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Latin
Latin
or Roman script is a set of graphic signs (script) based on the letters of the classical Latin
Latin
alphabet, which is derived from a form of the Cumaean Greek version of the Greek alphabet, used by the Etruscans. Several Latin-script alphabets exist which differ in graphemes, collation and phonetic values from the classical Latin
Latin
alphabet. The Latin
Latin
script is the basis of the International Phonetic Alphabet and the 26 most widespread letters are the letters contained in the ISO basic Latin
Latin
alphabet. Latin
Latin
script is the basis for the largest number of alphabets of any writing system[1] and is the most widely adopted writing system in the world (commonly used by about 70% of the world's population). Latin script is used as the standard method of writing in most Western and Central European languages, as well as in many languages in other parts of the world.

Contents

1 Name 2 History

2.1 Old Italic alphabet 2.2 Archaic Latin
Latin
alphabet 2.3 Classical Latin
Classical Latin
alphabet 2.4 ISO basic Latin
Latin
alphabet

3 Spread

3.1 Middle Ages 3.2 Since the 16th century 3.3 Since 19th century 3.4 Since 20th century

4 International standards 5 As used by various languages

5.1 Letters 5.2 Multigraphs 5.3 Ligatures 5.4 Diacritics 5.5 Collation 5.6 Capitalization

6 Romanization 7 See also 8 Notes 9 References 10 Further reading 11 External links

Name[edit] The script is either called Roman script or Latin
Latin
script, in reference to its origin in ancient Rome. In the context of transliteration, the term "romanization" or "romanisation" is often found.[2][3] Unicode uses the term "Latin"[4] as does the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).[5] The numeral system is called the Roman numeral system; and the collection of the elements, Roman numerals. The numbers 1, 2, 3 ... are Latin/Roman script numbers for the Hindu–Arabic numeral system. History[edit] Main article: History of the Latin
Latin
script Old Italic alphabet[edit]

Old Italic alphabet

Letters 𐌀 𐌁 𐌂 𐌃 𐌄 𐌅 𐌆 𐌇 𐌈 𐌉 𐌊 𐌋 𐌌 𐌍 𐌎 𐌏 𐌐 𐌑 𐌒 𐌓 𐌔 𐌕 𐌖 𐌗 𐌘 𐌙 𐌚

Transliteration A B C D E V Z H Θ I K L M N Ξ O P Ś Q R S T Y X Φ Ψ F

Archaic Latin
Latin
alphabet[edit]

Archaic Latin
Latin
alphabet

As Old Italic 𐌀 𐌁 𐌂 𐌃 𐌄 𐌅 𐌆 𐌇 𐌉 𐌊 𐌋 𐌌 𐌍 𐌏 𐌐 𐌒 𐌓 𐌔 𐌕 𐌖 𐌗

As Latin A B C D E F Z H I K L M N O P Q R S T V X

The letter ⟨C⟩ was the western form of the Greek gamma, but it was used for the sounds /ɡ/ and /k/ alike, possibly under the influence of Etruscan, which might have lacked any voiced plosives. Later, probably during the 3rd century BC, the letter ⟨Z⟩ – unneeded to write Latin
Latin
properly – was replaced with the new letter ⟨G⟩, a ⟨C⟩ modified with a small vertical stroke, which took its place in the alphabet. From then on, ⟨G⟩ represented the voiced plosive /ɡ/, while ⟨C⟩ was generally reserved for the voiceless plosive /k/. The letter ⟨K⟩ was used only rarely, in a small number of words such as Kalendae, often interchangeably with ⟨C⟩. Classical Latin
Classical Latin
alphabet[edit] After the Roman conquest of Greece
Roman conquest of Greece
in the 1st century BC, Latin adopted the Greek letters ⟨Y⟩ and ⟨Z⟩ (or readopted, in the latter case) to write Greek loanwords, placing them at the end of the alphabet. An attempt by the emperor Claudius
Claudius
to introduce three additional letters did not last. Thus it was during the classical Latin
Latin
period that the Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
contained 23 letters:

Classical Latin
Classical Latin
alphabet

Letter A B C D E F G H I K L M N O P Q R S T V X Y Z

Latin
Latin
name (majus) á bé cé dé é ef gé há ꟾ ká el em en ó pé qv́ er es té v́ ix ꟾ graeca zéta

Latin
Latin
name ā bē cē dē ē ef gē hā ī kā el em en ō pē qū er es tē ū ix ī Graeca zēta

