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On the phonetic unpredictability denoted by some Old Turkic texts written in Syriac script. Or the encoding ambiguity intrinsic to the Aramaic writing

Delio Vania Proverbio

Pages 115 - 151


Starting from a close examination of an Old Turkic manuscript from the Tangut city of Xaraxoto (Inner Mongolia) written in Syriac script—an offshoot of the Aramaic alphabet, which exhibits a peculiarly low complexity in its graphemic set—the present contribution consists of an empirical description of a number of graphotactic “regularities” which occur in the aforementioned text.

The original goal of this article was simply to provide a rigorous, formal account—a static, model-theoretic description—of what a number of assumptions imply in terms of graphotactic constraints. However, by manipulating our primary linguistic source as a finite linear string of symbols, we finally reached the conclusion that such a task is only achievable to a very limited extent. This is due to the intrinsic phonetic unpredictability that derives from the encoding ambiguity of the Aramaic writing.


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