I read somewhere that the Hebrew writing system evolved from Egyptian pictographs. If that's the case, have anyone read about records that trace exact evolution from a pictograph to a Hebrew letter, or is this something very hard to research because of the lack of historical data?

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    You probably want to look at Daniels and Bright, The World's Writing Systems.
    – jlawler
    Feb 8, 2012 at 22:13
  • Even though I'd love to follow this question, orthographies aren't appropriate for the Linguistics SE (see faq).
    – mollyocr
    Feb 8, 2012 at 22:52
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    It's discussing the evolution of writing systems, which seems to be of relevant interest to me. There are many potentially interesting linguistic aspects to this question, which a good answer will elucidate.
    – user325
    Feb 9, 2012 at 2:02
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    Exactly where does the faq say that orthographies aren't appropriate? Feb 9, 2012 at 2:23
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    In fact whether writing systems are on-topic here was specifically discussed back in September under Would questions about writing systems be off-topic? and the decision was overwhelmingly that they are on-topic. If the FAQ doesn't say so either it must be amended or the question must be revisited. Feb 11, 2012 at 14:47

1 Answer 1


Wikipedia has a chart showing the Hebrew (and other) alphabets and the theorized relation to Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Evidently the Proto-sinaitic script is conjectured to be intermediate between the hieroglyphs and later true alphabets, basing most of its letterforms off of equivalent hieroglyphs according to acrophony. But it's not clear to me that this link between the hieroglyphs and the Proto-sinaitic script is well-established.


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