The order of the letters of the alphabet
Unfortunately there was not yet discovered an alphabetic sequence which
could show us the original order of the LB alphabet. Several publications
present different ways of ordering:
according to phonetic groups: BMF/TDNLR/
without a discernable system: BGDUZTIK
We prefer an order derived from the Old Phoenician alphabet which predominantly
is determined by the factor phonetic value: starting with
plosives and fricatives. Signs for phonemes not included in the Phoenician
alphabet (additional sibilants) are positioned at the end of the alphabet.
The phonetic value of the letters
The phonetic value of most of the signs is well attested by their equivalents
in the Punic lines of the bilingues of Dougga. However, there are some
1. semi-consonants (semi-vowels)
H/, : different transliterations for a grapheme which was used to represent
vowels in final position.
W/U, Y/I: different transliterations emphasising either the more consonantal
or the more vowel-like character of the denominated phonemes.
There is agreement about the existence of seven different graphemes
for seven phonemes, but there are slight differences in the exact transliteration.
Therefore, we prefer the neutral transliteration as S1, S2
There is no agreement if this grapheme represents the phoneme /p/ or
/f/. Some indications from bilingues let us tend to favour /f/.
This additional sign for the phoneme /t/ never appeared outside the
corpus of Dougga.