FACTOID # 4: Just 1% of the houses in Nevada were built before 1939.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
RELATED ARTICLES
People who viewed "Alphabet" also viewed:
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Alphabet
A Specimen of typeset fonts and languages, by William Caslon, letter founder; from the 1728 Cyclopaedia.
A Specimen of typeset fonts and languages, by William Caslon, letter founder; from the 1728 Cyclopaedia.

Writing systems
History
Grapheme
List of writing systems
Types
Featural alphabet
Alphabet
Abjad
Abugida
Syllabary
Logography
Related
Pictogram
Ideogram

An alphabet is a standardized set of letters—basic written symbols—each of which roughly represents a phoneme of a spoken language, either as it exists now or as it was in the past. There are other systems, such as logographies, in which each character represents a word, morpheme, or semantic unit, and syllabaries, in which each character represents a syllable. Alphabets are classified according to how they indicate vowels: This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Look up alphabet in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2898x3807, 1794 KB) This description text was copied from the original place of the image (see below) from: http://images. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2898x3807, 1794 KB) This description text was copied from the original place of the image (see below) from: http://images. ... A Specimen of typeset fonts and languages, by William Caslon, letter founder; from the 1728 Cyclopaedia. ... 1913 advertisement for Encyclopædia Britannica. ... Image File history File links Kielitynkäkuva. ... Writing systems of the world today. ... Writing systems evolved in the Early Bronze Age (late 4th millennium BC) out of neolithic proto-writing. ... In typography, a grapheme is the atomic unit in written language. ... A list of writing systems (or scripts), classified according to some common distinguishing features. ... A featural alphabet is an alphabet wherein the shapes of the letters are not arbitrary, but encode phonological features of the phonemes they represent. ... The first five letters of the Phoenician abjad, from right to left An abjad, sometimes also called a consonantary or consonantal alphabet, is a type of writing system in which there is one symbol per consonantal phoneme. ... An inscription of Swampy Cree using Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics, an abugida developed by Christian missionaries for Aboriginal Canadian languages An abugida (from Ge‘ez አቡጊዳ ’äbugida) is a segmental writing system in which each letter (basic character) represents a consonant accompanied by a specific vowel; other vowels are indicated by modification... A syllabary is a set of written symbols that represent (or approximate) syllables, which make up words. ... Egyptian hieroglyphs, which have their origins as logograms. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... A Chinese character. ... A Specimen of typeset fonts and languages, by William Caslon, letter founder; from the 1728 Cyclopaedia. ... In human language, a phoneme is the theoretical representation of a sound. ... Spoken language is a language that people utter words of the language. ... Writing systems of the world today. ... A Chinese logogram, which is also an ideogram. ... A syllabary is a set of written symbols that represent (or approximate) syllables, which make up words. ... For the computer operating system, see Syllable (operating system). ...

  • the same way as consonants, as in Greek (true alphabet)
  • modifications of consonants, as in Hindi (abugida)
  • not at all, as in Arabic (abjad)

The word "alphabet" came into Middle English from the Late Latin word Alphabetum, which in turn originated in the Ancient Greek Alphabetos, from alpha and beta, the first two letters of the Greek alphabet.[1]. Alpha and beta in turn came from the first two letters of the Phoenician alphabet, and meant ox and house respectively. There are dozens of alphabets in use today. Most of them are composed of lines (linear writing); notable exceptions are Braille, fingerspelling, and Morse code. Rigveda manuscript in Devanagari (early 19th century) DevanāgarÄ« (देवनागरी — in English pronounced ) (ISCII – IS13194:1991) [1] is an abugida alphabet used to write several Indian languages, including Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi, Kashmiri, Sindhi, Bihari, Bhili, Konkani, Bhojpuri and Nepali from Nepal. ... An inscription of Swampy Cree using Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics, an abugida developed by Christian missionaries for Aboriginal Canadian languages An abugida (from Ge‘ez አቡጊዳ ’äbugida) is a segmental writing system in which each letter (basic character) represents a consonant accompanied by a specific vowel; other vowels are indicated by modification... The Arabic alphabet is the script used for writing languages such as Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and others. ... The first five letters of the Phoenician abjad, from right to left An abjad, sometimes also called a consonantary or consonantal alphabet, is a type of writing system in which there is one symbol per consonantal phoneme. ... Middle English is the name given by historical linguistics to the diverse forms of the English language spoken between the Norman invasion of 1066 and the mid-to-late 15th century, when the Chancery Standard, a form of London-based English, began to become widespread, a process aided by the... Vulgar Latin (in Latin, sermo vulgaris) is a blanket term covering the vernacular dialects of the Latin language spoken mostly in the western provinces of the Roman Empire until those dialects, diverging still further, evolved into the early Romance languages — a distinction usually assigned to about the ninth century. ... Beginning of Homers Odyssey The Ancient Greek language is the historical stage of the Greek language[1] as it existed during the Archaic (9th–6th centuries BC) and Classical (5th–4th centuries BC) periods in Ancient Greece. ... Alpha (uppercase Α, lowercase α) is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. ... Beta (upper case Î’, lower case β) is the second letter of the Greek alphabet. ... This page contains special characters. ... The Phoenician alphabet is a continuation of the Proto-Canaanite alphabet, by convention taken to begin with a cut-off date of 1050 BCE. It was used by the Phoenicians to write Phoenician, a Northern Semitic language. ... Linear writing is writing which uses symbols made up out of lines. ... Non-linear writing is writing which made up of marks other than lines, to be distinguished from linear writing. ... Listen to this article ( info/dl) This audio file was created from a revision dated 2006-09-06, and may not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ... A one hand alphabet in general use, as published in the American Annals of the Deaf and Dumb, 1886. ... 1922 Chart of the Morse Code Letters and Numerals Morse code is a method for transmitting telegraphic information, using standardized sequences of short and long elements to represent the letters, numerals, punctuation and special characters of a message. ...

Contents

Linguistic definition and context

Main article: Writing system

The term alphabet prototypically refers to a writing system that has characters (graphemes) for representing both consonant and vowel sounds, even though there may not be a complete one-to-one correspondence between symbol and sound. Writing systems of the world today. ... In typography, a grapheme is the atomic unit in written language. ...


A grapheme is an abstract entity which may be physically represented by different styles of glyphs. There are many written entities which do not form part of the alphabet, including numerals, mathematical symbols, and punctuation. Some human languages are commonly written by using a combination of logograms (which represent morphemes or words) and syllabaries (which represent syllables) instead of an alphabet. Egyptian hieroglyphs and Chinese characters are two of the best-known writing systems with predominantly non-alphabetic representations. In typography, a grapheme is the atomic unit in written language. ... Abstraction is the process of reducing the information content of a concept, typically in order to retain only information which is relevant for a particular purpose. ... variant glyphs representing the character a (allographs of a) in the Zapfino typeface. ... A numeral is a symbol or group of symbols that represents a number. ... In mathematics, a set of symbols is frequently used in mathematical expressions. ... The term punctuation has two different linguistic meanings: in general, the act and the effect of punctuating, i. ... A Chinese logogram A logogram, or logograph, is a single written character which represents a word or a morpheme (a meaningful unit of language). ... In Linguistics, a morpheme is the smallest meaningful unit in a given language. ... For other uses, see Word (disambiguation). ... Syllabaries often begin as simplified logograms, as shown here with the Japanese Katakana writing system. ... This article discusses the unit of speech. ... It has been suggested that Hieroglyph (French Wiki article) be merged into this article or section. ... Japanese name Kanji: Hiragana: Korean name Hangul: Hanja: Vietnamese name Quốc ngữ: Hán tá»±: A Chinese character or Han character (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ) is a logogram used in writing Chinese, Japanese, rarely Korean, and formerly Vietnamese. ...


