The syllables overlap, and the hearing is confused.
- Groups of letters, words, syllables and lines are often omitted without any contributory cause.
How they conveyed their meaning, how far they pictorially represented ideas or spelt words in the different languages of the country, is a question not yet answered in a complete way; Landa's description (p. 320) gives a table of a number of their elements as phonetically representing letters or syllables, but, though there may be a partial truth in his rules, they are insufficient or too erroneous to serve for any general decipherment.
There is evidence that the amount of stress on syllables, and the consequent length of vowels, varied greatly in spoken Coptic, and that the variation gave much trouble to the scribes; the early Christian writers must have taken as a model for each dialect the deliberate speech of grave elders or preachers, and so secured a uniform system of accentuation.
Latham suggested that it was taken from the syllables quedil, of the Lat.