Page:Discovery and Decipherment of the Trilingual Cuneiform Inscriptions.djvu/332

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303
THE SUSIAN COLUMN

noticed the recurrence of twelve other sij^nis, which he ascribed to the error of the copyist, though he thought three of them might be genuine. It turned out that three were genuine, but only one of those that seemed to him likely to be so.^ In addition to the determinative sign before proper names, which Grote- fend had pointed out, he recognised another, the hori- zontal wedge, which is sometimes inten^hangeable with it. It will remain a curiosity in the history of decipher- ment that Westergaard should have gone out of his wav to declare that tlie words for God, Ormuzd and Heaven were not preceded by a determinative — * their importance being, no doubt, thought too great to need any such distinction.'^ He, in fact, mistook the determinative sign itself for the vowel which happens to precede his rendering of these three names.

He thought he had discovered siufus for six vowels (a, ^/, z, ^, a and o)^ and eighteen consonants.^ Of the former only one {n) turned out to l)e correct. His a and i have l)oth syllabic values [an and in). His long a is a defective sign (No. 10). His e should be i and his o an a. Only four of his consonants were ultimately found to be used as alphabetical signs, and for these his values are (^orrect (^, M, s and m), A few of the others represented correct consonantal values, though used syllabically. For example, hisyy is ay>, his r is ra, his s is as^ his n is na. He was more fortunate in his syllabic values, sixteen of which have been accepted as strictlv correct, if we include two where w is

^ No. 12 in Weisbach's list : the others art* (V{ and 65 in the same list.

  • Copenhagen edition, p. 278. This statement is softened in the Bonn

edition (p. (i>, where he merely says that neither of the two determinatives he had recognised preceded these words. Cf. ib. p. 124.

^ He thought possibly the vowels might be limited to the long and short sounds of a, i and m, and in that case he was disposed to change his e into /, which would have been correct (p. 118).