Non-written languages may also be represented alphabetically. For example, linguists researching a non-written language (such as some of the indigenous Amerindian languages) will use the International Phonetic Alphabet to enable them to write down the sounds they hear.


Most, if not all, linguistic writing systems have some means for phonetic approximation of foreign words, usually using the native character set.[2]


History

The history of the alphabet begins in Ancient Egypt, more than a millennium into the history of writing. ...

Middle Eastern Scripts

A specimen of Proto-Sinaitic script, one of the earliest (if not the very first) phonemic scripts
A specimen of Proto-Sinaitic script, one of the earliest (if not the very first) phonemic scripts

The history of the alphabet starts in ancient Egypt. By 2700 BCE Egyptian writing had a set of some 22 hieroglyphs to represent syllables that begin with a single consonant of their language, plus a vowel (or no vowel) to be supplied by the native speaker. These glyphs were used as pronunciation guides for logograms, to write grammatical inflections, and, later, to transcribe loan words and foreign names.[3] Specimen of the only certainly decyphered word in the Proto-Sinaitic script. ... Specimen of the only certainly decyphered word in the Proto-Sinaitic script. ... The pyramids are the most recognizable symbols of the civilization of ancient Egypt. ... (Redirected from 2700 BC) (28th century BC - 27th century BC - 26th century BC - other centuries) (4th millennium BC - 3rd millennium BC - 2nd millennium BC) Events 2900 - 2334 BC -- Mesopotamian wars of the Early Dynastic period 2775 - 2650 BC -- Second Dynasty wars in Egypt Germination of the Bristlecone pine tree Methuselah... The Egyptian hieroglyphic script contained 24 uniliterals (symbols that stood for single consonants, much like English letters) which today we associate with the 26 glyphs listed below. ... In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a sound in spoken language that is characterized by a closure or stricture of the vocal tract sufficient to cause audible turbulence. ... Egyptian hieroglyphs, which have their origins as logograms. ...


However, although seemingly alphabetic in nature, the original Egyptian uniliterals were not a system and were never used by themselves to encode Egyptian speech.[4] In the Middle Bronze Age an apparently "alphabetic" system known as the Proto-Sinaitic script is thought by some to have been developed in central Egypt around 1700 BCE for or by Semitic workers, but only one of these early writings has been deciphered and their exact nature remains open to interpretation.[5] Based on letter appearances and names, it is believed to be based on Egyptian hieroglyphs.[5] The Bronze Age is a period in a civilizations development when the most advanced metalworking (at least in systematic and widespread use) consisted of techniques for smelting copper and tin from naturally occurring outcroppings of ore, and then alloying those metals in order to cast bronze. ... The Middle Bronze Age alphabets are two similar but undeciphered scripts, dated to be from the Middle Bronze Age (2000-1500 BC), and believed to be ancestral to nearly all modern alphabets: the Proto-Sinaitic script discovered in the winter of 1904-1905 by William Flinders Petrie, and dated to... In linguistics and ethnology, Semitic (from the Biblical Shem, Hebrew: שם, translated as name, Arabic: سام) was first used to refer to a language family of largely Middle Eastern origin, now called the Semitic languages. ...


This script eventually developed into the Proto-Canaanite alphabet, which in turn was refined into the Phoenician alphabet.[6] Note that the scripts mentioned above are not considered proper alphabets, as they all lack characters representing vowels. These early vowelless alphabets are called abjads, and still exist in scripts such as Arabic, Hebrew and Syriac. The Proto-Canaanite alphabet is an abjad of twenty-plus acrophonic glyphs, which is found in Levantine texts of the Late Bronze Age (from ca. ... The Phoenician alphabet is a continuation of the Proto-Canaanite alphabet, by convention taken to begin with a cut-off date of 1050 BCE. It was used by the Phoenicians to write Phoenician, a Northern Semitic language. ... The first five letters of the Phoenician abjad, from right to left An abjad, sometimes also called a consonantary or consonantal alphabet, is a type of writing system in which there is one symbol per consonantal phoneme. ... The Arabic alphabet is the script used for writing languages such as Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and others. ... Note: This article contains special characters. ... 11th century book in Syriac Serto. ...


Phoenician was the first major phonemic script.[7][8] In contrast to two other widely used writing systems at the time, Cuneiform and Egyptian hieroglyphs, each of which contained thousands of different characters, it contained only about two dozen distinct letters, making it a script simple enough for common traders to learn. Another advantage to Phoenician was that it could be used to write down many different languages, since it recorded words phonemically. Look up Cuneiform in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A section of the Papyrus of Ani showing cursive hieroglyphs. ...


The script was spread by the Phoenicians, whose Thalassocracy allowed the script to be spread across the Mediterranean.[7] In Greece, the script was modified to add the vowels, giving rise to the first true alphabet. The Greeks took letters which did not represent sounds that existed in Greek, and changed them to represent the vowels. This marks the creation of a "true" alphabet, with the presence of both vowels and consonants as explicit symbols in a single script. In its early years, there were many variants of the Greek alphabet, a situation which caused many different alphabets to evolve from it. The term thalassocracy (from the Greek Θαλασσο-κρατία) refers to a state with primarily maritime realms—an empire at sea, such as the Phoenician network of merchant cities. ...


European alphabets

Codex Zographensis in the Glagolitic alphabet from Medieval Bulgaria
Codex Zographensis in the Glagolitic alphabet from Medieval Bulgaria

The Cumae form was carried over to the Italian peninsula, where it gave rise to a variety of alphabets used to inscribe the Italic languages. One of these became the Latin alphabet, which was spread across Europe as the Romans expanded their empire. Even after the fall of the Roman state, the alphabet survived in intellectual and religious works. It eventually became used for the descendant languages of Latin (the Romance languages), and then for the other languages of Europe. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 377 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (555 × 883 pixel, file size: 430 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Codex Zographensis, 10th-11th century, Zograf Monastery. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 377 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (555 × 883 pixel, file size: 430 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Codex Zographensis, 10th-11th century, Zograf Monastery. ... Codex Zographensis Codex Zographensis The Codex Zographensis (Bulgarian: , Zografsko chetveroevangelie, Four Gospels of Zograf) is an illuminated manuscript that was found in the Bulgarian Zograf Monastery on Mount Athos in 1843 by A. Mihanović, and which dates from the late 10th or early 11th century. ... The inscription of Nestors Cup, found in Ischia; Cumae alphabet, 8th century BC A Western (also Chalcidean) variant of the early Greek alphabet was in use in ca. ... Hypothetical distribution of languages in Iron Age Italy during the sixth century BC. The Italic subfamily is a member of the Centum branch of the Indo-European language family. ... Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz redirects here. ... The Romance languages (sometimes referred to as Romanic languages) are a branch of the Indo-European language family that comprises all the languages that descend from Latin, the language of the Roman Empire. ...


