Well, Paleo-Semitic, anyway. That's basically my interpretation of the Phoenician alphabet, Hebrew version.
That third one, for instance -- Hebrew bases its gimmel on a picture of a camel, but the Phoenician gimel was probably based on a throwing stick. If I'd found a boomerang emoji, I would have used that. And nun had been based on a snake in Proto-Canaanite, but was redone as a fish. And some of those were a bit further out; I couldn't find a "window" emoji, and went for a cinema, instead. Barber pole instead of support column, syringe instead of needle. Other things like that.
So, at the levels of approximation and abstraction I'm doing, I can't really say that I'm doing the Hebrew alphabet in particular. It's just me picking up emoji that match up a bit to the original emoji that led to ninety percent of all other alphabets that ever existed.
I like that "barber" is a completely arbitrary (though venerable) symbol having no direct connection to scissors, razors, or hair.
There's something to say here about the way the Latin alphabet is becoming part of the Chinese writing system, as well.
It took me a moment to get it, but I love it!
Are you familiar with Language Log
? I think you'd enjoy and appreciate it.
I'd like to send them a link to this post, and your previous one as well. May l? Edited at 2016-12-08 12:04 am (UTC)
I...don't get it. Will there be a decoder available, for clueless ones?
א aleph (→ Greek alpha → Latin A) : 'bull'
ב beth (→ beta → Latin B): 'house'
ג gimel (→ gamma → Latin C): 'camel'
... and so on
Let me answer a bit more fully.
To start with, the clickbait headlines about emojis replacing written language are silly. Because, historically, we HAD pictograms, and we stopped using them.
And this is how we did it.
Something like ninety percent of the alphabets in the world derive from the Phoenicians. The Phoenicians, a group of Bronze-age naval traders in the Mediterranean region, had a number of realizations. They were familiar with the way in which the Egyptians and the Babylonians used written symbols to denote concepts like "500 sheaves of grain," and even how they would use some of these pictograms to denote sounds. But they refined the process.
They took their sounds and chose a word that started with each sound. And then they figured out a way to draw a picture of it, and then to simplify the picture so much that it was easy to draw. And then they were able to use these simplified pictures to sound out and write down words. Phonetically. Sadly, there's no connection between the word "Phonics" and "Phoenician", because there should be.
The sounds they chose, and their stylized pictures, were taken by other cultures around the area, and used for their languages. Sometimes they swapped out sounds, if they needed a slightly different set; sometimes they swapped out a picture, if the word in their language didn't fit. But you can see the roots even our own ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ in that first pile of symbols.
So what were those symbols? They were an ox, then a house, then either a boomerang or some people swapped it out early for a camel, then a door, a window -- but there aren't any emojis of windows, weirdly, and at least some of the interpretations of "cinema" kind of look like windows... and so forth.
I chose emojis that in some sense, either exactly right, or at least in the general neighborhood, are variations of the same things that became our alphabet. Because emojis become words. Words don't become emojis.
I could argue that, in this version, my name is ✊🐮🐟. That's what I chose to represent a hand, an ox, and a fish -- a yad, an 'alef, and a na'an -- which developed over the centuries into an "i", an "a", and an "n".