Questions tagged [alphabets]

A set of letters that represent phonemes, used to write one or more languages.

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7
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6answers
263 views

Do multi-dimensional writing systems exist?

I am not sure whether linguistics board is the right place to ask this question, but since I couldn't find any better place here is the question: Most (all?) of the writing systems are using the ...
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0answers
82 views

Does an alphabet with the uniform letter frequency distribution exist?

A language employs some kind of alphabet for writing. One could naïvely expect that each letter bears the same amount of entropy. But in reality that is not the case. For example in English each ...
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2answers
89 views

Is left-to-right scripting better than right-to-left?

I'm Iranian and here, Arabic script is what is used. many litterateurs believe that this script is not good for the Persian language and many of them think that it should be changed. one of the ...
8
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2answers
191 views

Why is Greek alphabet left-to-right?

The Greek alphabet and all of its child systems such as Roman, Cyrillic, and Gothic are conventionally left-to-right writting systems. But why is that, considering it comes from the Phoenician ...
4
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2answers
139 views

Density of information/semantic of Chinese and Korean language versus european languages

Some years ago I had read an interesting article about how much information chinese people could put in one tweet of 140 characters. But I cannot find again this article. I'm interested in having ...
1
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1answer
68 views

Arabic word for door from root d-l-t or d-l-th

I know that the Hebrew letter 'daleth' originates from the word for 'door', indeed the Modern Hebrew word for door is 'dalet'. Is there an Arabic word for door from this same root - d-l-t or d-l-th? ...
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3answers
364 views

Alphabet size affects complexity of written ideas?

Do relatively simple alphabets (Rotokas, Hawaiian) limit the complexity of written ideas? Example: could Rotokas be used to write a technical manual for the space shuttle?
1
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1answer
103 views

How common is it for languages using non-Latin alphabets to borrow English words while keeping both (transliterated) spelling and pronunciation?

To illustrate what I mean, hypothetically, Russian could borrow the word "peak" from English and transliterate it as "пеак", while still pronouncing it according to the English pronunciation [piːk]. ...
0
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2answers
132 views

Phonetic english alphabet using diacritical marks?

Does there exist a phonetic english alphabet constructed from standard english letters plus diacritical marks? For example, fine might be written fínė, such that í = aɪ and a letter with a dot is ...
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4answers
6k views

Are there any scripts which have more than 127 characters?

This is not a question about software or tools. Please don't comment if you think that's what I'm asking about. Parsing Unicode-encoded text is a major pain for a software developer, so I thought ...
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0answers
95 views

Why does the English Alphabet sometimes function like a syllabary?

One of the things that I never really noticed growing up until I began learning about other languages and the elegance of writing systems is how, in America for sure, we use letters like syllabic ...
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1answer
80 views

How do languages which prefix proper nouns (by case marking, clitic article, etc) do capitalization in Latin Alphabet?

There are languages which put a prefix or a clitic before a noun to mark definiteness or case. How different languages using Latin alphabet which have this declension or marking deals with ...
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1answer
155 views

Discussions around symbols included/excluded in the IPA

Are there are IPA symbols which are the subject of some controversy? For example, I suppose there are some who would like to have a unitary"tS" t-esh sound as a unitary phoneme... but I bet there ...
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1answer
335 views

What is the function of the *dot* diacritic, when it converts /ba/ to /ra/ (if it can be called so) in Bengali?

The dot diacritic works for [dzo] to [jo] , for [do] to [ro] and for [dho] to [rho]. But /ba/ and /ra/ are completely unrelated sounds, so what is the dot doing to /ba/?
4
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4answers
2k views

Is there some relationship between the modern u and μ?

I study Mathematics and Statistics and one of the most common symbols we tend to write is μ which obviously is the lower case 'Mu'. It is one of the easiest symbols to learn when first encountered ...
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1answer
73 views

Transliteration of Cyrillic

I have created a language that uses the Cyrillic alphabet, but I'm unsure as to how I can transliterate these letters for English-speaking readers: Ii - this is pronounced as a hard letter 'i', as in ...
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3answers
2k views

Is there an alphabet containing exactly 25 letters?

