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Encyclopedia > Etruscan alphabet

Old Italic refers to a number of related historical alphabets used on the Italian peninsula which were used for some non-Indo-European languages (Etruscan and probably North Picene), various Indo-European languages belonging to the Italic branch (Faliscan and members of the Sabellian group, including Oscan, Umbrian, and South Picene), and a separate Indo-European branch (Messapic). The alphabets derive from Euboean Greek used at Ischia and Cumae in the bay of Naples in the eighth century BC. Faliscan, Oscan, Umbrian, North Picene, and South Picene all derive from an Etruscan form of the alphabet.

The Unicode standard includes support for the Etruscan alphabet (your browser may or may not display the characters properly, if at all):

Letter Translit. Name
𐌀 a a
𐌁 b be
𐌂 c ke
𐌃 d de
𐌄 e e
𐌅 v ve
𐌆 z ze
𐌇 h he
𐌈 b the
𐌉 i i
𐌊 k ka
𐌋 l el
𐌌 m em
𐌍 n en
𐌎 š esh
𐌏 o o
𐌐 p pe
𐌑 ś she
𐌒 q ku
𐌓 r er
𐌔 s es
𐌕 t te
𐌖 u u
𐌗 x eks
𐌘 ph phe
𐌙 ch khe
𐌚 f ef
𐌛 ř ers
𐌜 che
𐌝 ii
𐌞 uu
𐌠 I 1
𐌡 V 5
𐌢 X 10
𐌣 D 50

The Etruscan alphabet

It is not clear whether the process of adaptation from the Greek alphabet took place in Italy from the first colony of Greeks, the city of Cumae, or in Greece/Asia Minor. The Etruscan was mostly written from left to right. It was in any case a Western Greek alphabet. In the alphabets of the West, X had the sound value [ks], Psi stood for [k_h]; in Etruscan: X = [s], Psi = [k_j] or [k_X] (Rix 202-209). Is this supposed to be Psi or Chi? An additional sign, 8, was present in both Lydian and Etruscan (Jensen 513) Its origin is disputed; it may be an altered B or H or an ex novo creation (Rix 202). Its sound value was /f/ and it replaced the Etruscan FH.

The Oscan alphabet


External link

  • Old Italic Unicode (http://www.unicode.org/charts/PDF/U10300.pdf)
  • The Etruscan alphabet (http://www.omniglot.com/writing/etruscan.htm)

  Results from FactBites:
Latin alphabet: Definition and Much More From Answers.com (2790 words)
It is generally held that the Latins adopted the western variant of the Greek alphabet in the 7th century BC from Cumae, a Greek colony in southern Italy.
From the Cumae alphabet, the Etruscan alphabet was derived and the Latins finally adopted 21 of the original 26 Etruscan letters.
The Latin alphabet spread from Italy, along with the Latin language, to the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea with the expansion of the Roman Empire.
Wikipedia: Latin alphabet (1395 words)
The Latin alphabet derives mainly from the Etruscan alphabet.
It is uncontested that the alphabet is mainly of Etruscan origin.
In the Swedish alphabet, "W" is seen as a variant of "V" and not a separate letter.
  More results at FactBites »



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