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Ge'ez
Type Abugida
Spoken languages Ethiopian Semitic languages (e.g. Ge'ez, Amharic, Tigrinya, Tigre, Harari, etc.), Blin, Me'en, in low degree Oromo
Time period 5th-6th c. BC to the present (abjad until ca. 330 AD)
Parent systems
ISO 15924 Ethi
Note: This page may contain IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode.

Ge'ez (ግዕዝ Gəʿəz), also called Ethiopic, is an abugida script that was originally developed (as an abjad) to write Ge'ez, now the liturgical language of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. In modern communities that use it, such as the Amharic and Tigrinya, the script is called fidäl (ፊደል), which means "script" or "alphabet".

The Ge'ez script has been adapted to write other mostly Semitic languages, such as Amharic in Ethiopia and Tigrinya in Eritrea and Ethiopia. It is also used for Sebatbeit, Me'en, and most other languages of Ethiopia. In Eritrea it is used for Tigre, and it has traditionally been used for Blin, a Cushitic language. Tigre, spoken in western and northern Eritrea and Eastern Sudan, is considered to resemble Ge'ez more so than do the other derivative languages. Some other languages in the Horn of Africa, such as Oromo, used to be written using Ge'ez but have migrated to Latin-based orthographies.

For the representation of sounds, this article uses a system that is common (though not universal) among linguists who work on Ethiopian Semitic languages. This differs somewhat from the conventions of the International Phonetic Alphabet. See the articles on the individual languages for information on the pronunciation.

Contents

History and origins

The earliest inscriptions of Ethio-Semitic in Ethiopia and Eritrea date to the 9th century BC in Epigraphic South Arabian (ESA), an alphabet shared with contemporary kingdoms in South Arabia. After the 7th and 6th centuries BC, however, variants of the script arose, evolving in the direction of the Ge'ez alphabet. This evolution can be seen most clearly in evidence from inscriptions (mainly graffiti on rocks and caves) in Tigray region in northern Ethiopia and the former province of Akkele Guzay in Eritrea.[1] By the first centuries AD, what is called "Old Ethiopic" or the "Old Ge'ez alphabet" arose, an abjad written left-to-right (as opposed to boustrophedon like ESA) with letters basically identical to the first-order forms of the modern vocalized alphabet (e.g. "k" in the form of "kä"). There were also minor differences such as the letter "g" facing to the right, instead of to the left as in vocalized Ge'ez, and a shorter left leg of "l," as in ESA, instead of equally-long legs in vocalized Ge'ez (resembling the Greek letter lambda, somewhat).[2] Vocalization of Ge'ez occurred in the fourth century, and though the first completely vocalized texts known are inscriptions by Ezana, vocalized letters predate him by some years, as an individual vocalized letter exists in a coin of his predecessor Wazeba.[3][4] Roger Schneider has also pointed out (in an early 1990s unpublished paper) anomalies in the known inscriptions of Ezana that imply that he was consciously employing an archaic style during his reign, indicating that vocalization could have occurred much earlier. As a result, some believe that the vocalization may have been adopted to preserve the pronunciation of Ge'ez texts due to the already moribund or extinct status of Ge'ez, and that, by that time, the common language of the people were already later Ethio-Semitic languages. At least one of Wazeba's coins from the late 3rd/early 4th century contain a vocalized letter, some 30 or so years before Ezana.[5]. Kobishchanov, Daniels, and others have suggested possible influence from the Brahmic family of alphabets in vocalization, as they are also abugidas (also known as "alphasyllabaries"), and Aksum was an important part of major trade routes involving India and the Greco-Roman world throughout the common era of antiquity.[6][7].

According to the beliefs of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the original (consonantal) form of the Ge'ez fidel was divinely revealed to Henos "as an instrument for codifying the laws", and the present system of vocalisation is attributed to a team of Aksumite scholars led by none other than Frumentius (Abba Selama), the same missionary said to have converted King Ezana to Christianity in the 4th century AD[8].

