The Latinate (Aramaic) Script is an adaptation of the Latin, or Roman, alphabet devised by Yaqob bar-Karoza for use with the Isaric dialect of Aramaic—a semi-engineered dialect used by Isaric Samaritans, i.e., surviving descendants of the Byzantine Samaritan diaspora once active in Sicily and in Dalmatia. Latinate is one of two official scripts used to write the Isaric alphabet (àbgàda Ḁisaraya), the other being the ancient Mandaic script (mìčþoba Màndaya), which is regarded as sacred by both Mandaeans and Isaric Samaritans. Although Latinate was originally intended for common, non-liturgical use, its practicality and readability eventually led to the script’s employment in religious contexts alongside the Mandaic characters.
Type of writing system: alphabet (based upon and influenced by an abjad)
Direction of writing: left to right in horizontal lines
Number of letters: 22 primary (base); 46 total
Used to write: Isaric Aramaic (Àbgàda Ḁisaraya)
All consonants retain their historical numerical values and order
Vowels are fully represented but are not assigned numerical values, with the exception of /i/ and /u/
Ancient triliteral roots and other forms are preserved and easily identified for cross-reference
None of the consonants is represented by a digraph
Capitalization and punctuation are used similarly to English conventions
Isaric Alphabet (Àbgàda Ḁisaraya)
Primary (Base) Phonemes
Notes on Ḁ
When /ḁ/ carries a vowel at the beginning of a word or completes a vowel at the end of a word, only the vowel is written, not /ḁ/: /Èlaha/ (God) rather than /Ḁèlàhaḁ/. This is done in order to simplify writing, with an initial and final /ḁ/ being understood.
When /ḁ/ separates two vowels, it is omitted from writing, e.g., /reàχem/ (to have mercy) rather than /reḁàχem/. Here the double vowel indicates that an original /א/ was present in the older Ashuri script.
The letter /ḁ/, when not written at the end of a word but understood to be present, e.g., /va/ (in), reemerges in writing when suffixed by a pronominal enclitic: /vaḁo/ (in him) rather than /vao/.
Ë / ë : diaresis above the letter /e/ denotes plurality in masculine nouns, e.g., /-ëya/
Ä / ä : diaresis above the letter /a/ denotes plurality in feminine nouns, e.g., /-äþa/
Ï / ï : diaresis above the letter /i/ denotes plurality in masculine absolute nouns, e.g., /-ïn/
Ȅ / ȅ : double grave accent above the letter /è/ denotes an irreducible schwa; it occurs most often after /y/, /w/, and /ǧ/, as well as with the feminine construct state of a noun, e.g., /dìχlȅþ-Marya/ (fear of the Lord)
A̦ / a̦ = a combining diacritical comma below a vowel denotes primary syllable stress; this diacritic is used only with vowels, and typically only appears in liturgical texts with verbs and other words where stress is irregular or not obvious; e.g., /Kǝna̦ˀàn/ (Canaan).
Bìyìþildu̦n čol-ènašëya čwaþ χeḁrrëya we šàwyëya va ǧurča we va zìdqëya. Bìyìzdìvdu̦n pa χuešaba we pa þeḁrþa, we koyìsˀəru̦n χàd ləwaþ χàd va ruχa di àχuþa.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood. (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
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