Obviously genuine vowel-words played a mayor role in the definition of religious symbolism. Now it might be interesting to investigate the number of genuine vowel-words, which may becreated by permutating these vowels. How many words may be created by permutating three, four,five or seven vowels? Even the trivial case of one singular vowel seems to be problematic. First of all we must define the number of vowels in the alphabet, which implies solving the followingquestions:
are we supposed to consider the U or V or even the double U (W) as a vowel?
Are we going to consider J and Y as vowels?
Is Æ to be considered as a vowel combination of A & E or a separate vowel?These requirements will invite us to define the set of vowels before we start investigations.
Words with even numbers of Vowels
As a remarkable fact we may observe that systems seem to prefer uneven numbers of vowels (1, 3,5, 7). Even numbers may have developed by erosion, in which for example a Provencal ego- pronoun “
” might loose a vowel u and deteriorate to “
”.The basic fear of even numbers may have lead to concepts with uneven numbers of vowels.In the late-8th century BCE a Romansuperstitionhas been reported that held even numbersto be unlucky. One of the traditional Kings of Rome, Numa Pompilius, decided to reform thecalendar to make as few months as possible have even numbers of days. His first reformadded two months, January and February, to the end of the calendar, and made all themonths, save February, have odd numbers of days. This made the calendar roughly alternatein the number of days in a month: 31, 29, 31, 29, 31, 29, 29, 31, 29, 29, 29, 28
.This might have lead to the idea to name the gods with an uneven number of vowels.Still it must have been easy to define a “lucky” name IU for the Roman God Jupiter with an(unlucky) even number of two vowels I and U. IU-piter however has been reported to have beenstarted with a three vowel core IOU
and cannot be considered as a two vowel word. But how couldRomans, who were so superstitious in fearing dual names for their gods choose to abbreviate IOUto IU?But even then we will have to face the fact that there is a considerable difference between IU-piter and IOU-piter. As in
the core's vowels had to be pronounced as long vowels:
. The Roman priests must have lost the symbolism of these long vowels at an earlystage by simply skipping the long vowel
.In contrast the dialects in remote Italian valleys still honor the long vowel
in their ego-pronounsand use
of Villar-St-Pancrace still uses the ego-pronoun
më, respectively m'
, including the accent at the (long) vowel
The dialect of
the ego- pronoun
, which proves the population did not not forget the symbol “o”.