I am looking for an alphabet containing exactly 25 letters. As we all know, the standard Latin alphabet contains some more letters than 25. As I would like the alphabet to contain exactly 25 letters, ...
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2answers
183 views

Where to start with deciphering this language? [closed]

I do apologize if this question has been asked before or has a better place on a different part of the StackExchange network, but I've run out of places to ask this. While playing through one of my ...
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2answers
120 views

What is the difference between “می‌گفت” and “میگفت”?

I read in WP's entry on Persian alphabet that the "ye" final form is 'ﯽ', and its medial form is 'ﯿ'. Logically, when typing "می‌گفت", most software automagically write "میگفت". However, the ...
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5answers
189 views

Why are some scripts' names derived from their first few characters?

The name of the Old English runic alphabet Fuþorc (or transliterated into Furthark or Furthorc) is, just like the word alphabet formed by a portmanteau of its first few letters. The Scandinavian ...
6
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3answers
707 views

Why do some alphabets have special final forms for some letters?

Some alphabets, e.g. the Greek, Hebrew and Arabic alphabets, have different forms for some letters when they appear at the end of the word. E.g. in Greek, the letter sigma (σ) appears as a ς when ...
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1answer
223 views

Why is the Arabic alif maksura sometimes read as a ya

Why is the final alif maksura of Habibullaah Kalakaani read as a ya? If so, then why doesn't it have two dots beneath, or is the transcription wrong? Thanks.
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1answer
421 views

How many Arabic(-derived) alphabets exist?

I would like to know, besides Modern Standard Arabic as spoken in Egypt, how many distinct Arabic alphabets (I assume each Arabic-speaking country will have its own Arabic alphabet, with a lot of ...
1
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1answer
156 views

Diacritics and Ashanti/Twi alphabet?

Ashanti Proverbs (The Primitive Ethics Of A Savage People), by Robert Sutherland Rattray, 1916, uses the following notation : I read that Ashanti people speak Twi, yet the Twi alphabet does not seem ...
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2answers
155 views

Can a new alphabet be created and added to the English language? [closed]

Does the English language, or any other language for that matter provide the flexibility to add or remove new alphabets?
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1answer
654 views

Thai alphabet romanizations?

Is there any standard system of romanization for the Thai alphabet (including consonants, vowels, tones, numbers, and their combinations), or is any such romanization system quite arbitrary? Can ...
0
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1answer
63 views

Is there a word for variety of letters used in a language?

To suggest either/both readability or efficiency in typing? English is less [is there a term to fill in here?] than Japanese: compared to English alphabets, the number of letters in hiragana + ...
2
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1answer
595 views

Do Azeri people actually use Ə instead of A in names?

I have two spellings of an Azeri name: Alakbar and Ələkbər. In official contexts (ID or passport), do both forms of the name appear or just the latter? Why do Azeris still transcribe their names if ...
2
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1answer
261 views

Why is the letter “Q” visually simillar to “O”?

G was created out of C by adding an additional line, for an obvious reason as they represented similar sounds in Latin. But why is Q pretty much O with an additional line? These two letter do not ...
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2answers
460 views

How did it happen that K was introduced to Latin alphabet in place of C and C started to mark /t͡s/ or /s/ in many languages?

I know that K has been derived from Greek kappa and C from gamma. But how did it happen that people started to use K in place of C? From what I know there were already C and G in the Latin alphabet ...
2
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5answers
634 views

Which writing script can represent all human sounds?

Being a Nepali language speaker, I can easily produce most sounds in Devanagari script as every letter has the same sound despite the place of use. But there may be many sounds that are not ...
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2answers
877 views

Which official document defines the English alphabet?

This page says that standardization took place in year ~1700 So, where is it stated that English language has 26 letters and where are all letters defined? This link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
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1answer
109 views

Why does *h* have two different names in Welsh?

Why does h have two different names in Welsh, namely âets and hâ (variants: ha, he, hi, hy)? And what other examples are there of letters known in a language under two or more names for the same ...
6
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2answers
605 views

Are there any latin-alphabet languages written right-to-left?

Are there any languages using the Latin alphabet characters which are written right-to-left?
3
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4answers
513 views

Are the orthographies of the Slavic languages generally consistent?

