is a variety of the Ancient North Arabian
script and the language most commonly expressed in it. The Hismaic script may have been used to write Safaitic
dialects of Old Arabic
, but the language of most inscriptions differs from Safaitic in a few important respects, meriting its classification as a separate dialect or language. Hismaic inscriptions are attested in the Ḥismā region of Northwest Arabia
, dating to the centuries around and immediately following the start of the Common Era
Location of the Ḥismā region (shaded red) in Northwest Arabia.
There are clear instances of d
being used for /ḏ/ in the variant spellings of the divine name Ḏū l-S2arā
– as against classical ḏs2r
The spelling ʿbdmk
suggests an interchange of n
(with unvocalised n
assimilated to the following k
), similar to that found in Nabataean where the name of the kings named Malichos
occurs as both mlkw
and the compound as both ʿbdmlkw
Perhaps the most salient distinction between Safaitic and Hismaic is the attestation of the definite articles h
-, and ʾl
- in the former. A prefixed definite article is not attested in Hismaic. Nevertheless, Hismaic seems to attest a suffixed -ʾ
on nouns and hn
in personal names. The use of the morpheme h
- as a demonstrative is attested.
- ^ Al-Jallad, A. (2015). An Outline of the Grammar of the Safaitic Inscriptions. Brill.
Last edited on 7 September 2019, at 14:17
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