noticing its effect on the vowel (which can just be interpreted as an accent). Both "Arab" and "Iraq" begin with an ayin, yet we transliterate them as if they begin with vowels. You are correct that there is no corresponding Phoenician letter for omega, but omega didn't exist in the early Greek alphabet.
    There was no corresponding Phoenician letter for psi either, which undermines your theory. The inventer of Greek alphabet created letters when there were no Phoenician letters to assign to.



    Samek is a voiceless alveolar fricative and xi ends the same way (voiceless velar plosive to voiceless alveolar fricative).
    Xi is still quite different from samek, and your claim that the Greek inventor could not hear the difference is unlikely.

    What I said was that "I don't think Greeks consciously invented the idea of representing vowels". I'm not aware of any evidence from this period that people consciously made such a distinction at all.
    What you say is speculation and has no evidence to back it up. Your claim that the vowels were just misunderstanding of Phoenician letters is just speculation and you provide no real evidence for it. You claim the aleph sound was most commonly associated with the alpha vowel but have no statical evidence to support that claim.. There is no evidence that the Greeks did not intentionally create letters for vowels. We know they created letters that could not be found in the Phoenician alphabet, and assigned Phoenician letters to sounds not in the Phoenician language. So there is no reason to assume the Greeks did not deliberately assign letters to vowels. Omega proves that the Greeks did intentionally add letters for vowels, that cannot be denied. If it was true latter, we cannot rule out it being true earlier.


    As I said, the diacritics are only useful for teaching pronunciation to people who don't already know the language. Hebrew diacritics were invented after the language was dead in order to teach people how to recite the Bible. Modern Hebrew speakers don't use the diacritics and most don't even know them. There is no point to them for native speakers of the language. As far as I know, it's the same for Arabic. I never see the diacritics.
    They are diacritic marks in Arabic. I believe they are a teaching aid.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_diacritics
    Last edited by Common Soldier; August 10, 2021 at 12:33 PM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Did Greek alphabet have any influence on Paleohispanic scripts? Or were Iberian scripts rooted solely in Phoenician influence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Common Soldier View Post
    There was no corresponding Phoenician letter for psi either, which undermines your theory. The inventer of Greek alphabet created letters when there were no Phoenician letters to assign to.
    If such an inventor existed, he would have had to have lived a couple hundred years to have come up with psi, because like omega, it was not in the Early Greek alphabet. All the letters that appear in the Early Greek alphabet came directly from Phoenician, so much so that the Early Greek alphabet could as easily be considered the Phoenician alphabet used to write Greek. The non-Phoenician letters only appear in regional variants of the alphabet after generations of Greek use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Common Soldier View Post
    Xi is still quite different from samek, and your claim that the Greek inventor could not hear the difference is unlikely.
    I made no such claim. Xi sounds different because it is a cluster of two consonants, but since the second consonant in the cluster is identical to samekh, it makes sense that samekh was used to represent it.

    You say "Greek inventor", but if the Early Greek alphabet really was devised by an individual (contrary to my hypothesis), there is really no reason to assume the inventor would have been Greek. Usually when a writing system is adapted to a new language, it is someone from the literate society not someone from the non-literate society who devises the system. For example, the oldest Slavic alphabet was created by a Greek, the Yoruba alphabet was created by a handful of Portuguese missionaries, the Cree script was created by an Englishman, and so forth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Common Soldier View Post
    What you say is speculation and has no evidence to back it up. Your claim that the vowels were just misunderstanding of Phoenician letters is just speculation and you provide no real evidence for it. You claim the aleph sound was most commonly associated with the alpha vowel but have no statical evidence to support that claim.. There is no evidence that the Greeks did not intentionally create letters for vowels. We know they created letters that could not be found in the Phoenician alphabet, and assigned Phoenician letters to sounds not in the Phoenician language. So there is no reason to assume the Greeks did not deliberately assign letters to vowels. Omega proves that the Greeks did intentionally add letters for vowels, that cannot be denied. If it was true latter, we cannot rule out it being true earlier.
    There is no evidence that Greeks intentionally created any letters of the Early Greek alphabet. The later additions represented sounds for which symbols were missing. There is no evidence from this period that anyone had any conscious conception of there being a distinction between vowels and consonants. The essence of my hypothesis is that symbols were simply used to represent phonemes. That it is widely believed that one system intentionally represented only consonants while another system expanded upon this, is in my opinion a modern misunderstanding. This I combined with my observation that speakers of Indo-European languages tend not to hear some of Semitic consonants as consonants, but rather as the vowel they carry. These just so happen to be the particular consonants represented by Phoenician symbols that the Greeks used as vowels, which I believe is not a coincidence.

    However, here is another way the Greek vowels could have been arrived at in a rather obvious manner:

    The Greek vowel alpha is the first vowel of the corresponding Phoenician letter name.
    The Greek vowel epsilon is the only vowel of the corresponding Phoenician letter name.
    The Greek vowel iota is identical to the way the corresponding Phoenician letter is pronounced in many contexts.

    Omicron is the only vowel in the Early Greek alphabet that isn't arrived at in this matter. Therefore in this scenario, it would have simply been repurposed for whatever sound still lacked a symbol.

    Of course, this is not mutually exclusive with my other hypothesis.
    Last edited by sumskilz; August 10, 2021 at 03:54 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Enros View Post
    You don't seem to be familiar with how the burden of proof works in when discussing social justice. It's not like science where it lies on the one making the claim. If someone claims to be oppressed, they don't have to prove it.


  20. #20
    Tribunus
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    Default Re: Did Greek alphabet have any influence on Paleohispanic scripts? Or were Iberian scripts rooted solely in Phoenician influence?

    I think Iberia had trade contact with the east med right through the Bronze Age, and probably resumed with the Iron Age recovery at Phoenician instigation, and shortly after the Hellenic trade net reached them.

    I guess both cultures had relationships with various local groups, I know its a leap but I feel like the long distance elite goods trade may have sustained a more stratified society, with prestige goods exchanged for tin etc. (seeing how a bunch collapsed with the decline of the Bronze Age trade systems). I don't think there's much doubt the trade relationships offered models and stimulus for local poltical development, perhaps conciously "see you guys need subcontracting and tax systems to run the mines so you can supply our demand, I mean we do it this way..."

    Part of an elite exchange would be cultural exchange, with stuff like religion including ritual drug use, such a Dionysiac symposia/raves and whatever the Carthaginians were doing for kicks (their detractors would say baby yeeting parties). The once the Iberians turned up at the party they'd suddenly realise it was an MLM sales pitch and they were being offered "elite data management tool packages" with literacy thrown in. However with a couple of vendors in the game the locals would have some choice, and may well have asked for features from one vendor to be incorporated into the other's offer. "Y'all got any more of them vowels?" Roma's point that Carthage seems to have moved to money use to compete in Hellenic trade regions is suggestive of this possibility.

    I think the "Barcid Empire" aside the Poeni were less invasive in their economic hinterland, that may have worked in their favour as they could point out what the Hellenes were really like "they will take your stuff man, I mean look at Sicily, the place is crawling with Dorians". I think they might have suplied the vowels, just a guess though.
    Jatte lambastes Calico Rat

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