Latin
Latin
pronunciation (IPA) aː beː keː deː eː ɛf ɡeː haː iː kaː ɛl ɛm ɛn oː peː kuː ɛr ɛs teː uː iks iː ˈɡraɪka ˈdzeːta

ISO basic Latin
Latin
alphabet[edit] Main article: ISO basic Latin
Latin
alphabet

ISO basic Latin
Latin
alphabet

Uppercase Latin
Latin
alphabet A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Lowercase Latin
Latin
alphabet a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

The use of the letters I and V for both consonants and vowels proved inconvenient as the Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
was adapted to Germanic and Romance languages. W originated as a doubled V (VV) used to represent the sound [w] found in Old English
Old English
as early as the 7th century. It came into common use in the later 11th century, replacing the runic Wynn letter which had been used for the same sound. In the Romance languages, the minuscule form of V was a rounded u; from this was derived a rounded capital U for the vowel in the 16th century, while a new, pointed minuscule v was derived from V for the consonant. In the case of I, a word-final swash form, j, came to be used for the consonant, with the un-swashed form restricted to vowel use. Such conventions were erratic for centuries. J was introduced into English for the consonant in the 17th century (it had been rare as a vowel), but it was not universally considered a distinct letter in the alphabetic order until the 19th century. By the 1960s, it became apparent to the computer and telecommunications industries in the First World
First World
that a non-proprietary method of encoding characters was needed. The International Organization for Standardization
International Organization for Standardization
(ISO) encapsulated the Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
in their (ISO/IEC 646) standard. To achieve widespread acceptance, this encapsulation was based on popular usage. As the United States held a preeminent position in both industries during the 1960s, the standard was based on the already published American Standard Code for Information Interchange, better known as ASCII, which included in the character set the 26 × 2 (uppercase and lowercase) letters of the English alphabet. Later standards issued by the ISO, for example ISO/IEC 10646 ( Unicode
Unicode
Latin), have continued to define the 26 × 2 letters of the English alphabet
English alphabet
as the basic Latin alphabet with extensions to handle other letters in other languages. Spread[edit]

The distribution of the Latin
Latin
script. The dark green areas show the countries where the Latin
Latin
script is the sole main script. Light green shows countries where Latin
Latin
co-exists with other scripts. Latin-script alphabets are sometimes extensively used in areas coloured grey due to the use of unofficial second languages, such as French in Algeria and English in Egypt, and to Latin
Latin
transliteration of the official script, such as pinyin in China.

