I've been on this fine list for about a year and feel it's time to
introduce myself. My name is Randall Hunt and I make my living in graphic
arts -- now mostly computer graphics, tho I owned a printing shop for ten
years. I discovered this list while doing research for a children's book on
the history of alphabets. I've had a number of questions on the subject
that I would have put to this list but most of them were eventually
resolved through diligent web research. I've become acutely aware of the
limitations of using the web for factual material -- there is a lot of
misinformation out there -- but since I live in central Arizona (USA,
beautiful Jerome), I don't have ready access to extensive libraries. As I
am nearing the end of my project, there remain a few items that I haven't
been able to resolve completely. I would very much appreciate it if someone
here could advise me.
* In popular literature it is given that an alphabetic equivalent for the
letter, L, exists as the lion glyph. Yet academic literature omits the
glyph from the twenty-four uni-consonantal signs, notwithstanding its
apparent correlation in Champollion's decipherment. I have found two
sources that state the lion represents the bi-consonant, RW. Is this
* One might assume that the alphabetic (uniliteral) glyph values derive
acrophonically. Is this so, and if so, is there somewhere a list of those
original words? Would it be accurate to use such words as the "names" of
the glyphs? Or is it either meaningless or impossible to attribute "names"
to the glyphs?
* Speaking again of names, I've never seen names attributed to the Ugaritic
characters. Would it be fair to say that since Ugaritic was a semitic
language, the names of the letters were probably similar to those of the
later Phoenician letters?
* Of the final three characters in the Ugaritic alphabet, used particlarly
for writing Hurrian, am I correct to believe that the first two were vowels
and the third was a sibilant, not a vowel?
* Emperor Claudius introduced three new letters to the Latin alphabet
(although they were abandoned after his passing): digamma inversum,
antisigma, and ??? Can anyone tell me what that third letter was called?
* I've been unable to locate the exact origin of the popular quote by
Alphonse de Lamartine, "Letters are symbols which turn matter into spirit."
One source implied this was a title of one of his books. Does anyone know
if this is so, or can anyone tell me where/when he wrote this?