39

The two are unrelated. The letter З developed from the Greek letter zeta (Ζ), through an intermediate form with a tail (Ꙁ). This shape got simplified in handwriting until it became the modern form. The number 3 developed from a Brahmi glyph with three lines, similar to Chinese 三. In cursive writing, this evolved into a modern 3 so that it could be written in ...


30

From the source: Full writing-systems appear to have been invented independently at least four times in human history: first in Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) where cuneiform was used between 3400 and 3300 BC, and shortly afterwards in Egypt at around 3200 BC. By 1300 BC we have evidence of a fully operational writing system in late Shang-dynasty China. ...


26

No, there is no relationship. The lowercase form μ is just a calligraphic development of the uppercase form. Here's an illustration with colored dots to indicate the corresponding parts: It's just a coincidence that this looks similar to the lowercase form "u" that developed from Latin "V". (Just as it's a coincidence that the middle of uppercase "M" looks ...


24

Really lots of languages have experienced a change from Arabic writing (right to left) to either Latin or Cyrillic writing (left to right) during the 20th century. Notable examples are Turkish, Azeri, Kazakh, Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Tajik, and Haussa. Mongolian switched from vertical Mongolic writing to left to right Cyrillic at the same time.


23

Hebrew is one of those languages. The dagesh is placed inside the letter. For example: Bet without dagesh: ב Bet with dagesh: בּ‎ The shuruk vowel point (nikkud) is placed to the left of the letter (afterwards, from the perspective of reading, since reading is done from the right to the left). Vav without pointing: ו Vav with shurruk: וּ Note that these ...


22

Hieroglyphic Egyptian has a feature called "honorific transposition", where certain nouns can be written at the beginning of a noun phrase (regardless of their actual syntactic position) if they're more important than all the other nouns. For example, one type of priest is called a ħm-nṯr, "servant of the god". Grammatically, in this ...


20

Problem 1. Identify the language I found this diagram (in Russian). It seems to be pretty simple, and it amazingly covers a vast majority of world's languages. I took my liberty to adjust it slightly. Note: this diagram does not pretend to be scientific at all. Its only goal is to let a beginner to quickly identify the script and, possibly, a language. ...


20

Chinese is classically written top-to-bottom from right to left, e.g., 9 5 1 10 6 2 11 7 3 12 8 4 but it is becoming increasingly common to also see it written left-to-right from top to bottom, e.g., 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Also, Vietnamese was originally written with Chinese-based characters (the Chữ-nôm (𡨸喃)), but has since switched to a ...


20

Probably the oldest example — being one of the oldest known examples of writing to begin with — is Sumerian cuneiform writing. Like Chinese, Sumerian cuneiform was originally written in vertical columns from top down and right to left, but sometime around 2000 BCE the writing rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise and began to be written in horizontal lines ...


19

Draconis explained the origin, but I'll go into another aspect of your question: For practical purposes, yes, it is the same glyph. Native Cyrillic speakers will frequently write the same shape for both when writing by hand, and while I suppose computer fonts have to have a separate glyph for both, I wouldn't be surprised if many font designers copy-paste ...


18

Semitic languages don't always preserve consonants perfectly. In fact, I don't think that there is any Semitic language without multiple classes of conjugation to account for irregularities. All Semitic languages have collapsed at least some phonemes, which makes some originally separate roots homophonous. For example, *θ merges with /ʃ/ in Hebrew, but with ...


17

There is a whole class of languages that use Abugida writing system which shows this phenomenon on a regular basis. Most prominent examples are Hindi and Thai. Using Thai writing for examples below. No final (CV): เ◌ + ม = เม /e+m/ = /me/ โ◌ + ม = โม /o+m/ = /mo/ ไ◌ + ม = ไม /ai+m/ = /mai/ With Final (CVC): เ◌ + ม + ม = เมม /e+m+m/ = /mem/ โ◌ + ม + ม = ...


16

Yes, all of these cultures expect and use sorting pretty much just like alphabet-using cultures do. Japanese has a set of some 46 phonetic characters called kana. They're arranged by phonetics in a table of fixed order, called the 50 sounds table (gojūonzu), a descendant of Sanskrit phonetic tables. Textual data, glossaries, lists etc. are usually sorted ...


15

The problem is, things like "word-based" vs "character-based" as you put it (the standard words are alphabetic vs logographic) apply to writing systems, not languages. Languages, both historically and even nowadays, are spoken more often than they're written—you can find people who speak English, or Chinese, or almost any language, perfectly well, even ...