Another notable script is Elder Futhark, mewhich is believed to have evolved out of one of the Old Italic alphabets. Elder Futhark gave rise to a variety of alphabets known collectively as the Runic alphabets. The Runic alphabets were used for Germanic languages from 100 AD to the late Middle Ages. Its usage was mostly restricted to engravings on stone and jewelry, although inscriptions have also been found on bone and wood. These alphabets have since been replaced with the Latin alphabet, except for decorative usage for which the runes remained in use until the 20th century. Note: This article contains special characters. ... Note: This article contains special characters. ... Rune redirects here. ...


The Glagolitic alphabet was the script of the liturgical language Old Church Slavonic, and became the basis of the Cyrillic alphabet. The Cyrillic alphabet is one of the most widely used modern alphabets, and is notable for its use in Slavic languages and languages within the former Soviet Union. Variants include the Bulgarian and Russian alphabets. The Glagolitic alphabet is believed to have been created by Saints Cyril and Methodius, while the Cyrillic alphabet was invented by the Bulgarian scholar Clement of Ohrid, who was their disciple. They feature many letters that appear to have been borrowed from or influenced by the Greek alphabet and the Hebrew alphabet. The Glagolitic alphabet or Glagolitsa is the oldest known Slavic alphabet. ... Old Church Slavonic (also called Old Slavic[1]) is the first literary Slavic language, developed from the Slavic dialect of Thessalonica (modern Thessaloniki) by the 9th century Byzantine Greek missionaries, Saints Cyril and Methodius. ... The Cyrillic alphabet (pronounced also called azbuka, from the old name of the first two letters) is actually a family of alphabets, subsets of which are used by certain Slavic languages — Belarusian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Russian, Rusyn, Serbian, and Ukrainian—as well as many other languages of the former Soviet Union... The Cyrillic alphabet (or azbuka, from the old name of the first letters) is an alphabet used to write six natural Slavic languages (Belarusian, Macedonian, Russian, Ukrainian) and many other languages of the former Soviet Union, Asia and Eastern Europe. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... For details about each of the saints, see Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius. ... This article is about the medieval Bulgarian saint. ... This page contains special characters. ... Note: This article contains special characters. ...


Asian alphabets

Beyond the logographic Chinese writing, many phonetic scripts are in existence in Asia. The Arabic alphabet, Hebrew alphabet, Syriac alphabet, and other abjads of the Middle East are developments of the Aramaic alphabet, but because these writing systems are largely consonant-based they are often not considered true alphabets. Various styles of Chinese calligraphy. ... The Arabic alphabet is the script used for writing languages such as Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and others. ... Note: This article contains special characters. ... 11th century book in Syriac Serto. ... The first five letters of the Phoenician abjad, from right to left An abjad, sometimes also called a consonantary or consonantal alphabet, is a type of writing system in which there is one symbol per consonantal phoneme. ... Bilingual inscription (Greek and Aramaic) by the Indian emperor Ashoka the Great, 3rd century BC. The Aramaic alphabet is an abjad alphabet designed for writing the Aramaic language. ... In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a sound in spoken language that is characterized by a closure or stricture of the vocal tract sufficient to cause audible turbulence. ...


Most alphabetic scripts of India and Eastern Asia are descended from the Brahmi script, which is often believed to be a descendent of Aramaic, but this link is controversial. These scripts are abugidas, that is, they write syllables instead of individual sounds, so their status as alphabets is disputed. The Brahmic family is a family of abugidas used in South Asia and Southeast Asia. ... An inscription of Swampy Cree using Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics, an abugida developed by Christian missionaries for Aboriginal Canadian languages An abugida (from Ge‘ez አቡጊዳ ’äbugida) is a segmental writing system in which each letter (basic character) represents a consonant accompanied by a specific vowel; other vowels are indicated by modification...

Zhuyin on a cell phone
Zhuyin on a cell phone

In Korea, the Hangeul alphabet was created, although it may also have been derived from the Mongolian Phagspa script, which in turn was derived from the Brahmi script. Hangeul is a unique alphabet in a variety of ways: many of the letters are designed off of a sound's place of articulation, it was consciously designed by the government at the time, and it situates individual letters into syllable clusters with equal dimensions as Chinese characters to allow for mixed script writing. Image File history File linksMetadata Zhuyin_on_cell_phone_detail. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Zhuyin_on_cell_phone_detail. ... This article is about the Korean civilization. ... Hangul is the native alphabet used to write the Korean language (as opposed to the Hanja system borrowed from China). ... The word Wiki in Phagspa characters The Phagspa script (also square script) was an Abugida designed by the Lama Phagspa for the emperor Kublai Khan during the Yuan Dynasty in China, as a unified script for all languages within the Mongolian Empire. ... Technical note: Due to technical limitations, some web browsers may not display some special characters in this article. ...


Zhuyin (sometimes called Bopomofo) is an alphabet used to phonetically transcribe Mandarin Chinese in Mainland China and Taiwan, though its use in Mainland China today is limited. It developed out of a form of Chinese shorthand based on Chinese characters in the early 1900s. While Zhuyin is not used as a mainstream writing system, it is still often used in ways similar to a romanization system—that is, for aiding in pronunciation and as an input method for Chinese characters on computers and cell phones. Zhuyin fuhao (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Tongyong Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Chu-yin fu-hao), or Symbols for Annotating Sounds, often abbreviated as Zhuyin, or known as Bopomofo (ㄅㄆㄇㄈ) after the first four letters of this Chinese phonemic alphabet (bo po mo fo), is the national phonetic system of the... This article is on all of the Northern and Southwestern Chinese dialects. ... Languages can be romanized in a variety of ways, as shown here with Mandarin Chinese In linguistics, romanization (or Latinization, also spelled romanisation or Latinisation) is the representation of a word or language with the Roman (Latin) alphabet, or a system for doing so, where the original word or language...


European alphabets, especially Latin and Cyrillic, have been adapted for many languages of Asia. Arabic is also widely used, sometimes as an abjad (as with Urdu and Persian) and sometimes as a complete alphabet (as with Kurdish and Uyghur). Example of writing in the alphabet- Zabān-e-UrdÅ«-e-moalla Note: This page contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... This article is about the modern Persian alphabet. ... Kurdish alphabet is a writing system for the Kurdish language. ... The Uyghur alphabet is any of the following: A descendant of the Sogdian alphabet, used for texts of Buddhist, Manichæan and Christian contents for 700–800 years in East Turkestan. ...


