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Wadi el-Hôl Inscription 2 and The Early Semitic Alphabetic Graph *ǵ, *ǵull-, “yoke”

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In the second of two early alphabetic inscriptions from the Wadi el-Hôl in Egypt, an unidentified graph appears twice. I hypothesize that the acrophone for the graph is the double ox-yoke with neck thongs on each end, which was called a *ǵullu, “yoke” in Proto-Northwest Semitic. According to this hypothesis, *ǵullu is the acrophone for the Proto-Semitic phoneme */ǵ/. On this basis, I offer a tentative decipherment of the inscription.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2013

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  • Edited by: Gary N. Knoppers (University Park PA), Oded Lipschits (Tel Aviv), Carol A. Newsom (Atlanta GA) and Konrad Schmid (Zürich)

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    Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel is a new, peer-reviewed, quarterly journal focusing primarily on the biblical texts in their ancient historical contexts, but also on the history of Israel in its own right.

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