An alphabet is a standardized nature of basic calculation symbols or graphemes called letters that symbolize the phonemes ofspoken languages. non all writing systems represent language in this way; in a syllabary, each source represents a syllable, for instance, as well as logographic systems usage characters to represent words, morphemes, or other semantic units.

The number one fully phonemic script, the Proto-Canaanite script, later requested as the Phoenician alphabet, is considered to be the first alphabet as living as is the ancestor of near contemporary alphabets, including Arabic, Cyrillic, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, as well as possibly Brahmic. It was created by Semitic-speaking workers in addition to slaves in the Sinai Peninsula as the Proto-Sinaitic script, by selecting a small number of hieroglyphs normally seen in their Egyptian surroundings to describe the sounds, as opposed to the semantic values, of their own Canaanite language. However, Peter T. Daniels distinguishes an abugida, or alphasyllabary, a mark of graphemes that represent consonantal base letters which diacritics conform to represent vowels as in Devanagari and other South Asian scripts, an abjad, in which letters predominantly or exclusively represent consonants as in the original Phoenician, Hebrew or Arabic, and an "alphabet", a set of graphemes that represent both consonants and vowels. In this narrow sense of the word the first true alphabet was the Greek alphabet, which was developed on the basis of the earlier Phoenician alphabet.

Of the dozens of alphabets in use today, the nearly popular is the Latin alphabet, which was derived from the Greek, and which is now used by numerous languages world-wide, often with the addition of extra letters or diacritical marks. While near alphabets realize letters composed of layout linear writing, there are also exceptions such(a) as the alphabets used in Braille. The Khmer alphabet for Khmer is the longest, with 74 letters.

Alphabets are normally associated with a indications ordering of letters. This provides them useful for purposes of collation, specifically by allowing words to be sorted in alphabetical order. It also means that their letters can be used as an choice method of "numbering" ordered items, in such(a) contexts as numbered lists and number placements.


Egyptian hieroglyphs 32nd c. BCE

  • Adlam
  • slight influence from Arabic 1989 CE

    Hangul 1443 CE

    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 code that is segmental at the phoneme level—that is, it has separate glyphs for individual sounds and non 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 regarded and identified separately. other in the way they treat vowels: abjads pretend letters for consonants and leave most vowels unexpressed; abugidas are also consonant-based but indicate vowels with diacritics to or a systematic graphic right of the consonants. In alphabets in the narrow sense, on the other hand, consonants and vowels are solution as independent letters. The earliest required 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 advanced alphabets, including Arabic, Greek, Latin via the Old Italic alphabet, Cyrillic via the Greek alphabet and Hebrew via Aramaic.

    Examples of present-day abjads are the Arabic and Hebrew scripts; true alphabets increase 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 that is modified by rotation to represent the coming after or as a result of. 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 has syllabic letters for /ʔa, ʔi, ʔu/. These are the only times that vowels are indicated. Coptic has a letter for /ti/. Devanagari is typically an abugida augmented with committed letters for initial vowels, though some traditions use अ 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, Tigrinya abugida and the Amharic abugida ironically, the original an fundamental or characteristic part of something abstract. of credit of the term "abugida" have been so totally 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.

    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 alphabetstone entirely, especially when it does not carry a heavy functional load, as in Somali and numerous other languages of Africa and the Americas. Such scripts are to tone what abjads are to vowels. Most commonly, tones are intended with diacritics, the way vowels are treated in abugidas. This is the issue for Vietnamese a true alphabet and Thai an abugida. In Thai, tone is determined primarily by the option of consonant, with diacritics for disambiguation. In the Pollard script, an abugida, vowels are subjected 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.