Types

Alphabets:  Latin ,  Cyrillic ,  Latin and Cyrillic ,  Greek ,  Georgian ,  Armenian  Abjads:  Arabic ,  Arabic and Latin ,  Hebrew and Arabic  Abugidas:  North Indic ,  South Indic ,  Ethiopic ,  Thaana   Canadian Syllabic , Logographic+syllabic:  Pure logographic ,  Mixed logographic and syllabaries ,  Featural-alphabetic syllabary + limited logographic   Featural-alphabetic syllabary 
Alphabets:  Latin ,  Cyrillic ,  Latin and Cyrillic ,  Greek ,  Georgian ,  Armenian 
Abjads:  Arabic ,  Arabic and Latin ,  Hebrew and Arabic 
Abugidas:  North Indic ,  South Indic ,  Ethiopic ,  Thaana   Canadian Syllabic ,
Logographic+syllabic:  Pure logographic ,  Mixed logographic and syllabaries ,  Featural-alphabetic syllabary + limited logographic   Featural-alphabetic syllabary 
History of the alphabet

Middle Bronze Age 19 c. BCE
Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1357x628, 50 KB) Alphabets: Gray: Latin Blue-gray: Cyrillic Cyan: Both Latin and Cyrillic Blue: Greek Dark blues: Georgian and Armenian Abjads: Arabic: Green Arabic and Latin: Light green Hebrew and Arabic: Medium green Abugidas: North Indic: Yellow South Indic: Beige... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1357x628, 50 KB) Alphabets: Gray: Latin Blue-gray: Cyrillic Cyan: Both Latin and Cyrillic Blue: Greek Dark blues: Georgian and Armenian Abjads: Arabic: Green Arabic and Latin: Light green Hebrew and Arabic: Medium green Abugidas: North Indic: Yellow South Indic: Beige... The history of the alphabet begins in Ancient Egypt, more than a millennium into the history of writing. ... The Middle Bronze Age alphabets are two similar but undeciphered scripts, dated to be from the Middle Bronze Age (2000-1500 BC), and believed to be ancestral to nearly all modern alphabets: the Proto-Sinaitic script discovered in the winter of 1904-1905 by William Flinders Petrie, and dated to...

Meroitic 3 c. BCE
Ogham 4 c. CE
Hangul 1443 CE
Canadian syllabics 1840 CE
Zhuyin 1913 CE
complete genealogy

The term "alphabet" is used by linguists and paleographers in both a wide and narrow sense. In the wider sense, an alphabet is a script that is segmental on the phoneme level, that is, that has separate glyphs for individual sounds and not for larger units such as syllables or words. In the narrower sense, some scholars distinguish "true" alphabets from two other types of segmental script, abjads and abugidas. These three differ from each other in the way they treat vowels: Abjads have letters for consonants and leave most vowels unexpressed; abugidas are also consonant-based, but indicate vowels with diacritics to or a systematic graphic modification of the consonants. In alphabets in the narrow sense, on the other hand, consonants and vowels are written as independent letters. The earliest known alphabet in the wider sense is the Wadi el-Hol script, believed to be an abjad, which through its successor Phoenician is the ancestor of modern alphabets, including Arabic, Greek, Latin (via the Old Italic alphabet), Cyrillic (via the Greek alphabet) and Hebrew (via Aramaic). The Ugaritic alphabet is a cuneiform abjad, used from around 1300 BC for the Ugaritic language, an extinct Canaanite language discovered in Ugarit, Syria. ... The Phoenician alphabet is a continuation of the Proto-Canaanite alphabet, by convention taken to begin with a cut-off date of 1050 BCE. It was used by the Phoenicians to write Phoenician, a Northern Semitic language. ... The Paleo-Hebrew alphabet is an offshoot of the Phoenician alphabet used to write the Hebrew language from about the 10th century BCE until it began to fall out of use in the 5th century BCE with the adoption of the Aramaic alphabet as a writing system for Hebrew and... The Samaritan alphabet is a direct descendant of the paleo-Hebrew variety of the Phoenician alphabet, the more commonly known Hebrew alphabet having been adapted from the Aramaic alphabet under the Persian Empire. ... Bilingual inscription (Greek and Aramaic) by the Indian emperor Ashoka the Great, 3rd century BC. The Aramaic alphabet is an abjad alphabet designed for writing the Aramaic language. ... Variation of BrāhmÄ« with dates. ... The Brahmic family is a family of abugidas (writing systems) used in South Asia, Southeast Asia, Tibet, Mongolia, Manchuria, descended from the BrāhmÄ« script of Mauryan India. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... This article or section uses Khmer characters which may be rendered as boxes or other nonsensical symbols. ... Javanese script is the script that Javanese is originally written in (not to be confused with Javascript, which is a programming language). ... Note: This article contains special characters. ... 11th century book in Syriac Serto. ... The Arabic alphabet is the script used for writing languages such as Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and others. ... The Pahlavi script was used broadly in the Sasanid Persian Empire to write down Middle Persian for secular, as well as religious purposes. ... The Avestan alphabet was created in the 3rd century AD for writing the hymns of Zarathustra (a. ... Note: This article contains special characters. ... Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz redirects here. ... Rune redirects here. ...   The Gothic alphabet is an alphabetic writing system attributed by Philostorgius to Wulfila, used exclusively for writing the ancient Gothic language. ... The Glagolitic alphabet or Glagolitsa is the oldest known Slavic alphabet. ... The Cyrillic alphabet (pronounced also called azbuka, from the old name of the first two letters) is actually a family of alphabets, subsets of which are used by certain Slavic languages — Belarusian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Russian, Rusyn, Serbian, and Ukrainian—as well as many other languages of the former Soviet Union... Paleohispanic scripts Light green (along the Mediterranean coast) is the Iberian language, dark grey (mainly southern Portugal) is the Tartessian language, dark blue (central Spain) is the Celtiberian language, light blue (mainly northern Portugal) is the Lusitanian language, and dark green (Eastern Pyrenees) is the Aquitanian language. ... The ancient South Arabian alphabet (also known as musnad) branched from the Proto-Sinaitic alphabet in ca. ... Note: This article contains special characters. ... The Meroitic script is an alphabet of Egyptian (Hieroglyphic) origin used in Kingdom of Meroë. Some scholars, e. ... Note: This article contains special characters. ... Jamo redirects here. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... Zhuyin fuhao (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Tongyong Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Chu-yin fu-hao), or Symbols for Annotating Sounds, often abbreviated as Zhuyin, or known as Bopomofo (ㄅㄆㄇㄈ) after the first four letters of this Chinese phonemic alphabet (bo po mo fo), is the national phonetic system of the... Nearly all the segmental scripts (alphabets, but see below for more precise terminology) used around the globe were apparently derived from the Proto-Sinaitic alphabet. ... For the journal, see Linguistics (journal). ... Palaeography, literally old writing, (from the Greek words paleos = old and grapho = write) is the study of script. ... In human language, a phoneme is the theoretical representation of a sound. ... The first five letters of the Phoenician abjad, from right to left An abjad, sometimes also called a consonantary or consonantal alphabet, is a type of writing system in which there is one symbol per consonantal phoneme. ... An inscription of Swampy Cree using Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics, an abugida developed by Christian missionaries for Aboriginal Canadian languages An abugida (from Ge‘ez አቡጊዳ ’äbugida) is a segmental writing system in which each letter (basic character) represents a consonant accompanied by a specific vowel; other vowels are indicated by modification... Example of a letter with a diacritic A diacritic or diacritical mark, also called an accent, is a small sign added to a letter to alter pronunciation or to distinguish between similar words. ... The Middle Bronze Age alphabets are two similar but undeciphered scripts, dated to be from the Middle Bronze Age (2000-1500 BC), and believed to be ancestral to nearly all modern alphabets: the Proto-Sinaitic script discovered in the winter of 1904-1905 by William Flinders Petrie, and dated to... The first five letters of the Phoenician abjad, from right to left An abjad, sometimes also called a consonantary or consonantal alphabet, is a type of writing system in which there is one symbol per consonantal phoneme. ... The Phoenician alphabet is a continuation of the Proto-Canaanite alphabet, by convention taken to begin with a cut-off date of 1050 BCE. It was used by the Phoenicians to write Phoenician, a Northern Semitic language. ... The Arabic alphabet is the script used for writing languages such as Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and others. ... Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz redirects here. ... Note: This article contains special characters. ... The Cyrillic alphabet (pronounced also called azbuka, from the old name of the first two letters) is actually a family of alphabets, subsets of which are used by certain Slavic languages — Belarusian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Russian, Rusyn, Serbian, and Ukrainian—as well as many other languages of the former Soviet Union... Note: This article contains special characters. ...


