Hence according as the trains of oscillations are long or short so is the sound heard in the telephone, and these sounds can be arranged on the Morse code into alphabetic audible signals.
When more is known of the earliest Etruscan inscriptions it may become possible to date the Iguvine Tables by their alphabetic peculiarities as compared with their mother-alphabet, the Etruscan.
The elaborate alphabetic Ps.
The old system of writing now dies out, and it is not till some three centuries later that the new alphabetic forms are introduced from a Semitic source.
Like some other alphabetic symbols it was not borrowed by Greek in its original form.
Some, however, see in it a corruption of the Semitic name samekh, the letter which corresponds in alphabetic position and in shape to the Greek (x).
Xvii.); though apparently now confined solely to purposes of witchcraft, it perhaps contains survivals of a former extensive system superseded by the alphabetic writing introduced from India.
The most important phonopams are the uniliieral or alphabetic signs, twenty-four in number in th~ Old Kingdom and without any homophones: later these were increased by homophones to thirty.
The history of some of the alphabetic signs is still very obscure but a sufficient number of them have been explained to make it nearly certain that the values of all were obtained on the same principles.i Some of the ancient words from which the phonetic values were derived probably fell very early into disuse, and may, never be discoverable in the texts that have come down to us.
For some, alphabetic signs more than one likely origin might be found, while for others, again, no clear evidence of origin is yet forthcoming.
Thus, HroXucuoi is spelt Ptwrmys, Antoninus, Ntnynws or Intnyns, &c. &c. Much earlier, throughout the New Kingdom, a special syllabic orthography, in which the alphabetic signs for the consonants are generally replaced by groups or single signs having the value of a consonant followed by a semi-vowel, was used for foreign names and words, e.g.
A number of common wordsprepositions, &c.with only one consonant are spelled by single alphabetic signs in ordinary writing.
- Spelling of words purely in phonetic or even alphabetic characters is not uncommon, the determinative being generally added.
It is noteworthy that though words were so freely spelled in alphabetic characters, especially in the time of the Old Kingdom, no advance was ever made towards excluding the cumbersome word-signs and biliteral phonograms, which, by a judicious use of determinatives, might well have been rendered quite superfluous.
Time as a royal sign, and is followed by figures of nobles and other human figures in various atti tudes, more or less grouped among themselves, (boundless hori- animals, reptiles and fishes, scorpion, animals zon, eternity again, twenty-four alphabetic characters, parts or the human body carefully arranged from to J~, thirty-two in number, parts of animals, celestial signs, terrestrial signs, vases.
Why the alphabetic characters are introduced where they are is a puzzle; the order of these is: ~ U ~.
There seems to be no logical aim in this arrangement of the alphabetic characters and the series is incomplete.
As a matter of fact the Egyptians might have passed about thirty-five centuries B.C. from the picture writing of hieroglyphs to genuine alphabetic signs.'
The earliest alphabetic document which can be dated with comparative certainty is the famous Moabite stone, which was discovered in 1868, and after a controversy between rival claimants which led to its being broken in pieces by the Arabs, ultimately reached the Louvre, where in a restored form it remains.
From the fact that upon the Galassi vase (unearthed at Cervetri, but probably aï¿½product of Caere), which is now in the Gregorian Museum of the Vatican, a syllabary is found along with one of the most archaic Greek alphabets, and that a similar combination was found upon the wall of a tomb at Colle, near Siena, it has been argued that syllabic preceded alphabetic writing in Italy.
Although the oldest Hebrew elegies are not alphabetic acrostics, it is a curious fact that the word :;7'?, " Was he a coward?
His poem is rather lyrical than narrative, which may account for some obscurities in the connexion of thought; but his alphabetic scheme proves that he designed twenty-two stanzas, not sixty-six detached couplets.