14

They were standardized at some point, in the 19th-20th centuries, but many languages still keep their own ancient punctuation, e.g. the Armenian period is :, the Armenian question mark is ՞ which is put above the last vowel letter of the question word, the Greek question mark is ;, Spanish uses the upside-down question mark ¿ at the beginning of ...


14

Corrections and additions to your list Korean does use spaces. Lao and Burmese (Myanmar) don't use spaces. Vietnamese uses spaces between syllables instead of between words (except some few recent loanwords). Tibetan and Dzongkha use other marks to separate syllables rather than words and don't use spaces in the way that English or other languages use them. ...


14

Some examples: d̵ which does not render well here (using the separate diacritic), but exists in Ð and đ, as well as e.u. o̵ (again, rendering problem), that is o-bar, and do on. The latter is official IPA, the former is orthography (đ in a number of languages including Saami, Vietnamese and S. Slavic). The rhotic hook ˞ is also not on the top or bottom, ...


14

I will answer from a different point of view. I will not care if it happened here at 3500 BC while at the other place at 1500 BC and consider it, as in your question, both as almost at the same time relative to the long history of Homo sapiens sapiens or even the long history of agriculture and larger settlements (Jericho 10000 BC). People did not need make ...


14

German numbers. 42 is read as "Zweiundvierzig", literally "Two and Forty". This order swap only happens for numbers between 20-100.


13

@prash is right, that is Malayalam, and the text is upside down, it reads "mādhavi", മാധവി, which is most likely a female name.


13

Sorry for digging up this old question but we finally have an answer. I reposted this question to puzzling stackexhange thinking they would be better equipped to solve it. Surely enough, within fifteen minutes of my posting, the user Deusovi recognized the script as the Elian script and deciphered the first few lines. Later, I spent some time to fully ...


13

BTW, this similarity was confusing people in XX century, so they agreed to change the number 3 glyph to slightly differ from the letter. This difference is still maintined in the technical documentation in Russia, as reflected in the GOST standard 2.304-81 note the last glyph of the first two lines - it specifically highlights the number 3: [


12

These are all normal Greek characters. C is a form of sigma: it's called lunate sigma, and is a variant that's sometimes used in printed texts these days too. Lunate sigma is a Hellenistic development which occurred in handwritten Greek (not specific to mosaics) for speed of writing. (It's also the origin of the Cyrillic C for [s].) In ΔIOCΠωΛIC the omega ...


12

Apart from the three languages you named, I know of at least three additional major languages that have used the Chinese script; which are, Thai, Zhuang, and Mongolian. Several minor ones that have also used it include Miao, Yao, Bouyei, Kam, Bai, and Hani. Thai used to use the Chinese script until the 13th century, when it was abandoned in favor of an ...


12

Boustrophedon is a kind of bi-directional text, mostly seen in ancient manuscripts and other inscriptions. Every other line of writing is flipped or reversed, with reversed letters. Rather than going left-to-right as in modern English, or right-to-left as in Arabic and Hebrew, alternate lines in boustrophedon must be read in opposite directions. Also, the ...


12

By convention, the prefix proto- is only assigned to reconstructed languages predating the extant records of related languages. In rare cases it happens that older records show up and a proto-language gets to the status of a real language (the only example that comes to my mind is the case of Old Norse ⁒ Proto-Germanic). However, Proto-Sinaitic is not a ...


12

Comanche uses “U bar” <Ʉ, ʉ> in the official orthography for /ə/. Other languages that use this letter in their official orthographies include Kanakanabu (an Austronesian lanuage of Taiwan) and Koyukon for /ɞ/ (an Athabascan language spoken in Alaska). <Ɨ, ɨ> is used in Mfumte (Nfumte), a Grassfields Bantu language of Cameroon for /ɯ/. Apart from ...


12

In the Japanese hiragana syllabary, the softening mark (dakuten) on the symbol て (te) is technically inside the letter, giving で (de).


11

General Remarks Different languages have different sound systems. So no romanization system can be perfectly faithful to the native language, and at the same time perfectly intuitive to speakers of another particular language. There have to be tradeoffs. In general, any large language not written in the Latin alphabet will have accumulated multiple ...


11

Due to the study of Buddhism and its scriptures in the source language (either Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit or Pali) Japanese scholars were aware of the structure of the Indic scripts finally coming from the tradition of Sanskrit. When they created the Katakana they applied the ordering priciples of the Devanagari Script to it; the deviations (i.e., the ordering ...


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