Examples of present-day abjads are the Arabic and Hebrew scripts; true alphabets include Latin, Cyrillic, and Korean hangul; and abugidas are used to write Tigrinya Amharic, Hindi, and Thai. The Canadian Aboriginal syllabics are also an abugida rather than a syllabary as their name would imply, since each glyph stands for a consonant which is modified by rotation to represent the following vowel. (In a true syllabary, each consonant-vowel combination would be represented by a separate glyph.) The Arabic alphabet is the script used for writing the Arabic language, which is the language of the Quran, the holy book of Islam. ... The subject of Hebrew script is dealt with in the following articles: Hebrew alphabet Hebrew language This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz redirects here. ... The Cyrillic alphabet (or azbuka, from the old name of the first two letters) is an alphabet used for several East and South Slavic languages; (Belarusian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Russian, Rusyn, Serbian, and Ukrainian) and many other languages of the former Soviet Union, Asia and Eastern Europe. ... Jamo redirects here. ... Tigrinya (Geez ትግርኛ tigriññā, also spelled Tigrigna) is a Semitic language spoken by the Tigray-Tigrinya people in central Eritrea (there referred to as the Tigrinya people), where it is one of the main working languages (Eritrea does not have official languages), and in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia (whose... Note: This article contains special characters. ... Hindi (हिन्दी) is a language spoken mainly in North and Central India. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ...


The boundaries between the three types of segmental scripts are not always clear-cut. For example, Sorani Kurdish is written in the Arabic script, which is normally an abjad. However, in Kurdish, writing the vowels is mandatory, and full letters are used, so the script is a true alphabet. Other languages may use a Semitic abjad with mandatory vowel diacritics, effectively making them abugidas. On the other hand, the Phagspa script of the Mongol Empire was based closely on the Tibetan abugida, but all vowel marks were written after the preceding consonant rather than as diacritic marks. Although short a was not written, as in the Indic abugidas, one could argue that the linear arrangement made this a true alphabet. Conversely, the vowel marks of the Tigrinya abugida and the Amharic abugida (ironically, the original source of the term "abugida") have been so completely assimilated into their consonants that the modifications are no longer systematic and have to be learned as a syllabary rather than as a segmental script. Even more extreme, the Pahlavi abjad eventually became logographic. (See below.) Sorani is a group of Central Kurdish dialects and as such is part of the Iranian languages. ... The Kurdish language (Kurdish: Kurdî or کوردی) is a term used for a range of different dialects of a language spoken by Kurds. ... The Arabic alphabet is the script used for writing the Arabic language, which is the language of the Quran, the holy book of Islam. ... The word Wiki in Phagspa characters The Phagspa script (also square script) was an Abugida designed by the Lama Phagspa for the emperor Kublai Khan during the Yuan Dynasty in China, as a unified script for all languages within the Mongolian Empire. ... Expansion of the Mongol Empire Historical map of the Mongol Empire (1300~1405), the gray area is Timurid dynasty. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Note: This article contains special characters. ... Note: This article contains special characters. ... A syllabary is a set of written symbols that represent (or approximate) syllables, which make up words. ... Egyptian hieroglyphs, which have their origins as logograms. ...


Thus the primary classification of alphabets reflects how they treat vowels. For tonal languages, further classification can be based on their treatment of tone, though names do not yet exist to distinguish the various types. Some alphabets disregard tone entirely, especially when it does not carry a heavy functional load, as in Somali and many other languages of Africa and the Americas. Such scripts are to tone what abjads are to vowels. Most commonly, tones are indicated with diacritics, the way vowels are treated in abugidas. This is the case for Vietnamese (a true alphabet) and Thai (an abugida). In Thai, tone is determined primarily by the choice of consonant, with diacritics for disambiguation. In the Pollard script, an abugida, vowels are indicated by diacritics, but the placement of the diacritic relative to the consonant is modified to indicate the tone. More rarely, a script may have separate letters for tones, as is the case for Hmong and Zhuang. For most of these scripts, regardless of whether letters or diacritics are used, the most common tone is not marked, just as the most common vowel is not marked in Indic abugidas; in Zhuyin not only is one of the tones unmarked, but there is a diacritic to indicate lack of tone, like the virama of Indic. For Wikipedias categorization projects, see Wikipedia:Categorization. ... Some web browsers may not be able to view this correctly; you may see transcriptions in parentheses after the character, like this: () instead of on top of the character as intended. ... Samuel Pollard (20 April 1864 in Camelford, Cornwall – 16 September 1915 in China) was a British Methodist missionary to China with the China Inland Mission who converted many of the Big Flowery Miao (now called the Hmong) in Guizhou to Christianity, and who created a writing system that is still... This is the native language of the Hmong people. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Zhuyin fuhao (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Tongyong Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Chu-yin fu-hao), or Symbols for Annotating Sounds, often abbreviated as Zhuyin, or known as Bopomofo (ㄅㄆㄇㄈ) after the first four letters of this Chinese phonemic alphabet (bo po mo fo), is the national phonetic system of the... Virama is a generic term for the diacritic character in many Brahmic scripts that is used to suppress an inherent vowel sound that occurs with every consonant character. ...


