This unfinished essay was sent to me by a reader in December. A more final version did not follow yet. Perhaps the author or someone else may finish it later, but even in its current state it may be of interest or inspiration to some.
SPEECH AND SYMBOLS
Let me start off by saying that I am in no way a specialist on the subject, nor am I a linguist in any way. I can make a mean linguini though, as I'm just a cook with a special interest on the subject and currently lots of time on his hands. Having said that, I would like to talk about and explain something I noticed while watching Jan's video Saved from the Flood ~ Oera Linda Studies. In this excellent video he delves into a wide variety of subjects concerning the book, but what made my neurons truly fire was when he covers the alphabet as shown in the Jol. As you probably know, the letters are all pictured in a wheel, with some of them very similar to another, while others being completely singular. Ones that are very similar to each other for example being the I and J, the B, P and D, with the D also very close to G. Almost all of them instantly recognisable to us.
As I was watching, subconsciously mimicking the corresponding phonetics to each letter moving up the list, the video passed through N, NG, and M. Once again, mouth and tongue did the works and silently uttered them, as I am you sure you are doing right now. I noticed then how, when you shift from making an N to an NG, your tongue moves from the front of your mouth to the upper back. Looking at the Jol symbol for NG, it's exactly the same as the N, with an added rooftop on the upper-left. If you were to look at a mouth from a sideways perspective, I figured, this might have a direct connection with how it's written in the Jol. I contacted Jan Ott in the comment section of the video, and asked him if anyone had made the potential link before and if not, would it be something worth researching. He responded very quickly and said this was the first time anyone did, and asked if I perhaps “would like to eleborate some more on this topic “. Hence, the reason for this article. Should you happen to read this, that means the kind man has offered a public podium for my inane ramblings. That said, I will stress one more time that I am a mere enthusiast, and not at all qualified to make any of the previous nor impending statements.
Trying to cover everything as simple and accesible as possible, I've structured the article in two parts:
- closer examination of possible connection between symbols/letters of the Jol and their corresponding pronunciation, as well as how they group together
- advantages and further potential effects of such a system
Examining the connection between the pronunciation of letters and how they appear in the Jol
Here I will briefly examine each letter as taught to the Frysians of old in the Jol, seen pictured below, some of which I already touched upon earlier. I will follow the same order as the picture, as I believe they are put in that way for a reason. Why this is should quickly become evident to you (if it hasn't already) as we go through the list, but I will discuss it later as well.
Certain assumptions have been made, as to the pronunciation of letters as they were spoken at the time. I am a Dutch native and can, to some degree of certainty, guess how the letters were spoken. Especially when taking into consideration how astonishingly similar our current alphabet is to 'theirs', I think we can safely assume most of the pronunciation of individual letters would to an extent be the same as current Frysian, Dutch, Scandinavian, etc.
|letters on page |
Looking at the picture, the first thing noticeable is the dividing of vowels in top two rows, and consonants in the bottom two. Already they are grouped in an almost identical manner as that we do- almost, as there are two exceptions: the J and H.
As for their relation between how they appear in the Jol and how they are pronounced, there isn't a whole lot to say. When pronouncing any form of A as per the examples above, you make a small triangle with your tongue inside your mouth. Like I said earlier, I believe the symbols depicted in the Jol are meant to be viewed as if they were the side of your mouth. Viewed from the right cheek, to be exact.
That also means we can now take a guess as to which of the As is the one in Champagne, as it would be the one most closely to the H. When pronouncing the H, it's almost as if you say a little A at the end. Meaning Á would be the best fit.
How they appear in the Jol is also easier to explain, compared to some others. Getting the simple O out the way, it's basically pronounced with the lips forming a circling and the tongue flat on the base of the mouth. Hence the circle, and possibly the origin of the symbol.
The Ô is quite the same as the O, in that again the lips are round when saying. But this time, the tongue comes more into play, and is in a more upward position. I believe this is the reason for the triangle below in the middle of the circle.
Comprising of U, Ú and Ü, this group has been squeezed into one over time. Explaining the pronunciation of these words in English is a bit tricky, so I'm throwing in some Dutch words.
Going off of my theory, the first one, U, has to have been pronounced like in the Dutch word kruk. It sounds a bit as like in hug, but you English just say it a little different. Moving on to Ú, this is once again something not often spoken in the English vocabulary. I suspect it would have been pronounced as like in the Dutch word duur, with only close English alternatives being new, or few.
Ü is a letter still much used in Germany, here in The Netherlands it has been replaced with -oe. An example I could give for Ü is the Dutch word stoer, where you can see the oe having replaced the Ü over time.
Going off of how it's symbolized in the Jol above, I was able to determine which of the three had which sound attached. Because of my heritage I knew beforehand which U-tones they had to be comprised of, just not how they would be pictured. The Ü was easy, as I recognized it from German, leaving the other two. The U would have been as I described above, because this one has the tongue at the base. Same process for Ú, when pronounced as in duur, the tongue is raised to about the center of the mouth. This would explain the dot in the middle. Finally, the Ü is pictured with a line from the center to the bottom, which is a first, the line also appears to be thinner drawn. At this moment I can only presume it would have to do something with the position of the tongue. The pronunciation, in any case, also has the tongue sitting in the center, though slightly more to the back compared to Ú. You perk your lips a little more as well.
With both pronunciations having been tested, we can look at the symbols above. They are basically the same, with differences being the one on the right has an extra line closing the left side and the two lines leading to the center are drawn thinner (as seen earlier in Ü). As said before, I believe the image should be seen as if it where a mouth shown from the right side. This means the first one has more emphasis on forward moving, like the E in deer. Making the second one the egg.
This aligns with what their current symbols are: E and Ê.
How this all relates to how it's pictured isn't very clear to me yet, as they're both simple lines, one having a dot.