Ge'ez has 26 basic consonant signs. Compared to the inventory of 29 consonants in the South Arabian alphabet, continuants of ġ, and the interdental fricatives (, ) are missing, as well as South Arabian s3 s (Ge'ez Sawt ሠ being derived from South Arabian s2 Himjar shin.PNG). On the other hand, emphatic P̣ait ጰ, a Ge'ez innovation, is a modification of Ṣädai ጸ, while Pesa ፐ is based on Tawe ተ.

Thus, there are 24 correspondences of Ge'ez and the South Arabian alphabet:

translit. h l m ś (SA s2) r s (SA s1) b t n
Ge'ez
South Arabian h l ḥ m s2 r s1 ḳ b t ḫ n
translit. ʾ k w ʿ z (SA ) y d g f
Ge'ez
South Arabian ʾ k w ʿ z y d g ṭ ṣ ḍ f

Many of the letter names are cognate with those of Proto-Canaanite, and may thus be assumed for Proto-Sinaitic.

Signs for the Ge'ez language

Basic signs

There are 26 basic consonant signs:

h, l, ḥ, m, ś, r, s, ḳ, b, t, ḫ, n, ʾ, k, w, ʿ, z, y, d, g, ṭ, p̣, ṣ, ṣ́, f, p
translit. h l m ś r s b t n ʾ
Ge'ez
translit. k w ʿ z y d g ṣ́ f p
Ge'ez

Syllable signs

Genesis 29.11–16 in Ge’ez

The Ge'ez script is an abugida: each symbol represents a consonant+vowel combination, and the symbols are organized in groups of similar symbols on the basis of both the consonant and the vowel.

Ge'ez is written from left to right across the page.

In Ge'ez, each consonant can be combined with seven vowels:

ä, u, i, a, e, ə, o

For each consonant in an abugida, there is a basic or unmarked symbol that represents that consonant followed by a default vowel, called the inherent vowel. For the Ge'ez script, the inherent vowel is /ä/, the first column in the table. For the other vowels, the basic consonant symbol is modified in consistent ways.

In the table below, the rows of the table show the consonants in the traditional order. The columns show the seven vowels, also in the traditional order. A consonant can be described, for example, as being in the fifth order, meaning that it is of the form that is fifth in this traditional order of vowels. For some letters, there is an eighth modification expressing a diphthong -wa or -oa, and a ninth expressing -yä.

To represent a consonant with no following vowel, for example at the end of a syllable or in a consonant cluster, the consonant+ə form is used (the symbol in the sixth column).

  ä
[ə]
u i a e ə
[ɨ]
o wa
[jə]
Hoy h  
Läwe l  
Ḥäwt  
May m
Śäwt ś  
Rəʾs r
Sat s  
Ḳaf  
Bet b  
Täwe t  
Ḫarm  
Nähas n  
ʾÄlf ʾ  
  ä
[ə]
u i a e ə
[ɨ]
o wa
[jə]
Kaf k  
Wäwe w  
ʿÄyn ʿ  
Zäy z  
Yämän y  
Dänt d  
Gäml g  
Ṭäyt  
P̣äyt  
Ṣädäy  
Ṣ́äppä ṣ́  
Äf f
Psa p  

Labiovelar letter variants

The symbols for the labialized velar consonants are variants of the non-labialized velar consonants:

Basic sign k g
Labialized variant ḳʷ ḫʷ

Unlike the other consonants, these labiovelar ones can only be combined with 5 different vowels:

  ä i a e ə
ḳʷ
ḫʷ
  ä i a e ə

Modifications for other languages

Additional letters

Some letters have variants for use in languages other than Ge'ez.

Basic sign b t d
Affricated variant v [v] č [t͡ʃ] ǧ [d͡ʒ] č̣ [t͡ʃʼ]
Basic sign k
Affricated variant ḳʰ [q] x [x]
Labialized variant hw [qʷ] [xʷ]
Basic sign s n z
Palatalized variant š [ʃ] ñ [ɲ] ž [ʒ]
Basic sign g ḫʷ
Nasal variant [ŋ] [ŋʷ]

The syllable symbols are shown below. Like the other labiovelars, these labiovelars can only be combined with 5 vowels.

