Page:Discovery and Decipherment of the Trilingual Cuneiform Inscriptions.djvu/394

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365
THE BABYLONIAN COLUMN

variants,' he says, 'may he used indifferently without violating the phonetic laws of the language.' ^ He was apparently the first to observe that some signs ' express different sounds ' ; and these he calls * homotypes.' - As was natural, he does not appear to have had any idea of the importance of this discovery. His homo- types seem limited to the signs for vowels, any one of which may express almost any vowel sound, and also aspirates and liquids ; and he ()l)served that m and ?/;, and y and i, are each expressed by the same signs.

His present pamphlet indicates how rapidly the study was progressing. He now relies entirely upon the analysis of proper names, in accordaru^e with the suggestion of Longperier ; and he abandons his attempted comparison with the form of the Hebrew letters. He surrenders his reading of ' Aslidod,' and suggests 'No Kaschzar ' in place of it; and he even doubts the identity of Aisak and Sargon. He thinks he has discovered from the Naksh-i-Eustam inscription that the sign he mistook for /• is really 5, and that his /: is certainly n. Accordingly he reads the word s ch(kh) n which somewhat revives his confidence in Sargon.

It is not clear to what extent, if to any, he was indebted to Hincks. His exaggerated Semitism was pro])ably of native growth. He was not yet aware of the age of the BaT)ylonian bricks, as explained by Hincks in 1846 : yet he knew the determinative sign for proper names, which apparently was not known to Hincks."^ Hincks, on the other hand, recognised a sign ' prefixed non-phonetically to the name Ormuzd, and also used by abl)reviation for the word " god." ' Lowen- steni says there is ' no special signi accompanying the

• Expose, p. oS. - lb. i)p. 56, 73.

See No. 21 of Hincks, whi-re it i:^ unnoticed. Cf. Expose^ p. 28.