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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

72                   The Loom of Language

the consonant writing of the Phoenicians They used a language which
was extremely rich in consonant combinations The Greek word for
man is avOpMnos, from which we get philanthropy and anthropology
If you write the consonants only in phonetic script (p 83), this is
n0rps There is nothing in the word-pattern of the Greek language to
exclude all the possible arrangements which, we can make by falling

Old

ho&ucuii
	i   tfreefc'
	Za&u
	LjraeA:
	Za&n

<\
	A
	>
	A
	D

A
	7T
	<c
	r
	G

L
	M
	)l
	A
	L

7
	T
	PP
	n
	p

^
	AP
	p
	p
	R

w    M     >     z,      S
FIG 16—EARLY AMP LATER FORM OF SOME GREEK AND LATIN LETTERS
The reader should compare these with the writing m Figs.   35-38
up each of the blanks indicated below with each of a dozen simple or
compound vowel sounds -
. n . 8 . r     p     s
The number of pronounceable arrangements of twelve different vowel
sounds in combination with this range of consonants is about 3,000,000.
It would be surprising if some of them were not true vocables. So it is
easy to see that the same succession of consonants might stand for
several different Greek words. It is equally easy to see why the syllable
script of Cyprus (Figs. 13 and 14) was an unsatisfactory way of dealing
with the same difficulty.
To adapt the Phoenician alphabet to their own use, the Greeks had
to introduce vowels, which were probably monosyllables, like our own
words a or /, taken from syllabaries of other peoples, such as the Cypn~