  ä u i a e ə o wa
š
ḳʰ  
hw      
v
č
[ŋʷ]        
  ä u i a e ə o wa
ñ
x  
     
ž
ǧ
[ŋ]
č̣

Symbols used in modern languages

Amharic uses all the basic consonants, plus the ones indicated below. Some of the Ge'ez labiovelar letter variants are also used.

Tigrinya has all the basic consonants, the Ge'ez labiovelar letter variants except for ḫʷ (ኈ) plus the ones indicated below. A few of the basic consonants are falling into disuse in Eritrea. See Tigrinya language#Writing system for details.

Tigre uses the basic consonants except for ś (ሠ), (ኀ) and (ፀ). It also uses the ones indicated below. It does not use the Ge'ez labiovelar letter variants.

Blin uses the basic consonants except for ś (ሠ), (ኀ) and (ፀ). It also uses the ones indicated below and the Ge'ez labiovelar letter variants.

  š ḳʰ hw v č [ŋʷ] ñ x ž ǧ [ŋ] č̣
 
Amharic        
Tigrinya    
Tigre                  
Blin    

Note: "v" is used for words of foreign origin except for in some Gurage languages (e.g. cravat, 'tie' from French), and "x" is pronounced "h" in Amharic.

List order

For Ge'ez, Amharic, Tigrinya and Tigre, the usual list order is called Halehame. For the basic signs it is as given elsewhere on this page. Where the labiovelar variants are used, these come immediately after the basic signs, followed by other variants. In Tigrinya, for example, the signs based on ከ come in this order: ከ, ኰ, ኸ, ዀ. In Blin, the order of the signs is slightly different.

The signs' order is similar to that found in some other South Semitic scripts, and curiously, in the ancient Ugaritic alphabet (which also attests the northern Semitic '-b-g-d order). Dillman notes[9] that, excepting newer forms, the signs in the first half of one order are all those found in the second half of the other order (though not in the same sequence); he suggests this would indicate a time when Semitic letters were divided into two rows, and the alphabet might commence with either row.

African diaspora usage

Ge'ez is a sacred script in the Rastafarian religion. Roots reggae musicians have used it in album art.

The film 500 Years Later (፭፻-ዓመታት በኋላ) was the first mainstream Western documentary to use Ge'ez characters, which were used in the title. The script also appears in the trailer and promotional material of the film.

Numerals

Numeral systems by culture
Hindu-Arabic numerals
Eastern Arabic
Indian family
Khmer
Mongolian
Thai
Western Arabic
East Asian numerals
Chinese
Counting rods
Japanese
Korean
Suzhou
Alphabetic numerals
Abjad
Armenian
Āryabhaṭa
Cyrillic
Ge'ez
Greek (Ionian)
Hebrew
Other systems
Attic
Babylonian
Brahmi
Egyptian
Etruscan
Inuit
Mayan
Quipu
Roman
Urnfield
List of numeral system topics
Positional systems by base
Decimal (10)
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 12, 16, 20, 60 more…

Ge'ez uses a systems of ones and tens comparable to the Hebrew, Arabic Abjad and Greek numerals, but unlike these systems, rather than giving numeric values to letters, it has separate numeral symbols that are derived from the Coptic letter-numbers:

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
× 1
× 10
× 100  
× 10.000

Unicode

Ethiopic has been assigned Unicode 3.0 codepoints between U+1200 and U+137F (decimal 4608–4991), containing the basic syllable signs for Ge'ez, Amharic, and Tigrinya, punctuation and numerals. Additionally, in Unicode 4.1, there is the supplement range from U+1380 to U+139F (decimal 4992–5023) containing syllables for Sebatbeit and tonal marks, and the extended range between U+2D80 and U+2DDF (decimal 11648–11743) containing syllable signs needed for writing Sebatbeit, Me'en and Blin.

