Even more extreme, the pahlavi abjad eventually became logographic. (see below.) 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.
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The canadian Aboriginal syllabics are also an abugida rather than a syllabary as their name would imply, since each glyph stands for a consonant that is modified by rotation to represent the following vowel. (In a true syllabary, each consonant-vowel combination would be represented by a separate glyph.) All three types may be augmented with syllabic glyphs. Ugaritic, for example, is basically an abjad, but thesis has syllabic letters for /ʔa, ʔi, ʔu/. Devanagari is typically an abugida augmented with dedicated letters for initial vowels, though some traditions use as a zero consonant as the graphic base for such vowels. 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.
Types The term "alphabet" is used by linguists and paleographers in both a wide and a narrow sense. In the wider sense, an alphabet is a script that is segmental at the phoneme level—that is, it 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 book 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. 16 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. 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.
After the later establishment of the people's Republic of China and its adoption of Hanyu pinyin, the use of Zhuyin today is limited, but it is still widely used in taiwan where the republic of China still governs. Zhuyin developed out of a form of Chinese shorthand based paper on Chinese characters in the early 1900s and has elements of both an alphabet and a syllabary. Like an alphabet the phonemes of syllable initials are represented by individual symbols, but like a syllabary the phonemes of the syllable finals are not; rather, each possible final (excluding the medial glide ) is represented by its own symbol. For example, luan is represented as ( l-u-an where the last symbol represents the entire final -an. 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 cellphones. 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 general and Persian ) and sometimes as a complete alphabet (as with Kurdish and Uyghur ).
The longest European alphabet is the latin-derived Slovak alphabet which has 46 letters. 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. Most alphabetic scripts of India and Eastern Asia are descended from the Brahmi script, which is often believed to be a descendant of Aramaic. In Korea, the hangul alphabet was created by sejong the Great. 14 Hangul is a unique alphabet: it is a featural alphabet, where many of the letters are designed from a sound's place of articulation (P to look like the widened mouth, l to look like the tongue pulled in, etc. its design was planned by the government of the day; and it places individual letters in syllable clusters with equal dimensions, in the same way as Chinese characters, to allow for mixed-script writing 15 (one syllable always takes up one type-space no matter how many. Zhuyin (sometimes called Bopomofo ) is a semi-syllabary used to phonetically transcribe mandarin Chinese in the republic of China.
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Other alphabets only use a subset of the latin alphabet, dev such as Hawaiian, and Italian, which uses the letters j, k, x, y and w only in foreign words. Another notable script is Elder Futhark, which 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 ad 100 to the late middle Ages. Its usage is 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. The Old Hungarian script is a contemporary writing system of the hungarians.
It was in use during the entire history of Hungary, albeit not as an official writing system. From the 19th century it once again became more and more popular. The Glagolitic alphabet was the initial script of the liturgical language Old Church Slavonic and became, together with the Greek uncial script, the basis of the cyrillic script. Cyrillic is one of the most widely used modern alphabetic scripts, and is notable for its use in Slavic languages and also for other languages within the former soviet Union. Cyrillic alphabets include the serbian, macedonian, bulgarian, russian, belarusian and Ukrainian. The Glagolitic alphabet is believed to have been created by saints Cyril and Methodius, while the cyrillic alphabet was invented by 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.
These letters have a dual function since they are also used as pure consonants. 13 The Proto-sinaitic or Proto-canaanite script and the Ugaritic script were the first scripts with a limited number of signs, in contrast to the other widely used writing systems at the time, cuneiform, egyptian hieroglyphs, and Linear. The Phoenician script was probably the first phonemic script 1 2 and it contained only about two dozen distinct letters, making it a script simple enough for common traders to learn. Another advantage of Phoenician was that it could be used to write down many different languages, since it recorded words phonemically. The script was spread by the Phoenicians across the mediterranean. 2 In Greece, the script was modified to add vowels, giving rise to the ancestor of all alphabets in the west.
The vowels have independent letter forms separate from those of consonants; therefore it was the first true alphabet. The Greeks chose letters representing sounds that did not exist in Greek to represent vowels. Vowels are significant in the Greek language, and the syllabical Linear B script that was used by the mycenaean Greeks from the 16th century bc had 87 symbols, including 5 vowels. In its early years, there were many variants of the Greek alphabet, a situation that caused many different alphabets to evolve from. European alphabets The Greek alphabet, in its Euboean form, was carried over by Greek colonists to the Italian peninsula, where it gave rise to a variety of alphabets used to write 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 most of the other languages of Europe. Some adaptations of the latin alphabet are augmented with ligatures, such as æ in Danish and Icelandic and 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.
