VERALL LINGUISTIC CHARACTER
Like the larger astrological text
O libro de ma‹ gika
in chapter 5 (and mostnon-liturgical Judeo-Romance writing), diacritic vocalization is used in only ahandful of words. The use of the four
isgenerally more robust than in
O libro de ma‹gika
(chapter 5), and with rareexception only /a/ is left implicit and unspelled, most often in Arabicloanwords (cf. chapter 3 § 2.4.2). The double-duty of
,representing both plosives as well as the corresponding spirants
isindicated less than consistently by a diacritic apostrophe (as opposed to
does offer the most wide-ranging adaptation of Hebrewscript for writing Portuguese, in terms of both orthographic variation andoverall linguistic structure. While most of these features are discussed inspecific detail in the commentaries on individual items in § 5, one aspect of itsadaptation of Hebrew script is worth highlighting in advance.
As noted in the previous chapter (§ 2.3.2), the spelling of sibilants in Judeo-Portuguese, as in the Roman-letter orthography of the time, is quitevariable. Further adding to this variation,
is the only text in the Judeo-Portuguese corpus to make any significant use
words. Itoccurs most often in final position, where the rest of the corpus would have
(usually corresponding to <z> in the modern orthography):
Along with a number of items in this text,
is used in the spelling of several Arabic andGreco-Latin loanwords in
O libro de ma‹ gika.
Given their technical nature, however, it not clearto what extent they would have been part of the colloquial language, so that the question of adistinct pronunciation as indicated by this letter may not be pertinent.