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date: 27 September 2022

Arabic script 

The Oxford Companion to the Book

Having its origin in Nabataean (an offshoot of Aramaic), Arabic script began as a very imperfect means of communication. In its original form the Arabic alphabet consisted of only seventeen basic letter shapes (graphemes), which included a number of similar-looking forms (homographs) but no vowels. In order to distinguish the various homographs, a system of diacritical marks was gradually introduced. Vocalization and some orthographic signs in early Qur’ānic MSS were indicated by means of multi-coloured dots, while the current vocalization system was probably introduced only towards the end of the 9... ...

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