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This script was not used after the destruction of Ugarit. 11 The reviews Proto-sinaitic script eventually developed into the Phoenician alphabet, which is conventionally called "Proto-canaanite" before. 2 The oldest text in Phoenician script is an inscription on the sarcophagus of King Ahiram. This script is the parent script of all western alphabets. By the tenth century, two other forms can be distinguished, namely canaanite and Aramaic. The Aramaic gave rise to the hebrew script. 12 The south Arabian alphabet, a sister script to the Phoenician alphabet, is the script from which the ge'ez alphabet (an abugida ) yardage is descended. Vowelless alphabets, which are not true alphabets, are called abjads, currently exemplified in scripts including Arabic, hebrew, and Syriac. The omission of vowels was not always a satisfactory solution and some "weak" consonants are sometimes used to indicate the vowel quality of a syllable ( matres lectionis ).
Egyptian writing had a set of some 24 hieroglyphs that are called uniliterals, 8 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. 9 A specimen of Proto-sinaitic script, one of the earliest (if not the very first) phonemic scripts In the middle Bronze age, an apparently "alphabetic" system known as the Proto-sinaitic script paper appears in Egyptian turquoise mines in the sinai peninsula dated to circa the 15th. In 1999, john and Deborah Darnell discovered an even earlier version of this first alphabet at Wadi el-Hol dated to circa 1800 bc and showing evidence of having been adapted from specific forms of Egyptian hieroglyphs that could be dated to circa 2000 bc, strongly. 10 Based on letter appearances and names, it is believed to be based on Egyptian hieroglyphs. 1 This script had no characters representing vowels, although originally it probably was a syllabary, but unneeded symbols were discarded. An alphabetic cuneiform script with 30 signs including three that indicate the following vowel was invented in Ugarit before the 15th century.
specifically by allowing words to be sorted in alphabetical order. It also means that their letters can be used as an alternative method of "numbering" ordered items, in such contexts as numbered lists and number placements. Contents Etymology The English word alphabet came into middle English from the late latin word alphabetum, which in turn originated in the Greek λφάβητος ( alphabētos ). The Greek word was made from the first two letters, alpha and beta. 7 The names for the Greek letters came from the first two letters of the Phoenician alphabet ; aleph, which also meant ox, and bet, which also meant house. Sometimes, like in the alphabet song in English, the term "ABCs" is used instead of the word "alphabet" ( Now i know my abcs.). "Knowing one's abcs in general, can be used as a metaphor for knowing the basics about anything. History main article: History of the alphabet Ancient Northeast African and Middle eastern scripts The history of the alphabet started in ancient Egypt.
Arabic, greek, latin, cyrillic, hebrew, and possibly, brahmic. 1 2 Under a terminological distinction promoted by peter. Daniels, an "alphabet" is a script that represents both vowels and consonants as letters equally. In this narrow sense of the word the first "true" alphabet was the Greek alphabet, 3 4 which was developed on the basis of the earlier Phoenician alphabet. In other alphabetic scripts such as the original Phoenician, hebrew or Arabic, letters predominantly or exclusively represent consonants; such a script is also called an abjad. A third type, called abugida or alphasyllabary, is one where vowels are shown by diacritics or modifications of consonantal base letters, as in devanagari and other south Asian scripts. The Khmer alphabet (for Cambodian ) database is the longest, with 74 letters. 5 There are dozens of alphabets in use today, the most popular being the latin alphabet 6 (which was derived from the Greek ). Many languages use modified forms of the latin alphabet, with additional letters formed using diacritical marks.
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This article is about sets of letters used in written languages. For other uses, see. Alphabet (disambiguation) and, alphabetical (disambiguation). Edward Bernard 's "Orbis eruditi comparing all known alphabets as of 1689. An alphabet is a standard set of letters (basic written symbols or graphemes ) that is used to write one or more languages based upon the general principle that the letters represent phonemes (basic significant sounds) of the spoken language. This is in contrast to other types of writing systems, such as syllabaries (in which each character represents a syllable ) and logographies (in which each character represents a word, morpheme, or semantic unit). The, proto-canaanite script, later known as the, phoenician alphabet, is the first fully phonemic script. Thus the Phoenician alphabet is considered to be the first alphabet. The Phoenician alphabet is the ancestor of most modern alphabets, including.