Main article: Spread of the Latin
Latin
script The Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
spread, along with Latin, from the Italian Peninsula to the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
with the expansion of the Roman Empire. The eastern half of the Empire, including Greece, Turkey, the Levant, and Egypt, continued to use Greek as a lingua franca, but Latin
Latin
was widely spoken in the western half, and as the western Romance languages
Romance languages
evolved out of Latin, they continued to use and adapt the Latin
Latin
alphabet. Middle Ages[edit] With the spread of Western Christianity
Western Christianity
during the Middle Ages, the Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
was gradually adopted by the peoples of Northern Europe who spoke Celtic languages (displacing the Ogham
Ogham
alphabet) or Germanic languages (displacing earlier Runic alphabets) or Baltic languages, as well as by the speakers of several Uralic languages, most notably Hungarian, Finnish and Estonian. The Latin
Latin
script also came into use for writing the West Slavic languages and several South Slavic languages, as the people who spoke them adopted Roman Catholicism. The speakers of East Slavic languages generally adopted Cyrillic
Cyrillic
along with Orthodox Christianity. The Serbian language
Serbian language
uses both scripts, with Cyrillic
Cyrillic
predominating in official communication and Latin
Latin
elsewhere, as determined by the Law on Official Use of the Language and Alphabet.[6] Since the 16th century[edit] As late as 1500, the Latin
Latin
script was limited primarily to the languages spoken in Western, Northern, and Central Europe. The Orthodox Christian Slavs of Eastern and Southeastern Europe
Southeastern Europe
mostly used Cyrillic, and the Greek alphabet
Greek alphabet
was in use by Greek-speakers around the eastern Mediterranean. The Arabic script
Arabic script
was widespread within Islam, both among Arabs and non- Arab
Arab
nations like the Iranians, Indonesians, Malays, and Turkic peoples. Most of the rest of Asia
Asia
used a variety of Brahmic alphabets or the Chinese script. Through European colonization
European colonization
the Latin
Latin
script has spread to the Americas, Oceania, parts of Asia, Africa, and the Pacific, in forms based on the Spanish, Portuguese, English, French, German and Dutch alphabets. It is used for many Austronesian languages, including the languages of the Philippines and the Malaysian and Indonesian languages, replacing earlier Arabic and indigenous Brahmic alphabets. Latin
Latin
letters served as the basis for the forms of the Cherokee syllabary
Cherokee syllabary
developed by Sequoyah; however, the sound values are completely different.[citation needed] Since 19th century[edit] In the late 19th century, the Romanians
Romanians
returned to the Latin alphabet, which they had used until the Council of Florence
Council of Florence
in 1439,[7] primarily because Romanian is a Romance language. The Romanians
Romanians
were predominantly Orthodox Christians, and their Church, increasingly influenced by Russia after the fall of Byzantine Greek Constantinople in 1453 and capture of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch, had begun promoting the Slavic Cyrillic. Under French rule and Portuguese missionary influence, a Latin alphabet was devised for the Vietnamese language, which had previously used Chinese characters. Since 20th century[edit] In 1928, as part of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's reforms, the new Republic of Turkey
Turkey
adopted a Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
for the Turkish language, replacing a modified Arabic alphabet. Most of the Turkic-speaking peoples of the former USSR, including Tatars, Bashkirs, Azeri, Kazakh, Kyrgyz and others, used the Latin-based Uniform Turkic alphabet
Uniform Turkic alphabet
in the 1930s; but, in the 1940s, all were replaced by Cyrillic. After the collapse of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
in 1991, three of the newly independent Turkic-speaking republics, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, as well as Romanian-speaking Moldova, officially adopted Latin alphabets for their languages. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Iranian-speaking Tajikistan, and the breakaway region of Transnistria
Transnistria
kept the Cyrillic
Cyrillic
alphabet, chiefly due to their close ties with Russia. In the 1930s and 1940s, the majority of Kurds
Kurds
replaced the Arabic script
Arabic script
with two Latin
Latin
alphabets. Although the only official Kurdish government uses an Arabic alphabet for public documents, the Latin
Latin
Kurdish alphabet remains widely used throughout the region by the majority of Kurdish-speakers. In 2015, the Kazakh government announced that the Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
would replace Cyrillic
Cyrillic
as the writing system for the Kazakh language
Kazakh language
by 2025.[8] International standards[edit] Main articles: ISO basic Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
and Latin
Latin
script in Unicode By the 1960s, it became apparent to the computer and telecommunications industries in the First World
First World
that a non-proprietary method of encoding characters was needed. The International Organization for Standardization
International Organization for Standardization
(ISO) encapsulated the Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
in their (ISO/IEC 646) standard. To achieve widespread acceptance, this encapsulation was based on popular usage. As the United States held a preeminent position in both industries during the 1960s, the standard was based on the already published American Standard Code for Information Interchange, better known as ASCII, which included in the character set the 26 × 2 (uppercase and lowercase) letters of the English alphabet. Later standards issued by the ISO, for example ISO/IEC 10646 ( Unicode
Unicode
Latin), have continued to define the 26 × 2 letters of the English alphabet
English alphabet
as the basic Latin alphabet with extensions to handle other letters in other languages. As used by various languages[edit] Main article: Latin-script alphabet In the course of its use, the Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
was adapted for use in new languages, sometimes representing phonemes not found in languages that were already written with the Roman characters. To represent these new sounds, extensions were therefore created, be it by adding diacritics to existing letters, by joining multiple letters together to make ligatures, by creating completely new forms, or by assigning a special function to pairs or triplets of letters. These new forms are given a place in the alphabet by defining an alphabetical order or collation sequence, which can vary with the particular language. Letters[edit] Main article: List of Latin-script letters Some examples of new letters to the standard Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
are the Runic letters wynn ⟨Ƿ/ƿ⟩ and thorn ⟨Þ/þ⟩, and the letter eth ⟨Ð/ð⟩, which were added to the alphabet of Old English. Another Irish letter, the insular g, developed into yogh ⟨Ȝ/ȝ⟩, used in Middle English. Wynn
Wynn
was later replaced with the new letter ⟨w⟩, eth and thorn with ⟨th⟩, and yogh with ⟨gh⟩. Although the four are no longer part of the English or Irish alphabets, eth and thorn are still used in the modern Icelandic and Faroese alphabets. Some West, Central and Southern African languages use a few additional letters that have a similar sound value to their equivalents in the IPA. For example, Adangme uses the letters ⟨Ɛ/ɛ⟩ and ⟨Ɔ/ɔ⟩, and Ga uses ⟨Ɛ/ɛ⟩, ⟨Ŋ/ŋ⟩ and ⟨Ɔ/ɔ⟩. Hausa uses ⟨Ɓ/ɓ⟩ and ⟨Ɗ/ɗ⟩ for implosives, and ⟨Ƙ/ƙ⟩ for an ejective. Africanists have standardized these into the African reference alphabet. The Azerbaijani language
Azerbaijani language
also has the letter written as "Ə", which represents the near-open front unrounded vowel. Multigraphs[edit] Main article: Latin-script multigraph A digraph is a pair of letters used to write one sound or a combination of sounds that does not correspond to the written letters in sequence. Examples are ⟨ch⟩, ⟨ng⟩, ⟨rh⟩, ⟨sh⟩ in English, and ⟨ij⟩ in Dutch. In Dutch the ⟨ij⟩ is capitalized as ⟨IJ⟩ or the ligature ⟨IJ⟩, but never as ⟨Ij⟩, and it often takes the appearance of a ligature ⟨ij⟩ very similar to the letter ⟨ÿ⟩ in handwriting. A trigraph is made up of three letters, like the German ⟨sch⟩, the Breton ⟨c'h⟩ or the Milanese ⟨oeu⟩. In the orthographies of some languages, digraphs and trigraphs are regarded as independent letters of the alphabet in their own right. The capitalization of digraphs and trigraphs is language-dependent, as only the first letter may be capitalized, or all component letters simultaneously (even for words written in titlecase, where letters after the digraph or trigraph are left in lowercase). Ligatures[edit] Main article: Ligature (typography) A ligature is a fusion of two or more ordinary letters into a new glyph or character. Examples are ⟨Æ/æ⟩ (from ⟨AE⟩, called "ash"), ⟨Œ/œ⟩ (from ⟨OE⟩, sometimes called "oethel"), the abbreviation ⟨&⟩ (from Latin
Latin
et "and"), and the German symbol ⟨ß⟩ ("sharp S" or "eszet", from ⟨ſz⟩ or ⟨ſs⟩, the archaic medial form of ⟨s⟩, followed by a ⟨z⟩ or ⟨s⟩). Diacritics[edit]