The number of letters in an alphabet can be quite small. The Book Pahlavi script, an abjad, had only twelve letters at one point, and may have had even fewer later on. Today the Rotokas alphabet has only twelve letters. (The Hawaiian alphabet is sometimes claimed to be as small, but it actually consists of 18 letters, including the ʻokina and five long vowels.) While Rotokas has a small alphabet because it has few phonemes to represent (just eleven), Book Pahlavi was small because many letters had been conflated, that is, the graphic distinctions had been lost over time, and diacritics were not developed to compensate for this as they were in Arabic, another script that lost many of its distinct letter shapes. For example, a comma-shaped letter represented g, d, y, k, or j. However, such apparent simplifications can perversely make a script more complicated. In later Pahlavi papyri, up to half of the remaining graphic distinctions of these twelve letters were lost, and the script could no longer be read as a sequence of letters at all, but instead each word had to be learned as a whole – that is, they had become logograms as in Egyptian Demotic. The Pahlavi script was used broadly in the Sasanid Persian Empire to write down Middle Persian for secular, as well as religious purposes. ... The Rotokas alphabet used in writing the Rotokas language is a subset of the Latin alphabet consisting of only the twelve letters: A E G I K O P R S T U V, and is the smallest alphabet in use today. ... The Hawaiian language is an Austronesian language that takes its name from HawaiÊ»i, the largest island in the tropical North Pacific archipelago where it developed. ... The glottal stop is used in many Polynesian languages and known under various names as for instance: // Encoding and displaying the Polynesian glottal Old conventions In plain ASCII the glottal is sometimes represented by the apostrophe character (), ASCII value 39 in decimal and 27 in hexadecimal, which in most fonts... The Arabic alphabet is the script used for writing languages such as Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and others. ... For other uses, see Papyrus (disambiguation). ... Egyptian hieroglyphs, which have their origins as logograms. ... Demotic script on a replica of the Rosetta stone. ...


The largest segmental script is probably an abugida, Devanagari. When written in Devanagari, Vedic Sanskrit has an alphabet of 53 letters, including the visarga mark for final aspiration and special letters for and jñ, though one of the letters is theoretical and not actually used. The Hindi alphabet must represent both Sanskrit and modern vocabulary, and so has been expanded to 58 with the khutma letters (letters with a dot added) to represent sounds from Persian and English. Rigveda manuscript in Devanagari (early 19th century) DevanāgarÄ« (देवनागरी — in English pronounced ) (ISCII – IS13194:1991) [1] is an abugida alphabet used to write several Indian languages, including Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi, Kashmiri, Sindhi, Bihari, Bhili, Konkani, Bhojpuri and Nepali from Nepal. ... Sanskrit ( , for short ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ...


The largest known abjad is Sindhi, with 51 letters. The largest alphabets in the narrow sense include Kabardian and Abkhaz (for Cyrillic), with 58 and 56 letters, respectively, and Slovak (for the Latin alphabet), with 46. However, these scripts either count di- and tri-graphs as separate letters, as Spanish did with ch and ll up to a recent time, or uses diacritics like Slovak č. The largest true alphabet where each letter is graphically independent is probably Georgian, with 41 letters. SindhÄ« (سنڌي, सिन्धी) is the language of the Sindh region of South Asia, which is now a province of Pakistan. ... The Kabardian language is closely related to the Adyghe language (see Adyghe), both members of the Northwest Caucasian language family, mainly spoken in Kabardino-Balkar Republic and Karachay-Cherkess Republic of Russia (the native territories) and in Turkey and the Middle East (the residence of the extensive post-war diaspora). ... Abkhaz is a Northwest Caucasian language spoken mainly in Abkhazia[1] and Turkey. ... The Cyrillic alphabet (or azbuka, from the old name of the first two letters) is an alphabet used for several East and South Slavic languages; (Belarusian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Russian, Rusyn, Serbian, and Ukrainian) and many other languages of the former Soviet Union, Asia and Eastern Europe. ... Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz redirects here. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... Example of a letter with a diacritic A diacritic or diacritical mark, also called an accent, is a small sign added to a letter to alter pronunciation or to distinguish between similar words. ...


Syllabaries typically contain 50 to 400 glyphs (though the Múra-Pirahã language of Brazil would require only 24 if it did not denote tone, and Rotokas would require only 30), and the glyphs of logographic systems typically number from the many hundreds into the thousands. Thus a simple count of the number of distinct symbols is an important clue to the nature of an unknown script. The Pirahã language is a language spoken by the Pirahã — an indigenous people of Amazonas, Brazil, who live along the Maici river, a tributary of the Amazon. ...


It is not always clear what constitutes a distinct alphabet. French uses the same basic alphabet as English, but many of the letters can carry additional marks, such as é, à, and ô. In French, these combinations are not considered to be additional letters. However, in Icelandic, the accented letters such as á, í, and ö are considered to be distinct letters of the alphabet. In Spanish, ñ is considered a separate letter, but accented vowels such as á and é are not. double L is also considered a separate letter to a single l. Some adaptations of the Latin alphabet are augmented with ligatures, such as æ in Old English and Ȣ in Algonquian; by borrowings from other alphabets, such as the thorn þ in Old English and Icelandic, which came from the Futhark runes; and by modifying existing letters, such as the eth ð of Old English and Icelandic, which is a modified d. Other alphabets only use a subset of the Latin alphabet, such as Hawaiian, or Italian, which only uses the letters j, k, x, y and w in foreign words. In writing and typography, a ligature occurs where two or more letterforms are written or printed as a unit. ... For Æ, the Irish writer, see George William Russell. ... Old English redirects here. ... The letter Ou () is a letter in the extended Latin alphabet. ... The Algonquian languages are a subfamily of Native American languages that includes most of the languages in the Algic language family (others are Wiyot and Yurok of northwestern California). ... Þþ Thorn, or þorn (Þ, þ), is a letter in the Anglo-Saxon and Icelandic alphabets. ... Old English redirects here. ... Rune redirects here. ... Ð (capital Ð, lower-case ð) (or eth, eð or edh, Faroese: edd) is a letter used in Old English (Anglo-Saxon) and present-day Icelandic and Faroese. ...


Alphabetic order

It is unknown if the earliest alphabets had a defined sequence. Some alphabets today, such as Hanunoo, are learned one letter at a time, in no particular order, and are not used for collation where a definite order is required. However, a dozen Ugaritic tablets from the fourteenth century BCE preserve the alphabet in two sequences. One, the ABGDE order later used in Phoenician, has continued with minor changes in Hebrew, Greek, Armenian, Gothic, Cyrillic, and Latin; the other, HMĦLQ, was used in southern Arabia and is preserved today in Ethiopic.[9] Both orders have therefore been stable for at least 3000 years. One of the indigenous scripts of the Philippines; see Baybayin. ... Alphabetical redirects here. ... The Ugaritic alphabet is a cuneiform version of the Levantine consonant alphabet (abjad), used from around 1300 BC for the Ugaritic language, an extinct Canaanite language discovered in Ugarit, Syria. ... Note: This article contains special characters. ...   The Gothic alphabet is an alphabetic writing system attributed by Philostorgius to Wulfila, used exclusively for writing the ancient Gothic language. ... The Cyrillic alphabet (pronounced also called azbuka, from the old name of the first two letters) is actually a family of alphabets, subsets of which are used by certain Slavic languages — Belarusian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Russian, Rusyn, Serbian, and Ukrainian—as well as many other languages of the former Soviet Union... Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz redirects here. ... Note: This article contains special characters. ...