  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
1200  
1210
1220
1230
1240    
1250      
1260
1270
1280    
1290
12A0
12B0      
12C0      
12D0  
12E0  
12F0
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
1300
1310    
1320
1330
1340  
1350  
1360
1370  
1380
1390  
2D80
2D90  
2DA0    
2DB0    
2DC0    
2DD0    
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F

See also

Literature

References

  1. ^ Rodolfo Fattovich, "Akkälä Guzay" in von Uhlig, Siegbert, ed. Encylopaedia Aethiopica: A-C. Weissbaden: Otto Harrassowitz KG, 2003, p.169.
  2. ^ Etienne Bernand, A.J. Drewes, and Roger Schneider, "Recueil des inscriptions de l'Ethiopie des périodes pré-axoumite et axoumite, tome I". Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. Paris: Boccard, 1991.
  3. ^ Grover Hudson, Aspects of the history of Ethiopic writing in "Bulletin of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies 25," pp. 1-12.
  4. ^ Stuart Munro-Hay. Aksum: A Civilization of Late Antiquity. Edinburgh: University Press. 1991. ISBN 0-7486-0106-6
  5. ^ Stuart Munro-Hay, {{PDFlinkAksum: An African Civilisation of Late Antiquity}}, p. 207 (pdf).
  6. ^ Yuri M. Kobishchanov. Axum (Joseph W. Michels, editor; Lorraine T. Kapitanoff, translator). University Park, Pennsylvania: Penn State University Press, 1979. ISBN 0-271-00531-9
  7. ^ Peter T. Daniels, William Bright, "The World's Writing Systems," Oxford University Press. Oxford: 1996.
  8. ^ Official Website of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church
  9. ^ Ethiopic Grammar p. 18-19.

External links


This article contains Ethiopic text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Ethiopic characters.
Ge'ez abugida
Type Abugida
Spoken languages Ethiopian Semitic languages (e.g. Ge'ez, Amharic, Tigrinya, Tigre, Harari, etc.), Blin, Me'en, formerly Oromo
Time period 5th-6th c. BC to the present (abjad until ca. 330 AD)
Parent systems
ISO 15924 Ethi
Note: This page may contain IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode.

Ge'ez (ግዕዝ Gəʿəz), also called Ethiopic, is an abugida script that was originally developed to write Ge'ez, a Semitic language. In communities that use it, such as the Amharic and Tigrinya, the script is called fidäl (ፊደል), which means "script" or "alphabet".

The Ge'ez script has been adapted to write other languages, mostly Semitic, such as Amharic in Ethiopia and Tigrinya in Eritrea and Ethiopia. It is also used for Sebatbeit, Me'en, and most other languages of Ethiopia. In Eritrea it is used for Tigre, and it has traditionally been used for Blin, a Cushitic language.Tigre, spoken in western and northen Eritrea and Eastern Sudan, is considered to be the most closely resemblant to Ge'ez than the rest of all other derivative languages. Some other languages in the Horn of Africa, such as Oromo, used to be written using Ge'ez but have migrated to Latin-based orthographies.

For the representation of sounds, this article uses a system that is common (though not universal) among linguists who work on Ethiopian Semitic languages. This differs somewhat from the conventions of the International Phonetic Alphabet. See the articles on the individual languages for information on the pronuncation.

