There was a further complication in that each one of these characters had at least two different phonetic values; and there were other intricacies of usage which, had they been foreknown by inquirers in the middle of the 19th century, might well have made the problem of decipherment seem an utterly hopeless one.
This difference is marked in the phonetic differentiation of the dental and the alveolar t by writing them respectively t and t.
Certain classes of names being explained in this way, legitimate and fairly reliable conclusions can be drawn for many others belonging to the same class or group. The proper names of the numerous business documents of the Khammurabi period, when phonetic writing was the fashion, have been of special value in resolving doubts as to the correct reading of names written ideographically.
The analogy of this to the manner in which the Egyptian hieroglyphs passed into phonetic signs is remarkable, and writing might have been invented anew in Mexico had it not been for the Spanish conquest.
The name existed long before the traditional date of Jacob, and the Egyptian phonetic equivalent of Jacob-el (cf.Isra-el, Ishma-el) appears to be the name of a district of central Palestine (or possibly east of Jordon) about i 50o B.C. But the stories in their present form are very much later.
Conder (based largely on Cypriote comparisons and phonetic values transferred from these) and C. J.
The initial mutations, then, are as follows: The initial mutation of any word depends upon its position in the sentence, and is determined by a grammatical rule which can ordinarily be traced to a generalization of the original phonetic conditions.
Save for the consequences of these phonetic changes, Umbrian morphology and syntax exhibit no divergence from Oscan that need be mentioned here, save perhaps two peculiar perfect-formations with -1- and -nci-; as in ampelust, fut.
In the case of texts from the oldest historical periods we encounter hundreds of names that are genuinely Sumerian, and here in view of the multiplicity of the phonetic values attaching to the signs used it is frequently difficult definitely to determine the reading of the names.
Unfortunately, the extant remains of Brythonic are scanty; but in the Roman period it borrowed a large number of Latin words, which, as we know their original forms, and as they underwent the same modifications as other words in the language, enable us to trace the phonetic changes by which Brythonic became Welsh.