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Rodlox R wrote at 2005-04-10 17:23:10 (+0000)
 > >From: Tim May <[log in to unmask]>
 > >Reply-To: Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>
 > >To: [log in to unmask]
 > >Subject: Re: Semitic RTL (Was: Ayeri: Menan Coyalayamoena ena McGuffey)
 > >Date: Sat, 9 Apr 2005 22:38:23 +0100
 > >
 > >Benct Philip Jonsson wrote at 2005-04-09 22:49:45 (+0200)
 > >  > Carsten Becker skrev:
 > >  >
 > >  > > [1] This raises a question: The Proto-Semitics, were they
 > >  > > mostly left-handed, or why are semitic languages written
 > >  > > from right to left? It would be more natural for a
 > >  > > left-handed person. I guess left-to-right became the
 > >  > > standard direction in Europe because most people are right
 > >  > > handed and writing is easier for them that way.
 > >  >
 > >  > I've seen the right-to-left direction claimed to be an
 > >  > inheritance from pictographic writing.  When a right-handed
 > >  > person draws a person or an animal they tend to draw them
 > >  > looking leftwards, and that determined the direction of
 > >  > writing.
 > >  >
 > >
 > >But figures in Egyptian hieroglyphics face _into_ the line of reading,
 >
 > if I remember my lessons, Egyptian hieroglyphs could go any direction
 > (left-right, right-left, top-bottom), the only requirement being that the
 > writer had to indicate which direction to use.
 >

Yes, the writer indicates the direction.  This indication is given by
the orientation of the figures, and it's opposite to the direction of
reading.  (That's the general rule, anyway.)