This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text.
Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book
(without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated.
1863 Excerpt: ...as the lesser evil, in a case where some evil was
unavoidable; nor have I explained how, in applying to their use the
Chaldean syllabary, they introduced into it polyphony which was not
an original feature of that syllabary. I will now give these
explanations. Allowing for the identity, as to their mode of being
expressed, of s and n, and of 1 and s, an Assyrian syllable might
have twenty different beginnings. To each of these three vowels
might be added, giving sixty syllables consisting of a consonant
followed by a vowel. Each of these would require a representative,
and also the combination of each with b, g, d, kh, z, I, m, n, r,
and s, as final letters in the syllable. The syllabary should thus
contain 660 characters; and if some of these might be dispensed
with, as of rare occurrence, there were several syllables of which
it was desirable that there should be two representatives. There
are, in point of fact, many pairs of homophones in the Assyrian
syllabary. The reason why it was desirable is, that syllables which
contained servile letters, --the preformatives irrs for instance,
might, it was thought, be advantageously distinguished from the
same syllables when entirely radical. For instance, the last word
in plate II. is a word in the first person plural, and begins with
a character, which represents id, or in this instance nanh (?1).
The Assyrians, I believe, used the character for this sound under
all circumstances; but the Eabylonians were in the habit of
substituting for it another character (fig. 24) when they wished to
express nl, radical. Not long before this is a character which I
have valued In in my transcription, which is exclusively used to
express in, when the n was radical; another character, which begins
plate I.1. 4, was used to expre..
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