The letter ⟨a⟩ with an acute diacritic.

Main article: Diacritic A diacritic, in some cases also called an accent, is a small symbol that can appear above or below a letter, or in some other position, such as the umlaut sign used in the German characters ⟨ä⟩, ⟨ö⟩, ⟨ü⟩ or the Romanian characters ă, â, î, ș, ț. Its main function is to change the phonetic value of the letter to which it is added, but it may also modify the pronunciation of a whole syllable or word, or distinguish between homographs. As with letters, the value of diacritics is language-dependent. Collation[edit] Main article: Collating sequence Some modified letters, such as the symbols ⟨å⟩, ⟨ä⟩, and ⟨ö⟩, may be regarded as new individual letters in themselves, and assigned a specific place in the alphabet for collation purposes, separate from that of the letter on which they are based, as is done in Swedish. In other cases, such as with ⟨ä⟩, ⟨ö⟩, ⟨ü⟩ in German, this is not done; letter-diacritic combinations being identified with their base letter. The same applies to digraphs and trigraphs. Different diacritics may be treated differently in collation within a single language. For example, in Spanish, the character ⟨ñ⟩ is considered a letter, and sorted between ⟨n⟩ and ⟨o⟩ in dictionaries, but the accented vowels ⟨á⟩, ⟨é⟩, ⟨í⟩, ⟨ó⟩, ⟨ú⟩ are not separated from the unaccented vowels ⟨a⟩, ⟨e⟩, ⟨i⟩, ⟨o⟩, ⟨u⟩. Capitalization[edit] Main article: Letter case The languages that use the Latin
Latin
script today generally use capital letters to begin paragraphs and sentences and proper nouns. The rules for capitalization have changed over time, and different languages have varied in their rules for capitalization. Old English, for example, was rarely written with even proper nouns capitalized; whereas Modern English of the 18th century had frequently all nouns capitalized, in the same way that Modern German is written today, e.g. Alle Schwestern der alten Stadt hatten die Vögel gesehen ("All of the sisters of the old city had seen the birds"). Romanization[edit] Main article: Romanization Words from languages natively written with other scripts, such as Arabic or Chinese, are usually transliterated or transcribed when embedded in Latin-script text or in multilingual international communication, a process termed Romanization. Whilst the Romanization
Romanization
of such languages is used mostly at unofficial levels, it has been especially prominent in computer messaging where only the limited 7-bit ASCII
ASCII
code is available on older systems. However, with the introduction of Unicode, Romanization
Romanization
is now becoming less necessary. Note that keyboards used to enter such text may still restrict users to Romanized text, as only ASCII
ASCII
or Latin-alphabet characters may be available. See also[edit]