Contents

History and origins

The earliest inscriptions of Ethio-Semitic in Ethiopia and Eritrea date to the 9th century BC in Epigraphic South Arabian (ESA), an alphabet shared with contemporary kingdoms in South Arabia. After the 7th and 6th centuries BC, however, variants of the script arose, evolving in the direction of the Ge'ez alphabet. This evolution can be seen most clearly in evidence from inscriptions (mainly graffiti on rocks and caves) in Tigray region in northern Ethiopia and the former province of Akkele Guzay in Eritrea.[1] By the first centuries AD, what is called "Old Ethiopic" or the "Old Ge'ez alphabet" arose, an abjad written left-to-right (as opposed to boustrophedon like ESA) with letters basically identical to the first-order forms of the modern vocalized alphabet (e.g. "k" in the form of "kä"). There were also minor differences such as the letter "g" facing to the right, instead of to the left as in vocalized Ge'ez, and a shorter left leg of "l," as in ESA, instead of equally-long legs in vocalized Ge'ez (resembling the Greek letter lambda, somewhat).[2] Vocalization of Ge'ez occurred in the fourth century, and though the first completely vocalized texts known are inscriptions by Ezana, vocalized letters predate him by some years, as an individual vocalized letter exists in a coin of his predecessor Wazeba.[3][4] Roger Schneider has also pointed out (in an early 1990s unpublished paper) anomalies in the known inscriptions of Ezana that imply that he was consciously employing an archaic style during his reign, indicating that vocalization could have occurred much earlier. As a result, some believe that the vocalization may have been adopted to preserve the pronunciation of Ge'ez texts due to the already moribund or extinct status of Ge'ez, and that, by that time, the common language of the people were already later Ethio-Semitic languages. At least one of Wazeba's coins from the late 3rd/early 4th century contain a vocalized letter, some 30 or so years before Ezana.[5]. Kobishchanov, Daniels, and others have suggested possible influence from the Brahmic family of alphabets in vocalization, as they are also abugidas (also known as "alphasyllabaries"), and Aksum was an important part of major trade routes involving India and the Greco-Roman world throughout the common era of antiquity.[6][7].

According to the beliefs of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the original (consonantal) form of the Ge'ez fidel was divinely revealed to Henos "as an instrument for codifying the laws", and the present system of vocalisation is attributed to a team of Aksumite scholars led by none other than Frumentius (Abba Selama), the same missionary said to have converted King Ezana to Christianity in the 4th century AD[8].

Ge'ez has 26 basic consonant signs. Compared to the inventory of 29 consonants in the South Arabian alphabet, continuants of ġ, and the interdental fricatives (ḏ, ṯ) are missing, as well as South Arabian s3 File:Himjar (Ge'ez Sawt ሠ being derived from South Arabian s2 File:Himjar). On the other hand, emphatic P̣ait ጰ, a Ge'ez innovation, is a modification of Ṣädai ጸ, while Pesa ፐ is based on Tawe ተ.

Thus, there are 24 correspondences of Ge'ez and the South Arabian alphabet:

translit. hlm ś (SA s2)rs (SA s1) btn
Ge'ez
South Arabian File:HimjarFile:HimjarFile:HimjarFile:Himjar File:HimjarFile:HimjarFile:HimjarFile:Himjar File:HimjarFile:HimjarFile:HimjarFile:Himjar

translit. ʾkwʿ z (SA )ydg f
Ge'ez
South Arabian File:HimjarFile:HimjarFile:HimjarFile:Himjar File:HimjarFile:HimjarFile:HimjarFile:Himjar File:HimjarFile:HimjarFile:HimjarFile:Himjar

Many of the letter names are cognate with those of Proto-Canaanite, and may thus be assumed for Proto-Sinaitic.

Signs for the Ge'ez language

Basic signs

There are 26 basic consonant signs:

h, l, ḥ, m, ś, r, s, ḳ, b, t, ḫ, n, ʾ, k, w, ʿ, z, y, d, g, ṭ, p̣, ṣ, ṣ́, f, p
translit. hlm śrs btn ʾ
Ge'ez
translit. kwʿ zydg ṣ́ fp
Ge'ez

Syllable signs

File:Ethiopic
Genesis 29.11–16 in Ge’ez

The Ge'ez script is an abugida: each symbol represents a consonant+vowel combination, and the symbols are organized in groups of similar symbols on the basis of both the consonant and the vowel.

Ge'ez is written from left to right across the page.

