Geoffrey Khan

Published On


Page Range

pp. 263–276


  • English

Print Length

14 pages

12. Script and Layout

Chapter of: Arabic Documents from Medieval Nubia(pp. 263–276)
The documents in the corpus exhibit a number of variations in the form of their script and the layout of the script on the writing support. Diacritical dots on the consonants are written only sporadically. There are numerous unconventional ligatures between letters within words and sometimes across words. The documents show some differences with regard to the orientation of the writing lines. In many of the letters, especially those to the eparch, the spacing between the lines is generous, which ensures that the descenders and ascenders of letters do not clash. The letters written to the eparch and his deputy with wide line spacing tend to be written with a finer pen than those with narrower line spacing.


Geoffrey Khan

Regius Professor of Hebrew at University of Cambridge

Geoffrey Khan (PhD, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, 1984) is Regius Professor of Hebrew at the University of Cambridge. His research publications focus on three main fields: Biblical Hebrew language (especially medieval traditions), Neo-Aramaic dialectology, and medieval Arabic documents. He is the general editor of The Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics (Brill, 2013) and is the senior editor of Journal of Semitic Studies. His recent publications include The Tiberian Pronunciation Tradition of Biblical Hebrew, Cambridge: University of Cambridge & Open Book Publishers, 2020, Performance of Sacred Semitic Texts (editor, with co-editor Hindy Najman), Dead Sea Discoveries 29, Brill. 2022, and Language Contact in Sanandaj (co-authored with Masoud Mohammadirad), Berlin, de Gruyter, 2024.