Even more extreme, the Pahlavi abjad eventually became logographic. The Armenian alphabet Armenian: Today the Rotokas alphabet has only twelve letters. The pronunciation of a language often evolves independently of its writing system, and writing systems have been borrowed for languages they were not designed for, so the degree to which letters of an alphabet correspond to phonemes of a language varies greatly from one language to another and even within a single language.
However, such apparent simplifications can perversely make a script more complicated. Thus a simple count of the number of distinct symbols is an important clue to the nature of an unknown script.
All three types may be augmented with syllabic glyphs. On the other hand, the Phagspa script of the Mongol Empire was based closely on the Tibetan abugidabut all vowel marks were written after the preceding consonant rather than as diacritic marks.
Sometimes, countries have the written language undergo a spelling reform to realign the writing with the contemporary spoken language. Runic used an unrelated Futhark sequence, which was later simplified.
Frenchwith its silent letters and its heavy use of nasal vowels and elisionmay seem to lack much correspondence between spelling and pronunciation, but its rules on pronunciation, though complex, are actually consistent and predictable with a fair degree of accuracy.
Such scripts are to tone what abjads are to vowels. The Brahmic family of alphabets used in India use a unique order based on phonology: A language may use different sets of symbols or different rules for distinct sets of vocabulary items, such as the Japanese hiragana and katakana syllabaries, or the various rules in English for spelling words from Latin and Greek, or the original Germanic vocabulary.
These three differ from each other in the way they treat vowels: Different dialects of a language may use different phonemes for the same word.
The largest alphabets in the narrow sense include Kabardian and Abkhaz for Cyrillicwith 58 and 56 letters, respectively, and Slovak for the Latin scriptwith However this ideal is not usually achieved in practice; some languages such as Spanish and Finnish come close to it, while others such as English deviate from it to a much larger degree.
Pronunciation of individual words may change according to the presence of surrounding words in a sentence sandhi. Examples of present-day abjads are the Arabic and Hebrew scripts ; true alphabets include LatinCyrillic, and Korean hangul ; and abugidas are used to write TigrinyaAmharicHindiand Thai.
The number of letters in an alphabet can be quite small. In accordance with the principle on which alphabets are based, these rules will generally map letters of the alphabet to the phonemes significant sounds of the spoken language.
National languages sometimes elect to address the problem of dialects by simply associating the alphabet with the national standard.
For example, Sorani Kurdish is written in the Arabic scriptwhich is normally an abjad.
In the narrower sense, some scholars distinguish "true" alphabets from two other types of segmental script, abjads and abugidas.
In French, these are not considered to be additional letters for the purposes of collation.
Origins of the alphabet are still unknown, some Armenian and Western scholars believe it was created by Mesrop Mashtots Armenian: However, Hawaiian Braille has only 13 letters. For tonal languagesfurther classification can be based on their treatment of tone, though names do not yet exist to distinguish the various types.
Although short a was not written, as in the Indic abugidas, one could argue that the linear arrangement made this a true alphabet.
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. The largest known abjad is Sindhiwith 51 letters. In a true syllabary, each consonant-vowel combination would be represented by a separate glyph.
A language may represent a given phoneme by a combination of letters rather than just a single letter. 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.
The letters are arranged according to how and where they are produced in the mouth. A language may represent the same phoneme with two or more different letters or combinations of letters. Orthography and pronunciation Main article: Even English has general, albeit complex, rules that predict pronunciation from spelling, and these rules are successful most of the time; rules to predict spelling from the pronunciation have a higher failure rate.
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. Other languages may use a Semitic abjad with mandatory vowel diacritics, effectively making them abugidas.
Syllabaries typically contain 50 to glyphs, and the glyphs of logographic systems typically number from the many hundreds into the thousands.Ninety-one complete alphabets — medieval to modern — include 3, decorative initials, including Victorian novelty and Art Nouveau. These alphabets were obtained from rare, out-of-print books, generally available only in libraries or in the rare-book market.
An alphabet is a standard set of letters (basic written symbols or graphemes) that represent the phonemes (basic significant sounds) of any spoken language it is used to write. 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 .Download