In Ge'ez, each consonant can be combined with seven vowels:

ä, u, i, a, e, ə, o

For each consonant in an abugida, there is a basic or unmarked symbol that represents that consonant followed by a default vowel, called the inherent vowel. For the Ge'ez script, the inherent vowel is /ä/, the first column in the table. For the other vowels, the basic consonant symbol is modified in consistent ways.

In the table below, the rows of the table show the consonants in the traditional order. The columns show the seven vowels, also in the traditional order. A consonant can be described, for example, as being in the fifth order, meaning that it is of the form that is fifth in this traditional order of vowels. For some letters, there is an eighth modification expressing a diphthong -wa or -oa, and a ninth expressing -yä.

To represent a consonant with no following vowel, for example at the end of a syllable or in a consonant cluster, the consonant+ə form is used (the symbol in the sixth column).

 ä
[ə]
uiaeə
[ɨ]
owa
[jə]
Hoy h  
Läwe l  
Ḥäwt  
May m
Śäwt ś  
Rəʾs r
Sat s  
Ḳaf  
Bet b  
Täwe t  
Ḫarm  
Nähas n  
ʾÄlf ʾ  
 ä
[ə]
uiaeə
[ɨ]
owa
[jə]
Kaf k  
Wäwe w  
ʿÄyn ʿ  
Zäy z  
Yämän y  
Dänt d  
Gäml g  
Ṭäyt  
P̣äyt  
Ṣädäy  
Ṣ́äppä ṣ́  
Äf f
Psa p  

Labiovelar letter variants

The symbols for the labialized velar consonants are variants of the non-labialized velar consonants:

Basic sign k g
Labialized variant w wkw gw

Unlike the other consonants, these labiovelar ones can only be combined with 5 different vowels:

 äiaeə
w
w
 äiaeə
kw
gw

Modifications for other languages

Additional letters

Some letters have variants for use in languages other than Ge'ez.

Basic sign bt d
Affricated variant v [v]č [ʧ] ǧ [ʤ]č̣ [ʧʼ]
Basic sign k
Affricated variant h [q]x [x]
Labialized variant hw [qʷ]xw [xʷ]
Basic sign snz
Palatalized variant š [ʃ]ñ [ɲ]ž [ʒ]
Basic sign gw
Nasal variant [ŋ] [ŋʷ]

The syllable symbols are shown below. Like the other labiovelars, these labiovelars can only be combined with 5 vowels.

 äuiaeəowa
š
h  
hw    
v
č
[ŋʷ]     
 äuiaeəowa
ñ
x  
xw    
ž
ǧ
[ŋ]
č̣

Symbols used in modern languages

Amharic uses all the basic consonants, plus the ones indicated below. Some of the Ge'ez labiovelar letter variants are also used.

Tigrinya has all the basic consonants, the Ge'ez labiovelar letter variants except for w (ኈ) plus the ones indicated below. A few of the basic consonants are falling into disuse in Eritrea. See Tigrinya language#Writing system for details.

Tigre uses the basic consonants except for ś (ሠ), (ኀ) and (ፀ). It also uses the ones indicated below. It does not use the Ge'ez labiovelar letter variants.

Blin uses the basic consonants except for ś (ሠ), (ኀ) and (ፀ). It also uses the ones indicated below and the Ge'ez labiovelar letter variants.

  šhhw vč[ŋʷ] ñ xxwž ǧ[ŋ]č̣
 
Amharic       
Tigrinya    
Tigre              
Blin    

Note: "v" is used for words of foreign origin except for in some Gurage languages (e.g. cravat, 'tie' from French), and "x" is pronounced "h" in Amharic.

List order

For Ge'ez, Amharic, Tigrinya and Tigre, the usual list order is called Halehame. For the basic signs it is as given elsewhere on this page. Where the labiovelar variants are used, these come immediately after the basic signs, followed by other variants. In Tigrinya, for example, the signs based on ከ come in this order: ከ, ኰ, ኸ, ዀ. In Blin, the order of the signs is slightly different.

