Latin Alphabet

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Latin Alphabet


historically, a branch of the Etruscan alphabet, which in turn was derived from the Greek alphabet. It is generally taken to have come into being in the seventh century B.C. The letters were written first from right to left and, on alternate lines, from left to right (the boustrophedon). After the fourth century B.C. they were written from left to right. The names of the letters (bee, dee, ef, and so on), with the exception of yod, zeta, and upsilon, were not Greek or Semitic but rather were either borrowed from the Etruscans or were original inventions. The basic shapes of the letters were established in the first to fifth centuries A.D.

The original Latin alphabet consisted of 20 letters (A B C D E F H I K L M N O P Q R S K V X); the letter C was used to signify k or g, and the sound [k] could be written as C, K, or Q. In about 230 B.C. the letter G was introduced, and almost simultaneously the use of C, K, and Q was regulated: C was the most common representation of [k], Q was used before u, and K was retained in only a few words. The letters Y and Z were introduced at the beginning of the first century B.C. for words of Greek origin. Thus, the alphabet consisted of 23 characters. The regular use of the letters J (as opposed to I), U (as opposed to V), and W began only in the era of the Renaissance.

Beginning in the early Middle Ages, the Latin alphabet served many languages of Europe, and later it was also used for a number of languages of Africa, America, and Asia.


Diringer, D. Alfavit. Moscow, 1963. Pages 608–15. (Translated from English.)
Gelb, I. J. A Study of Writing. Chicago, 1963.
Jensen, H. Die Schrift. Berlin, 1969.


References in periodicals archive ?
The lexical effect of "tuan" is actually closer to the sort of switching within the "scriptworld" of roman letters that I briefly alluded to in referring to the "K" effect of Conrad's authorial signature.
For a numerically-ordered window (using each Roman letter one or more times in numerical order) the shortest found is 21 letters: "...
educators at, for example, the Pennsylvania Institution for the Instruction of the Blind, experimented with the shape and size of Roman letters. In doing so, Perkins especially aimed to follow Howe's earliest articulated maxim of tactile printing: "make the letters to differ as much as possible from each other in shape, and do not let the difference be in position merely." (23) Yet the shape of the Roman alphabet itself constrained this greatest possible difference between its characters, as similarities between letters such as "o" and "a" as well as "t" and "f " seemed to confound Howe's modifications.
In addition to that, he signs his works not only in Japanese, but also in Roman letters Or in Hangul (the Korean script) and adds corresponding decoration to the tombola), the wooden box in which the ceramic is stored arid transported.
The Cyrillic alphabet used in Russia has several letters that look like Roman letters. The ones that correspond closely to the Roman letters in sound as well as appearance are: A, E, K, M, O, T.
Appendix D defines the special meanings of the Greek and Roman letters used in the book's notation.
Modern-day written Japanese is a mixture of kanji, hiragana and katakana, with an increasing amount of Western script also thrown in (known as "romaji" or Roman letters).
Underneath in Roman letters was the el-Shark for Insurance -- a rather unfortunate transliteration for users of English, especially since many members of the community whom Shakespeare dubbed "this happy breed" have had bad experiences with insurance salespeople.
Early CMC protocols, considering only the English-speaking world, used a limited ASCII character set of the 26 Roman letters, their capital versions, the numbers from 0 to 9, and some punctuation.
At Caerleon, South Wales, volunteers uncover the Roman roots of Wales, while up on Tyneside, ordinary Roman Britons from Africa and Syria are brought to life with the help of Roman letters read by today's Tynesiders.
The manuscript seems straight out of fiction: a strange handwritten message in abstract symbols and Greek and Roman letters meticulously covering 105 yellowing pages and hidden in the depths of an academic archive.
Chapter 2, "Shakespeare's Roman Letters," offers a well-informed account of how Latin letter writing was taught in Elizabethan schools, advancing the case for dethroning Erasmus by looking carefully at Vives's more historical treatment of the material forms of classical letters.