Concept

Aramaic alphabet

Summary
The ancient Aramaic alphabet was adapted by Arameans from the Phoenician alphabet and became a distinct script by the 8th century BC. It was used to write the Aramaic languages spoken by ancient Aramean pre-Christian tribes throughout the Fertile Crescent. It was also adopted by other peoples as their own alphabet when empires and their subjects underwent linguistic Aramaization during a language shift for governing purposes—a precursor to Arabization centuries later—including among Assyrians who permanently replaced their Akkadian language and its cuneiform script with Aramaic and its script, and among Jews (but not Samaritans), who adopted the Aramaic language as their vernacular and started using the Aramaic alphabet even for writing Hebrew, displacing the former Paleo-Hebrew alphabet. (The modern Hebrew alphabet derives from the Aramaic alphabet, in contrast to the modern Samaritan alphabet, which derives from Paleo-Hebrew). The letters in the Aramaic alphabet all represent conson
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