The signs' order is similar to that found in some other South Semitic scripts, and curiously, in the ancient Ugaritic alphabet (which also attests the northern Semitic '-b-g-d order). Dillman notes[9] that, excepting newer forms, the signs in the first half of one order are all those found in the second half of the other order (though not in the same sequence); he suggests this would indicate a time when Semitic letters were divided into two rows, and the alphabet might commence with either row.

African diaspora usage

Ge'ez is a sacred script in the Rastafarian religion. Roots reggae musicians have used it in album art.

The film 500 Years Later (፭፻-ዓመታት በኋላ) was the first mainstream Western documentary to use Ge'ez characters, which were used in the title. The script also appears in the trailer and promotional material of the film.

Numerals

Numeral systems by culture
Hindu-Arabic numerals
Western Arabic
Eastern Arabic
Indian family
Khmer
Mongolian
Thai
East Asian numerals
Chinese
Counting rods
Japanese
Korean
Suzhou
Alphabetic numerals
Abjad
Armenian
Āryabhaṭa
Cyrillic
Ge'ez
Greek (Ionian)
Hebrew
Other systems
Attic
Babylonian
Brahmi
Egyptian
Etruscan
Inuit
Mayan
Roman
Urnfield
List of numeral system topics
Positional systems by base
Decimal (10)
2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64
1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 20, 24, 30, 36, 60, more…

Ge'ez uses a systems of ones and tens comparable to the Hebrew, Arabic Abjad and Greek numerals, but unlike these systems, rather than giving numeric values to letters, it has separate numeral symbols that are derived from the Coptic letter-numbers:

 123456789
× 1
× 10
× 100  
× 10.000

Unicode

Ethiopic has been assigned Unicode 3.0 codepoints between U+1200 and U+137F (decimal 4608–4991), containing the basic syllable signs for Ge'ez, Amharic, and Tigrinya, punctuation and numerals. Additionally, in Unicode 4.1, there is the supplement range from U+1380 to U+139F (decimal 4992–5023) containing syllables for Sebatbeit and tonal marks, and the extended range between U+2D80 and U+2DDF (decimal 11648–11743) containing syllable signs needed for writing Sebatbeit, Me'en and Blin.

 0123456789ABCDEF
1200  
1210
1220
1230
1240   
1250    
1260
1270
1280   
1290
12A0
12B0    
12C0    
12D0  
12E0  
12F0
 0123456789ABCDEF
 0123456789ABCDEF
1300
1310   
1320
1330
1340  
1350  
1360
1370  
1380
1390  
2D80
2D90  
2DA0   
2DB0   
2DC0   
2DD0   
 0123456789ABCDEF

See also

Literature

References

  1. Rodolfo Fattovich, "Akkälä Guzay" in von Uhlig, Siegbert, ed. Encylopaedia Aethiopica: A-C. Weissbaden: Otto Harrassowitz KG, 2003, p.169.
  2. Etienne Bernand, A.J. Drewes, and Roger Schneider, "Recueil des inscriptions de l'Ethiopie des périodes pré-axoumite et axoumite, tome I". Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. Paris: Boccard, 1991.
  3. Grover Hudson, Aspects of the history of Ethiopic writing in "Bulletin of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies 25," pp. 1-12.
  4. Stuart Munro-Hay. Aksum: A Civilization of Late Antiquity. Edinburgh: University Press. 1991. ISBN 0-7486-0106-6
  5. Stuart Munro-Hay, {{PDFlinkAksum: An African Civilisation of Late Antiquity}}, p. 207 (pdf).
  6. Yuri M. Kobishchanov. Axum (Joseph W. Michels, editor; Lorraine T. Kapitanoff, translator). University Park, Pennsylvania: Penn State University Press, 1979. ISBN 0-271-00531-9
  7. Peter T. Daniels, William Bright, "The World's Writing Systems," Oxford University Press. Oxford: 1996.
  8. Official Website of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church
  9. Ethiopic Grammar p. 18-19.

External links








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