An Exploration of Writing - Peter T. Daniels

An Exploration of Writing - Peter T. Daniels

Consonants and Abjads

An Exploration of Writing - Peter T. Daniels

Peter T. Daniels [+-]
Independent Scholar
Peter T. Daniels, the world’s leading expert on writing systems, holds degrees in linguistics from Cornell University and the University of Chicago. His first interests were in Comparative Semitic linguistics, which built to the study of writing and decipherment. His challenge to his teacher I. J. Gelb’s influential theories of the evolution of scripts has led to a persistent search for legitimate principles of the nature and development of writing. He is co-editor (with William Bright) of and principal contributor to The World’s Writing Systems (1996) and is hte author of An Exploration of Writing (Equinox, 2018).


The third chapter introduces the first of the new concepts necessary for my approach, the abjad or consonant-only writing system. It was found in pure form only in Phoenician and South Arabian, but it was from Phoenician that the other West Semitic abjads developed—most prominently, the wide variety of Aramaic scripts. Two ways of notating vowels developed for abjads. The scripts of pre-Islamic Iran, again, have never, and of Inner Asia, culminating in Mongolian and Manchu, have rarely, been presented to the general reader.

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Daniels, Peter . Consonants and Abjads. An Exploration of Writing. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 37-58 Feb 2018. ISBN 9781781795293. Date accessed: 09 Dec 2023 doi: 10.1558/equinox.30864. Feb 2018

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