Greek ε and αι are in some writings expressed by ܗ, e. g.ܠܗܩܣܝܣλέξις. The desire to render Greek vowels with accuracy gave rise to various strange forms of transcription among learned Syrians.
Greek ο on the other hand is frequently left entirely unexpressed, e. g.ܒܣܝܠܝܣΒασίλειος, alongside of ܒܣܝܠܝܘܣ; ܐܦܝܣܩܦܐ, ܐܦܣܩܦܐ alongside of ܐܦܝܣܩܘܦܐ, ܐܦܣܩܘܦܐἐπίσκοπος. Thus the placing of the vowel letters in Greek words is far more fluctuating than in native ones.
Apparent use of ܐ.§ 5. A distinction is to be made between the employment of ܐ as a vowel sign and those cases in which it has its place from etymological considerations,—especially from having been formerly an audible spiritus lenis: e. g.ܡܠܐܩܐmalakhā "angel", from מַלְאֲכָא; ܒܐܪܐbērā (bīrō) "a well" from בִּאְרָא (Hebrew בְּאֵר); ܥܐܠܝܢʿāllīn "enter" (pl. part.), because of the sing. ܥܐܠʿāʾēl "enters" (sing. part.) &c.
Vowel expression: (b) By other signs. Simple points.
VOWEL EXPRESSION (B) BY OTHER SIGNS.
§ 6. This insufficient representation of vowel sounds was gradually made up for by new signs. At first, in some words which might be pronounced in various ways, a point over the letter concerned was employed to signify the fuller, stronger pronunciation, and a point under it to denote the finer, weaker vocalisation, or even the absence of vowel sound. Thus there was written (and is written) ܥܒ̇ܕܐʿe̊vāδā "a work", set over against ܥܒ̣ܕܐʿavdā "a servant"; ܡ̇ܢmān "what?" and man "who?", ܡ̣ܢmen "from"; ܩ̇ܛܠqāṭel "he kills" (part.) and qaṭṭel "he murdered" (Paël), ܩ̣ܛܠqe̊ṭal "he killed" (Peal); ܫ̇ܢܬܐša(n)tā "a year", ܫ̣ܢܬܐšenthā "sleep"; ܡ̇ܬܟܐmalkā "king", ܡ̣ܠܟܐmelkā "counsel"; ܛ̇ܒܐṭāvā "good"; ܛ̣ܒܐṭebbā "fame"; ܗ̇ܘhau "that" (masc.), ܗ̣ܘhū "he"; ܗ̇ܝhāi "that" (fem.), ܗ̣ܝhī "she"; ܗ̇ܢܘܢhānōn "those", ܗ̣ܢܘܢhennōn "they" &c. Frequently it is held to be sufficient to indicate by the upper point the vowels ā, a,—e. g. in ܫܝ̇ܡܐse̊yāmā "setting", ܐ̇ܝܕܐaidā "what?" (fem.), ܕ̇ܚܝܠdaḥḥīl "timorous", without giving also to words written with the same consonants the under point proper to them, viz.:—ܣܝ̣ܡܐsīmā "set", ܐ̣ܝܕܐīδā "a hand", ܕܚ̣ܝܠde̊ḥīl "terrible". Here too we must note the employment of ܗ̇ almost without exception to signify the suffix of the 3rd pers. fem. sing., e. g.ܒܗ̇bāh "in her" as set over against ܒܗbēh