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Final Project - Sam Asaki Writing Systems of the World...

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Sam Asaki Writing Systems of the World Professor Vance – Sect 27 Final Project 5-11-07 Persian Writing System The Persian writing system is currently used for writing the modern Persian language Farsi, the predominant language spoken in Iran. The Persian language has its own Non- Semitic roots, along with its own writing system. However, with the spread of Islam came the spread of the Arabic writing system which has its roots as a Proto-Sinaitic script. Old Persian and Avestan are the oldest Iranian languages. Old Persian was spoken by people that settled in a place known to the Greeks as Persis. Old Persian texts that still exist today are from around 600's to 400's B.C.E. and are written in cuneiform. It is possible that this cuneiform script, which was the first cuneiform to be deciphered, was developed under Darius, the Persian Emperor from around 522 to 486 B.C.E. This Old Persian evolved into Middle Persian, known as Pahlavi, and eventually into Modern Persian, or Farsi(7). The Arabic writing system was adopted for use for writing Persian after the Islamic Conquest, which ended the Sassanid empire in 642 C.E. Before Persian was written in Arabic script it was written in Avesta and Pahlavi Scripts. (1) Pahlavi script was derived from Aramaic and the Avestan alphabet was derived from the Pahlavi script. Pahlavi script was written from right to left, taking after the Aramaic system. Despite Persian
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changing to the Arabic system after the Islamic Conquest, the Pahlavi system continued to be used for another 300 years. The Avestan alphabet was fairly thorough with many different graphemes for the various vowels and different forms of consonants. It was
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