Page:Compendious Syriac Grammar.djvu/39

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Form of the letters.§ 1. A. The character most in use in Syriac printing is that of the West-Syrians (Jacobites and Maronites), of which the proper name is Serṭā (Serṭō). It has been developed out of the older one, which is called Estrangelo, properly στρογγύλη. This character also is pretty often employed in printing, particularly in more recent times. The same thing may be said of the Nestorian character, which comes nearer the Estrangelo than the Serṭā does. We accordingly give, in the following Table not only the Serṭā letters of the alphabet but also the old or Estrangelo letters, as well as the Nestorian letters.

B. All Syriac styles of writing are Cursive; the most of the letters must be connected right and left within the word,—and thus several small modifications of shape arise. In the case of the Serṭā, we give all these forms; for the Estrangelo and the Nestorian character it may suffice to give the special final forms, in addition to the main forms.[1]

The form, which is given here in European character, of the names of the letters, aims at representing the older pronunciation: brackets enclose the diverging pronunciation of the later West-Syrians. Secondary forms, varying both in sound and character, are also met with.

  1. Cf. besides, the Plate of Alphabetical Characters by Euting, appended to this work.