The Brahmic family of alphabets used in India abandoned the inherited order for one based on phonology: The letters are arranged according to how and where they are produced in the mouth. This organization is used in Southeast Asia, Tibet, Korean hangul, and even Japanese kana, which is not an alphabet. The historical order was also abandoned in Runic and Arabic, although Arabic retains the traditional "abjadi order" for numbering. The Brahmic family is a family of abugidas (writing systems) used in South Asia, Southeast Asia, Tibet, Mongolia, Manchuria, descended from the Brāhmī script of Mauryan India. ... Phonology (Greek phonē = voice/sound and logos = word/speech), is a subfield of linguistics which studies the sound system of a specific language (or languages). ... Jamo redirects here. ... Japanese writing Kanji 漢字 Kana 仮名 Hiragana 平仮名 Katakana 片仮名 Manyogana 万葉仮名 Uses Furigana 振り仮名 Okurigana 送り仮名 Rōmaji ローマ字 For other meanings of Kana, see Kana (disambiguation). ... Rune redirects here. ... The Arabic alphabet is the script used for writing languages such as Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and others. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Abjad numerals. ...


The Phoenician letter names, in which each letter is associated with a word that begins with that sound, continue to be used in Samaritan, Aramaic, Syriac, Hebrew, and Greek. However, they were abandoned in Arabic, Cyrillic, Latin, and Brahmic. The Samaritan alphabet is a direct descendant of the paleo-Hebrew variety of the Phoenician alphabet, the more commonly known Hebrew alphabet having been adapted from the Aramaic alphabet under the Persian Empire. ... Bilingual inscription (Greek and Aramaic) by the Indian emperor Ashoka the Great, 3rd century BC. The Aramaic alphabet is an abjad alphabet designed for writing the Aramaic language. ... 11th century book in Syriac Serto. ... Note: This article contains special characters. ... The Arabic alphabet is the script used for writing languages such as Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and others. ... The Cyrillic alphabet (pronounced also called azbuka, from the old name of the first two letters) is actually a family of alphabets, subsets of which are used by certain Slavic languages — Belarusian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Russian, Rusyn, Serbian, and Ukrainian—as well as many other languages of the former Soviet Union... Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz redirects here. ...


Orthography and spelling

Main articles: Orthography and Spelling

Each language may establish certain general rules that govern the association between letters and phonemes, but, depending on the language, these rules may or may not be consistently followed. In a perfectly phonological alphabet, the phonemes and letters would correspond perfectly in two directions: a writer could predict the spelling of a word given its pronunciation, and a speaker could predict the pronunciation of a word given its spelling. However, languages often evolve independently of their writing systems, and writing systems have been borrowed for languages they were not designed for, so the degree to which letters of an alphabet correspond to phonemes of a language varies greatly from one language to another and even within a single language. The orthography of a language specifies the correct way of using a specific writing system to write the language. ... Proper spelling is the writing of a word or words with all necessary letters and diacritics present in an accepted standard order. ... Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Phonology (Greek phonē = voice/sound and logos = word/speech), is a subfield of linguistics which studies the sound system of a specific language (or languages). ...


Languages may fail to achieve a one-to-one correspondence between letters and sounds in any of several ways:

  • A language may represent a given phoneme with a combination of letters rather than just a single letter. Two-letter combinations are called digraphs and three-letter groups are called trigraphs. German uses the tesseragraphs (four letters) "tsch" for the phoneme IPA[tʃ] and "dsch" for [dʒ], although, the latter is rare. Kabardian also uses a tesseragraph for one of its phonemes.
  • A language may represent the same phoneme with two different letters or combinations of letters.
  • A language may spell some words with unpronounced letters that exist for historical or other reasons.
  • Pronunciation of individual words may change according to the presence of surrounding words in a sentence (sandhi).
  • Different dialects of a language may use different phonemes for the same word.
  • A language may use different sets of symbols or different rules for distinct sets of vocabulary items, such as the Japanese hiragana and katakana syllabaries, or the various rules in English for spelling words from Latin and Greek, or the original Germanic vocabulary.

National languages generally elect to address the problem of dialects by simply associating the alphabet with the national standard. However, with an international language with wide variations in its dialects, such as English, it would be impossible to represent the language in all its variations with a single phonetic alphabet. Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... A trigraph (from the Greek words tria = three and grapho = write) is a group of three letters used to represent a single sound. ... The Kabardian language is closely related to the Adyghe language (see Adyghe), both members of the Northwest Caucasian language family, mainly spoken in Kabardino-Balkar Republic and Karachay-Cherkess Republic of Russia (the native territories) and in Turkey and the Middle East (the residence of the extensive post-war diaspora). ... Sandhi is a cover term for a wide variety of phonological processes that occur at morpheme or word boundaries. ... Hiragana ) is a Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system, along with katakana and kanji; the Latin alphabet is also used in some cases. ... Katakana ) is a Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system along with hiragana, kanji, and in some cases the Latin alphabet. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


Some national languages like Finnish have a very regular spelling system with a nearly one-to-one correspondence between letters and phonemes. Strictly speaking, there is no word in the Finnish language corresponding to the verb "to spell" (meaning to split a word into its letters), the closest match being a verb meaning to split a word into its syllables. Similarly, the Italian verb corresponding to 'spell', compitare, is unknown to many Italians because the act of spelling itself is almost never needed: each phoneme of Standard Italian is represented in only one way. However, pronunciation cannot always be predicted from spelling in cases of irregular syllabic stress. In standard Spanish, it is possible to tell the pronunciation of a word from its spelling, but not vice versa; this is because certain phonemes can be represented in more than one way, but a given letter is consistently pronounced. French, with its silent letters and its heavy use of nasal vowels and elision, may seem to lack much correspondence between spelling and pronunciation, but its rules on pronunciation are actually consistent and predictable with a fair degree of accuracy. In an alphabetic writing system, a silent letter is a letter that, in a particular word, does not correspond to any sound in the words pronunciation. ... A nasal vowel is a vowel that is produced with a lowering of the velum so that air escapes both through nose as well as the mouth. ... In music, see elision (music). ...


At the other extreme, however, are languages such as English, where the spelling of many words simply has to be memorized as they do not correspond to sounds in a consistent way. For English, this is because the Great Vowel Shift occurred after the orthography was established, and because English has acquired a large number of loanwords at different times retaining their original spelling at varying levels. However, even English has general, albeit complex, rules that predict pronunciation from spelling, and these rules are successful most of the time. Rules to predict spelling from the pronunciation have a high failure rate for English. The Great Vowel Shift was a major change in the pronunciation of the English language that took place in the south of England between 1200 and 1600. ...


Sometimes, countries have the written language undergo a spelling reform in order to realign the writing with the contemporary spoken language. These can range from simple spelling changes and word forms to switching the entire writing system itself, as when Turkey switched from the Arabic alphabet to the Roman alphabet. The aim of spelling reform is to make spelling easier for learners and users by removing its difficulties. ...


