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Author Topic: The letters Daw (Tav) and delta  (Read 2225 times)

03 June , 2006, 04:22:09 am
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The letters Daw (Tav) and delta
« on: 03 June , 2006, 04:22:09 am »
Why did the old Copts used the letter Daw to represent both T or D
while they have the letter Delta that was pronounced as D
I mean why didn't they make Daw for T and Delta for D ?

03 June , 2006, 04:23:37 am
Reply #1

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Re: The letters Daw (Tav) and delta
« Reply #1 on: 03 June , 2006, 04:23:37 am »
At one point, early on, Taw/Daw was pronounced /t/ and Delta was pronounced as /d/. In a nutshell, due to a bunch of sound shifts that occurred in the language, Taw (which is classified as a “voiceless stopف) started being voiced. A voiced /t/ is actually a /d/ - that’s the only difference between the two sounds. The letter “thetaف came to ‘replace’ Taw as far as pronunciation was concerned; theta was at one time /t/ said with a puff of air with it (like the ‘t’ in English “teaف). The accompanying puff of air (called aspiration) was dropped and the letter was pronounced as /t/ about the same time as Taw became pronounced as /d/. Delta already existed in the alphabet and was simply kept (it’s used mainly in Greek loans anyway). English has “duplicateف sounds for letters as well – when you think about it, we really don’t need the letter ‘c’; it can be replaced with ‘k’ or ‘s’, but for historical reasons, it’s kept. Same with delta in Coptic.

this answer by Szelog, Mike and it was originally posted in http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RemEnKimi/message/5940