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Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 07/2015
  • 9781460262306
  • 40 pages
  • $19.99
Hardcover Book Details
  • 07/2015
  • 9781460262290
  • 40 pages
  • $29.99
Open Ebook Ebook Details
  • 07/2015
  • 9781460262313
  • pages
  • $3.99
Alphabet or Abracadabra? Reverse Engineering the Western Alphabet
Wim Borsboom, author
The book deals with the ground-breaking discovery that the western alphabet (abecedary) was modelled after an ancient Indian alphabet (abugida). It traces when (more than 3400 years ago), how (by copying) and by whom (a language student) the West's alphabet sequence was formed. The writer demonstrates how he was able to date when the copy process took place by identifying unmistakable signs that a number of unfortunate but 'history-making' errors had slipped by - errors made by a budding student-linguist from the Near-East, which caused the seemingly haphazard order of the West's alphabet letters.
Reviews
Prof. Dr. S. Kak (Oklahoma State University)

Fascinating Research. A brilliant Jewel – one of the few works on linguistics worth mentioning post Rosetta Stone.

Wim Borsboom has hit upon a brilliant idea related to the origins of the western alphabet. He shows how in its earliest and original form the western alphabet sequence of characters (abecedary) was modelled after an ancient scientifically organized Sanskrit alphabet (abugida).The Sanskrit alphabet from its very early beginnings used a column and row format, and in his research he shows how that format was initially adopted by Near-Eastern (probably from the Levant) "budding linguists" (as the writer puts it).Using as evidence a ca. 3400 year old cuneiform clay tablet from what is now Syria, he demonstrates how the original Indian tabular format became read row-by-row rather than column-by-column, which mistaken order eventually resulted in its now so familiar linear alphabetic sequence.Using clear and helpful color coding, he demonstrates how that western linear sequence (clearly shown right on the front cover of the book) still shows its early origins - what looks like a haphazard sequence of letters still shows its ancient linguistic scientific roots.This research is of importance not only to the student of alphabets and languages, but also to the historian and the layperson interested in understanding cultural interactions in the ancient world and how those interactions still reverberate in the modern world. Although, at first sight "Alphabet or Abracadabra?" seems not an easy read, but when one first reads the front outside and inside cover pages, and then its outside and inside back pages, and when one then proceeds page by page from the introduction to the end without skipping (except for the notes at the end of each chapter) then story of this discovery slowly unfolds and its impact eventually registers strongly.Another way to enjoy this book is to first peruse the many illustrations but... leave the tables and charts for later serious reading.At the end of the Indian print version of the book is a delightful little story in which the writer reminisces about when (first grade,1960) and how (pandemonium) his research began with a puzzling question to the teacher,        "Miss, why are those letters in that order?" to which she answered,        "Well, they are alphabetic of course!"Little did she (yes, the proverbial matron) know that when she called for "Order!" (see front cover blackboard) that one of the more precocious kids would find that order and write about it! ."

Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 07/2015
  • 9781460262306
  • 40 pages
  • $19.99
Hardcover Book Details
  • 07/2015
  • 9781460262290
  • 40 pages
  • $29.99
Open Ebook Ebook Details
  • 07/2015
  • 9781460262313
  • pages
  • $3.99

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