The sounds of speech of all languages of the world can be written by a rather small universal phonetic alphabet. A standard for this is the International Phonetic Alphabet. Articles with similar titles include the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ...


See also

ABC-DEF-GHI is a song sung by Big Bird of Sesame Street. ... An abecedarium is an inscription consisting of the letters of the alphabet in order. ... Akshara (Sanskrit ) may mean: Akshara is a national level student paper contest conducted by Malla Reddy Engineering College, Hyderabad, India every year. ... Some communication theorists (notably those associated with the Toronto School of Communications, such as Marshall McLuhan, Harold Innis, Walter Ong and more recently Robert K. Logan) have advanced hypotheses to the effect that phonetic writing and alphabetic scripts in particular have served to promote and encourage the cognitive skills of... This article needs cleanup. ... The alphabet song is a popular tool used to help teach children the English alphabet, commonly known by children as the A-B-Cs. ... Alphabetical redirects here. ... An artificial or constructed script (also conscript or neography) is a term for new writing systems specifically devised by specific known individuals, rather than having naturally evolved as part of a culture like a natural script. ... A character encoding is a code that pairs a set of characters (such as an alphabet or syllabary) with a set of something else, such as numbers or electrical pulses. ... A lipogram (from Greek lipagrammatos, missing letter) is a kind of writing with constraints or word game consisting of writing paragraphs or longer works in which a particular letter or group of letters is missing, usually a common vowel, the most common in English being e (McArthur, 1992). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into List of writing systems. ... Look up pangram in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Transliteration is the practice of transcribing a word or text written in one writing system into another writing system. ... Write redirects here. ... The Unicode Standard, Version 5. ...

Bibliography

  • Daniels, Peter T.; Bright, William (1996). The World's Writing Systems. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-507993-0. —(Overview of modern and some ancient writing systems).
  • Driver, G.R. (1976). Semitic Writing (Schweich Lectures on Biblical Archaeology S.) 3Rev Ed. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-725917-0. 
  • Hoffman, Joel M. (2004). In the Beginning: A Short History of the Hebrew Language. NYU Press. ISBN 0-8147-3654-8. —(Chapter 3 traces and summarizes the invention of alphabetic writing).
  • Logan, Robert K. (2004). The Alphabet Effect: A Media Ecology Understanding of the Making of Western Civilization. Hampton Press. ISBN 1-57-273523-6. 
  • McLuhan, Marshall; Logan, Robert K. (1977). Alphabet, Mother of Invention. Etcetera. Vol. 34, pp. 373–383.
  • Ouaknin, Marc-Alain; Bacon, Josephine (1999). Mysteries of the Alphabet: The Origins of Writing. Abbeville Press. ISBN 0-7892-0521-1. 
  • Powell, Barry (1991). Homer and the Origin of the Greek Alphabet. Cambridge Universityh Press. ISBN 0-521-58907-X. 
  • Sacks, David (2004). Letter Perfect: The Marvelous History of Our Alphabet from A to Z (PDF), Broadway Books. ISBN 0-7679-1173-3. 
  • Saggs, H.W.F (1991). Civilization Before Greece and Rome. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-05031-3. —(Chapter 4 traces the invention of writing).
  • Coulmas, Florian (1989). The Writing Systems of the World. Blackwell Publishers Ltd.. ISBN 0-631-18028-1. 

References

  1. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica Online — Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary
  2. ^ Ohso, Mieko (April 1973). "A Phonological Study of Some English Loan Words in Japanese. Working Papers in Linguistics, No. 14, Studies in Phonology and Methodology" (in English). Studies in Phonology and Methodology (14): 27 pages. ERIC # ED122593. Retrieved on 2006-11-07. 
  3. ^ Daniels and Bright (1996), pp. 74–75.
  4. ^ Daniels and Bright (1996), pp. 74.
  5. ^ a b Coulmas (1989), p. 140.
  6. ^ Daniels and Bright (1996), pp. 92–94.
  7. ^ a b Daniels and Bright (1996), pp. 94–96.
  8. ^ Coulmas (1989), p. 141.
  9. ^ Millard, A.R. "The Infancy of the Alphabet", World Archaeology 17, No. 3, Early Writing Systems (Feb., 1986): 390–398. page 395.

Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 311th day of the year (312th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

Look up alphabet in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Aztec or Nahuatl writing is a pictographic pre-Columbian writing system used in central Mexico by the Nahua peoples. ... The Celtiberian script was used to write the Celtiberian language, an extinct Continental Celtic language. ... Northeastern Iberian script in the context of paleohispanic scripts A northeastern dual Iberian signary A northeastern non-dual Iberian signary. ... Southeastern Iberian script in the context of paleohispanic scripts A possible southeastern Iberian signary (Correa 2004). ... Southwestern script in the context of paleohispanic scripts A possible southwestern signary (Rodríguez Ramos 2000) Fonte Velha (Bensafrim, Lagos) Herdade da Abobada (Almodôvar) The southwest script or southwestern script, also known as Tartessian or South Lusitanian is a paleohispanic script that was the mean of written expression of... A syllabary is a set of written symbols that represent (or approximate) syllables, which make up words. ... The Afaka script (afaka sikifi) is a syllabary of 56 letters devised in 1908 for the Ndyuka language, an English creole of Surinam. ... Sequoyah The Cherokee language is written in a syllabary invented by Sequoyah (also known as George Gist or George Guess). ... Hiragana ) is a Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system, along with katakana and kanji; the Latin alphabet is also used in some cases. ... Katakana ) is a Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system along with hiragana, kanji, and in some cases the Latin alphabet. ... Kikakui is a syllabary used for writing the Mende language. ... Chief Gbili - Liberian, invented Kpelle syllabary ca. ... This article is about the ancient syllabary. ... It has been suggested that Shakukun be merged into this article or section. ... Nü Shu written in Nü Shu (right to left). ... Old Persian cuneiform is the primary script used in Old Persian writings. ...   The Vai script was devised by of Jondu, in what is now Grand Cape Mount County, Liberia. ... The Yi scripts, also known as Cuan or Wei, are used to write the Yi languages. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Ancient Scripts: Alphabet (1403 words)
This alphabet, though, eventually disappeared from the mainstream, and survived as the Samaritan script.
In Israel, it became the "Jewish" alphabet, the direct descendant of which is the modern Hebrew alphabet.
Traditionally the Greeks held that their alphabet was derived from the Phoenician alphabet, and many scholars agree with this as well.
Phoenician Alphabet (3225 words)
The Phoenician alphabetic script of 22 letters was used at Byblos as early as the 15th century B.C. This method of writing, later adopted by the Greeks, is the ancestor of the modern Roman alphabet.
All the European alphabets are descendants of the Phoenician, and all the Asiatic alphabets are descendants of the Aramaic variants of the Phoenician.
Phoenician alphabet is the ancestor of the Greek alphabet and, hence, of all Western alphabets.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m