The modern English alphabet is a Latin alphabet consisting of 26 letters, each having an upper- and lower-case form. It originated around the 7th century from Latin script . Since then, letters have been added or removed to give the current Modern English alphabet of 26 letters with no diacritics , digraphs , nor special characters.
An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols or graphemes (called letters) that represent the phonemes of certain spoken languages. Not all writing systems represent language in this way; in a syllabary, each character represents a syllable, for instance, and logographic systems use characters to represent words, morphemes, or other semantic units.
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A letter is a segmental symbol of a phonemic writing system. The inventory of all letters forms the alphabet. Letters broadly correspond to phonemes in the spoken form of the language, although there is rarely a consistent, exact correspondence between letters and phonemes. The word letter, borrowed from Old French letre, entered Middle English ...
- Short List of Alphabets
- Other Writing Systems
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It seems that the idea of an alphabet – a script based entirely upon sound – has been copied and adapted to suit many different languages. Although no alphabet fits its language perfectly, they are flexible enough to fit any language approximately. The alphabet was a unique invention.p12 The Roman alphabet, the Cyrillic, and a few others come from the ancient Greek alphabet, which dates back to about 1100 to 800BC.p167 The Greek alphabet was probably developed from the Phoenicianscript, which appeared somewhat earlier, and had some similar letter-shapes. The Phoenicians spoke a Semitic language, usually called Canaanite. The Semitic group of languages includes Arabic, Maltese, Hebrew and also Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus. We do not know much about how the alphabetic idea arose, but the Phoenicians, a trading people, came up with letters which were adapted by the early Greeks to produce their alphabet. The one big difference is that the Phoenician script had no pure vowels....
A list of alphabets and examples of the languages they are used for: 1. Proto-Sinaitic script 2. Phoenician alphabet, used in ancient Phoenicia. 3. Greek alphabet, used for Greek 4. Roman alphabet(or Latin alphabet), most commonly used today 5. Arabic alphabet, used for Arabic, Urdu and Persian 6. Hebrew alphabet, used for Hebrew, Ladino (only in Israel) and Yiddish 7. Devanagari, used for many languages of India 8. Cyrillic alphabet, which is based on the Greek alphabet, used for Russian and Bulgarian 9. Hangul, used for Korean 10. Ethiopic
Other writing systems do not use letters, but they do (at least in part) represent sounds. For example, many systems represent syllables. In the past such writing systems were used by many cultures, but today they are almost only used by languages people speak in Asia. A syllabary is a system of writing that is similar to an alphabet. A syllabary uses one symbol to indicate each syllableof a word, instead of one symbol for each letter of the word. For example, a syllabary would use one symbol to mean the syllable "ga", instead of two letters of the alphabet "g" and "a". 1. Japanese uses a mix of the Chinese writing (kanji) and two syllabaries called hiragana and katakana. Modern Japanese often also uses romaji, which is the Japanese syllabarywritten in the Roman alphabet. 2. The Koreans used the Chinese writing in the past, but they created their own alphabet called hangul. Originally, 1200 BC in the Shang dynasty, Chinese characters were mainly "pictographic", using pictures to sho...
The letters chosen for the IPA are meant to harmonize with the Latin alphabet. For this reason, most letters are either Latin or Greek, or modifications thereof. Some letters are neither: for example, the letter denoting the glottal stop, ʔ , originally had the form of a dotless question mark, and derives from an apostrophe.
International adoption. After the phonetic alphabet was developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (see history below) it was adopted by many other international and national organizations, including the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United States Federal Government as Federal Standard 1037C: Glossary of ...