Languages > Language-specific analysis

Persian alphabet kaf and Arabic alphabet kaf

(1/2) > >>

Why is different between Persian kaf(ک) and Arabic kaf(ك)?

Persian kaf

Arabic kaf

Arabic kaf and Persian kaf probounce /k/
But isolated letter ‘kaf’ is different
Why is isolated letter ‘kaf’ different in Persian scripts and Arabic scripts?

Is it?
Different examples given there use both variants.

The simplest answer is that this is just different, like a different choice of fonts. Compare American "z" and European "ƶ" in handwriting (or 7 vs. 7̵also).

While most extra marks in the Arabic script serve some purpose (for example, distinguishing B vs. T, etc.) that particular mark on K doesn't really have any purpose, so why not remove it?

Asking "why" in Linguistics does not usually lead to informative answers. "Because it happened" is the only real answer. Just different traditions.

The only guess I would have here is that maybe to avoid confusion (or increase parallelism) with the additional letter گ ( the extra shape on K was removed.

I think the answer is that al-kāf al-mashkūlah (ک) is historically more original and ك is derived. ك involves a more significant contextual change whereas ک is largely invariant. ک also more closely resembles earlier Semitic letters. I suggest looking for old documents in the various languages. Notice that ل (l) and ك are very similar, so the development of that thing (I don't know what it is called) probably helps distinguish k and l.

That makes a lot of sense. But do you know if the timeline of adopting the Arabic script in Persia matches up with the changes in kāf in Arabic?

That's above my pay grade or, as they say, it's an empirical question. One would have to study ancient manuscripts.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version