I seem to be slow to figure this site out, but I found some untranslated text, and, as I know a spot of French and a bit of linguistics, here's what I did (French or mixed French and English above, my rendition below). Someone should put it in the site, or improve it and then, &c.
Écriture de la hamza Initialement, la lettre ?alif notait une occlusive glottale, ou « coup de glotte », transcrite par [?], ce que confirment les alphabets issus de la même origine phénicienne. Or, il a servi, de la même manière que dans d'autres abjads, avec y?? etw?w, de mater lectionis, c'est-à-dire de caractère de remplacement pour noter une voyelle longue (voir plus bas). De fait, au cours du temps sa valeur phonétique s'est effacée et, depuis, ?alif sert principalement à remplacer des phonèmes ou servir de support graphique à certains signes.
The Arabic alphabet now mainly uses the hamza to indicate a glottal stop, which can appear anywhere in a word. This letter, however, does not function like the others: elle peut se être écrite seule ou avoir besoin d'un support, in which case it becomes a diacritic:
Writing the hamza Initially, the letter ?alif denoted a glottal occlusive or "glottal stop", transcribed as [?], which confirms that this alphabet proceeds from the same Punic (Phoenician) source. Thus, it has served in the same manner as other abjads, with y?? etw?w, from the mater lectionis (mother selection), which is to say that it's the replacement character to denote a long vowel (vide infra). In fact, over time, its phonetic value has been effaced, and later ?alif serves serves mainly to replace other phonemes or serves as graphic support for certain signs.
The Arabic alphabet now mainly uses the hamza to indicate a glottal stop, which can appear anywhere in a word. This letter, however, does not function like the others: it can be written alone or it can need a support (be combined), in which case it becomes a diacritic:
This is the only warning you will receive for your disruptive edits.
If you vandalize Wikipedia again, as you did to Elephant, you will be blocked from editing. Silly rabbit (talk) 23:40, 21 February 2008 (UTC)