An abjad , also known as consonant , is a writing system in which the symbols of the letters , which represent the consonants when read, the reader must add the missing vowels. Some “impure” abjads (such as Arabic) may also have characters for some vowels, optional vowel diacritics, or both.
In the classification of writing systems , it is possible to classify abjads as a special type of syllabary , a special type of alphabet , or even an independent category. [ 1 ]
As examples, Aramaic , Syriac , Ugaritic , Arabic and Hebrew script can be cited .
Almost all known abjads are related to the Semitic family of writing systems. This is related to the morphic structure of the Semitic languages , which in many cases, provided they know the sound of the words and the subject in question, the denotation of vowels is unnecessary (redundant).
Optionally, in several abjads, vowel indications can be added , although this is not the practice in the current reading. For this, diacritical signs , small dashes and / or points placed below or above consonants are used in order to lead the reading to the subject addressed. An example of this type of intervention can be found in Hebrew , where vowel diacritics are widely used in textbooks for initiation to writing or in Torah copies that were later inserted.
Origin of the term
The term abjad is an acronym derived from the first four letters – Âlif, Bâ, Jîm, Dâl – from an ancient order of the Arabic alphabet , called the abjadi order .
The Hebrew abjad , also known as Alef-Beit , is used for writing in Hebrew , which is a Semitic language belonging to the Afro-Asian language family . It was created around the 3rd century BC It is also used to write Yiddish , a Germanic language spoken by Jews in Eastern Europe and Germany . As in Arabic writing , in this alphabet, texts are written in a counterclockwise direction.
Main article: Aramaic alphabet
It was an ancient writing system ( abjad ) very widespread in the Mesopotamian region from the 7th century BC onwards , being then adopted by the Persians. Unlike Latin that fell into disuse around 1300, Aramaic is still an active language in Syrian countryside villages today. Aramaic is a language of great importance to the history of mankind, in which it resides in the fact that it is the link of reversion to Aramaic to know the pronunciation of the names and sounds of the consonants that form the Hebrew alphabet. Unlike Hebrew, a purely decorative alphabet seen only in works of art and tapestries; Aramaic has always been used in the interior of Syria and its preservation is due to the fact that it was written and spoken by the Christian villagers who inhabited the cities north of Damascus, and that made Aramaic intact until today. [ 2 ]