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Vowels in Semitic Alphabet Languages, pp.147-166 $100.00
Authors:  Raphiq Ibrahim, Learning Disabilities Department, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel
Abstract:
Before focusing on the vowelization system in Arabic and Hebrew, a theoretical
background will be presented about vowels in alphabetic writing systems in general. When
the first alphabet was created a few thousand years ago, it contained only consonants—no
vowels at all (Shimron 1993).
Vowels were added 1,000 years later by the Greeks. The main consideration behind this
addition was to represent spoken words in a more comprehensive manner in consonantal
homographs, and also to represent phonemes of the spoken words more completely (Shimron
1993).
Vowels can strengthen the graphemes-phonemes relationship but can never make it
perfect, because the relation between the latter and the sound is not always one-on-one. A
letter by itself may represent more than one sound just as one sound can represent more than
one specific letter (e.g. Taylor 1980). 


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Vowels in Semitic Alphabet Languages, pp.147-166