Romic alphabet List of languages by writing system# Latin
Latin
script Western Latin
Latin
character sets (computing) Latin
Latin
letters used in mathematics

Notes[edit]

^ Haarmann 2004, p. 96 ^ "Search results BSI Group". Bsigroup.com. Retrieved 2014-05-12.  ^ "Romanisation_systems". Pcgn.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-05-12.  ^ " ISO 15924 – Code List in English". Unicode.org. Retrieved 2013-07-22.  ^ "Search – ISO". Iso.org. Retrieved 2014-05-12.  ^ "ZAKON O SLUŽBENOJ UPOTREBI JEZIKA I PISAMA" (PDF). Ombudsman.rs. 17 May 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-05.  ^ "Descriptio_Moldaviae". La.wikisource.org. 1714. Retrieved 2014-09-14.  ^ Kazakh language
Kazakh language
to be converted to Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
– MCS RK. Inform.kz (30 January 2015). Retrieved on 2015-09-28.

References[edit]

Haarmann, Harald (2004), Geschichte der Schrift [History of Writing] (in German) (2nd ed.), München: C. H. Beck, ISBN 3-406-47998-7 

Library resources about Latin
Latin
script

Online books Resources in your library Resources in other libraries

Further reading[edit]

Boyle, Leonard E. 1976. "Optimist and recensionist: 'Common errors' or 'common variations.'" In Latin
Latin
script and letters A.D. 400–900: Festschrift presented to Ludwig Bieler on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Edited by John J. O’Meara and Bernd Naumann, 264–74. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill. Morison, Stanley. 1972. Politics and script: Aspects of authority and freedom in the development of Graeco- Latin
Latin
script from the sixth century B.C. to the twentieth century A.D. Oxford: Clarendon.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Latin
Latin
alphabet.

Diacritics Project — All you need to design a font with correct accents

v t e

Latin
Latin
script

History Spread Romanization Roman numerals

Alphabets (list)

Classical Latin
Classical Latin
alphabet ISO basic Latin
Latin
alphabet phonetic alphabets

International Phonetic Alphabet X-SAMPA

Spelling alphabet

Letters (list)

Letters of the ISO basic Latin
Latin
alphabet

Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz

Multigraphs

Digraphs

ch cz dž dz gh ij ll ly nh ny sh sz th

Trigraphs

dzs eau

Tetragraphs

ough

Pentagraphs

tzsch

Keyboard layouts (list)

QWERTY QWERTZ AZERTY

Standards

ISO/IEC 646 Unicode Western Latin
Latin
character sets

Lists

precomposed Latin
Latin
characters in Unicode letters used in mathematics

Diacritics Palaeography

v t e

ISO 15924 script codes

Adlm Afak Aghb Ahom Arab Aran Armi Armn Avst Bali Bamu Bass Batk Beng Bhks Blis Bopo Brah Brai Bugi Buhd Cakm Cans Cari Cham Cher Cirt Copt Cpmn Cprt Cyrl Cyrs Deva Dogr Dsrt Dupl Egyd Egyh Egyp Elba Ethi Geok Geor Glag Gong Gonm Goth Gran Grek Gujr Guru Hanb Hang Hani Hano Hans Hant Hatr Hebr Hira Hluw Hmng Hmnp Hrkt Hung Inds Ital Jamo Java Jpan Jurc Kali Kana Khar Khmr Khoj Kitl Kits Knda Kore Kpel Kthi Lana Laoo Latf Latg Latn Leke Lepc Limb Lina Linb Lisu Loma Lyci Lydi Mahj Maka Mand Mani Marc Maya Medf Mend Merc Mero Mlym Modi Mong Moon Mroo Mtei Mult Mymr Narb Nbat Newa Nkdb Nkgb Nkoo Nshu Ogam Olck Orkh Orya Osge Osma Palm Pauc Perm Phag Phli Phlp Phlv Phnx Piqd Plrd Prti Qaaa—Qabx Rjng Rohg Roro Runr Samr Sara Sarb Saur Sgnw Shaw Shrd Shui Sidd Sind Sinh Sogd Sogo Sora Soyo Sund Sylo Syrc Syre Syrj Syrn Tagb Takr Tale Talu Taml Tang Tavt Telu Teng Tfng Tglg Thaa Thai Tibt Tirh Ugar Vaii Visp Wara Wcho Wole Xpeo Xsux Yiii Zanb Zinh Zmth Zsye Zsym Zxxx Zyyy Zzzz

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