I need to learn two Slavic languages, any two initially, and eventually at least one each from the East, West, and South Slav groups. I understand that each language has its own version of the ...
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2answers
6k views

Why don't some Arabic letters appear in the alphabet list?

I've got a printout of the Arabic alphabet, reproduced below. The trouble is when I look at certain words, I can't make out what letters are in there. For example, the Arabic word for camel is جمل. ...
4
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2answers
308 views

Is music a language?

I am a musician. I read an article in the NY Times that suggested both words and musical melodies follow Zipf's Law. I had never really thought about it before, but I started wondering do linguists ...
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2answers
607 views

Two questions about Sappho's name

The Greek poeter Ψάπφω/Ψάπφα beared an interesting name, probably not Greek. I have two questions, about the first and the last letter of her name : (1) what was the value of the initial Ψ ? This ...
4
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1answer
208 views

Is the Ampersands a Letter in the Latin Alphabet?

My understanding is that, until fairly recently, recitation of the English alphabet was often suffixed by saying "and per se and", roughly translating to "and, by itself, '&'". This suggests that ...
8
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1answer
226 views

What gave rise to the manual alphabet for Latin characters in Japanese Sign Language?

I am aware of the fact that this question is rather specific, but anyway I would like to give it a try. Japanese Sign Language has three manual alphabets: one for representing kana-characters, and ...
3
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3answers
194 views

Origin of Alphabetic/Phonemic Scripts

Dixon (the Australianist) has claimed that the Phoenician/Canaanite script is the ultimate source of all known alphabetic (purely essentially-phonemic) scripts on Earth; all other scripts are not ...
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1answer
152 views

Was there an evolution of the greek alphabet in the middle-east?

I recently visited Jordan and noticed that many mosaic are commented with included text. The text seems mostly ancien greek alphabet, but it also contains non greek characters such as C, obviously ...
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7answers
6k views

Is English the only language (except classical Latin, Cyrillic, symbol languages and auxiliary languages) that has no diacritic symbols/accents?

What I mean by no diacritics. Czech has: ř, ů, á, š ... Spanish has: Ñ, á ... German: ä, ö, ü... Italian: è, ò, ... ... At least in Europe, I am not aware of a language that ...
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1answer
434 views

Correlation between vowel sounds and compact alphabet used in English and its acceptance

English is the preferred language in many fields of study and in international communications, it has more vowel sounds than many languages, but a compact alphabet, which in my opinion is why English ...
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1answer
251 views

Seeking details of Lao orthographic reforms

The Lao script was originally used as an abugida (consonants have implied vowels) for the Lao language, just as most of the writing systems related to it. The Lao script is now used as an alphabet ...
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3answers
497 views

In which script(s) is the Kazakh language actually written in Kazakhstan?

According to the Wikipedia article on the Kazakh language it can be written in Cyrillic, Latin and Perso-Arabic scripts as it's a language that does not have its own native script like Armenian or ...
6
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1answer
262 views

What sounds do the graphemes ⟨ś⟩ and ⟨ź⟩ represent in Montenegrin?

As of 2009 the Montenegrin alphabet was adopted in Montenegro. It consists of the same alphabet as used in Serbia, with the addition of two graphemes. The graphemes ⟨ś⟩/⟨с́⟩ and ⟨ź⟩/⟨з́⟩ are said ...
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1answer
83 views

Is there any method of assigning a numeral score to the extent to which a given alphabet is phonemic?

Is there any method of assigning a numerical score to the extent to which a given alphabet is phonemic? If so, then obviously, the score for a given alphabet would vary across the languages that it ...
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5answers
2k views

Are there any “simple” languages?

In all the languages I know, at least one of the following aspects is complex/difficult: Alphabet: Complex meaning a large alphabet like in Chinese. Pronunciation: Complex meaning that, for example, ...
5
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2answers
794 views

What is the origin of letters corresponding to consonant clusters?

The Greek alphabet has ψ (psi) and ξ (ksi) , both letters correspond to a bi-consonantal sequence. Latin has X, Cyrillic alphabet has Щ which in some languages corresponds to ʃt͡ʃ, etc. Normally, an ...