Page:Compendious Syriac Grammar.djvu/46

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§§ 9. 10.
— 8 —

Rem. This orthography,—which otherwise is tolerably consistent,—substitutes in certain cases ◌ܸ for ◌ܹ, for no reason that can be discovered, e. g. in Passive Participles like ܒܝܸܐ "built". In old manuscripts ◌ܸ is largely interchangeable with ◌ܹ or (Symbol missingSyriac characters). ܝܸ is also found in isolated cases for ܝܼ, particularly for an initial ī. (Symbol missingSyriac characters) is also written for ◌ܵ. For other variations, v. §§ 42. 46. 48.—On the representation of ai and au v. § 49 A.

System of vowel-marking by Greek letters. § 9. Much clearer is the system of vowel designation by small Greek letters set above or below the line,—a system which grew up among the Jacobites about A. D. 700. Unfortunately, however, this system represents in many parts a later pronunciation of the vowels, which had become prevalent at that time, so that we cannot in the Grammar altogether dispense with the other system,—the Nestorian. The method practised is as follows:

◌ܰ a Pe̊thōḥō.
◌ܳ ō (older ā) Ze̊qōfō.
◌ܶ e Re̊vōṣō.
◌ܺ ī (partly for old ē) Ḥe̊vōṣō.
◌ܽ - (Symbol missingSyriac characters) u (partly for old o) ʿE̊ṣōṣō.

Rem. Sometimes ϊ or ι is found for ◌ܺ i. e. Η, η, following later Greek pronunciation; for ◌ܽ or (Symbol missingSyriac characters) there appears Ȣ, and ω too for ο. This ω has been in use with the interjection ܐܘّ "O!" from very ancient times: a later and disfigured form is ܐܘ̄. The diphthongs au and ai are written ◌ܰܘ, ◌ܰܝ; (Symbol missingSyriac characters) is an earlier form for ◌ܰܘ; and similar forms occur for other diphthongs.

Mixed system. § 10. A combination of a modified point-system with the Greek system is in favour among the later West-Syrians and in our own impressions. In this usage

◌ܲ = ◌ܰ.
◌ܵ = ◌ܳ.
◌ܸ and ◌ܹ without distinction = ◌ܶ.
ܝܼ, ◌ܹܝ or merely = ◌ܺܝ, ◌ܺ.
ܘܿ or ܘܼ without any certain distinction = ◌ܽܘ.