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What did the #OldArabic of the #Levant sound like? Here is a reading of an inscription in the Hismaic script from the region of #Madaba, #Jordan. It dates to the Nabataean period, ~ 2000 years ago. The commentary is in the following tweet but can you understand it without help?
The pronunciation is triangulated with Arabic data from Nabataean, Hismaic, and Greek inscriptions. Greek is especially important because it gives us the values of the vowels and some of the consonants.
The text begins with the man’s name: le-phalhān ben ḥonayne ben ʔatme ḏī ʔāl natag ‘By Phalhān son of Ḥonayn son of ʔatm of the lineage of Natag’. Notice that the Arabic fāʾ in this period and region was likely still pronounced as an aspirated p =
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