Dietrich and Loretz discuss the question of the development of the alphabet from the perspective of the cuneiform alphabetic texts found at Ugarit and its environs. After reviewing the long alphabet from Ugarit, they analyze texts found in the short alphabet and other cuneiform alphabetic texts found outside Ugarit. They conclude that the long alphabet, which became the standard at Ugarit, was influenced by both the 28-letter South Semitic and the 21/22-letter Northwest Semitic alphabets. In the rest of Palestine the short alphabet prevailed. From the inscriptions they also attempt to analyze dialect geography. The existence of South Semitic vocabulary imply that the long alphabet may have been transmitted by Arab traders.