Latin Alphabet

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Latin Alphabet

Postby Q. C. Locatus Barbatus on Mon Nov 11, 2002 5:39 pm

Salvete!



In Dutch we always speak of our alphabet as the "Latin alphabet". But is a true Roman invention? I guess not; where did it came frome?



Valete,



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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Sat Nov 16, 2002 5:14 pm

Latin alphabet was derived from Etruscan alphabet, which in turn was based on the Greek one. However, the letters we use nowadays are not "truly" Roman.

The Roman alphabet looked like this: A B C D E F G H I (K) L M N O P Q R S T V (X Y Z). The letters between brackets signify characters which weren't used often. X, Y and Z were only used in Greek loanwords and the C was usually used instead of K.

In medieval times, J was added, and a division was made clear between U and V to show when they respectively meant /u/ and /w/. I'm not sure where the W comes from but I guess that the simplest explanation is that it originally was written VV.

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Latin alphabet ?

Postby Quintus Pomponius Atticus on Sat Nov 16, 2002 11:14 pm

Salvete,

Scorpio scripsit :

Latin alphabet was derived from Etruscan alphabet, which in turn was based on the Greek one. However, the letters we use nowadays are not "truly" Roman.


Might need to add that the Greeks originally borrowed their alphabet from the Phoenicians, although they amply modified the original :wink:

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changing charachters

Postby Q. C. Locatus Barbatus on Sat Nov 16, 2002 11:56 pm

Salvete,


Latin alphabet was derived from Etruscan alphabet, which in turn was based on the Greek one. However, the letters we use nowadays are not "truly" Roman.


But the Greek alphabet has other characters. Who did change them? Why?


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Re: changing charachters

Postby Publius Dionysius Mus on Sun Nov 17, 2002 12:14 pm

Quintus Claudius Locatus wrote:Salvete,

But the Greek alphabet has other characters. Who did change them? Why?



Salve Locate!

This is a natural evolution. Writing develops over the years. For example, the evolution of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs: the word 'bread' was first written in the form of a bread, and later this hieroglyph in the form of a bread stood for the letter 't'.

The same sort of evolution can be seen in cuneiform writing; people developed a sort of writing, and adapted it later on according to their needs.

The people in Italy spoke many different languages, and when they started to use writing, they used whatever was available and adapted this system to their own language.


Maybe their are some linguists around here who can explain this better?
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On the Latin alphabet, et alia

Postby Anonymous on Sun Jan 12, 2003 11:40 am

If you can find it, check out Ancient Writing and Its Influence by B.L. Ullman, reprinted by the University of Toronto Press for the Medieval Academy of America in 1989 ISBN 0-8020-6435-3. It was first published in 1932, so the parts about greek linear B is waay out of date, but it is good on the Italic and later alphabets.
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Re: changing charachters

Postby Horatius Piscinus on Thu Apr 03, 2003 6:41 pm

Salve Mus

Publius Dionysius Mus wrote:
The people in Italy spoke many different languages, and when they started to use writing, they used whatever was available and adapted this system to their own language.



So might you explain why if the Italians were borrowing whatever was at hand, why it is that the earliest example of the Greek alphabeth is actually found in Latium, near Gabii in the first half of the eight century, Osterio dell'Osa, Tomb 482, at least a generation earlier than any other example found in Magna Graecia or in mainland Greece, and nearly a half century prior to any evidence of a Greek presence, either direct or indirect, occuring anywhere in Latium?

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Postby Publius Dionysius Mus on Sat Apr 05, 2003 5:57 pm

Salve Marce!

I am by no means a specialist on linguistics... That's why I asked: "Maybe their are some linguists around here who can explain this better?"

I did not know the facts you present here. :( My statement was only a simple conclusion based on my own limited knowledge.

Maybe one day I'll study the ancient languages again, and maybe then I can answer such questions correctly... :roll:

I'll stick to the subjects I do know something about...

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