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 ...


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.


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

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

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


16

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 ...


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 ...


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

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. ...


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 ...


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 ...


11

There is no such categorization of languages as "word-based" vs. "character-based". Not all Chinese speakers are literate. Standard Chinese has certainly been affected by the character-based writing system, and this affects how people speak, but linguists generally don't consider the paucity of inflection in Chinese to rely heavily on the existence of ...


10

If we allow abjads, Imperial Aramaic in Aramaic script was one of the first to consistently use spacing, from the mid-7th century BCE. This might have been due to the influence of Akkadian cuneiform orthography. It is true that cursive Hebrew on the ostraca tend to omit dots, and we see here a simplification of dots to spaces the more cursive the writing is....


9

You may have heard this about Turoyo, though the situation is slightly different from what you describe. Turoyo is a Neo-Aramaic language, mostly spoken by Syriac-Orthodox Christians. In the 1970s, Turoyo-speaking immigrants in Sweden obtained governmental support for promoting Turoyo as a minority language. They developed a writing system (previously, ...


9

That <ſ> shape of "s" is called "long s": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_s The long s was derived from the old Roman cursive medial s. When the distinction between majuscule (uppercase) and minuscule (lowercase) letter forms became established, toward the end of the eighth century, it developed a more vertical form. The long s ...


8

Ethnologue actually provides an answer to this question, although it raises more questions. The Ethnologue page How many languages in the world are unwritten says that as of the 19th edition (released 2016), there were 7,097 living languages and that of these there is data suggesting that 3,748 have a 'developed writing system'. This leaves 3,349 that are '...


8

Of course it can be used to record lots of other languages and you can find the complete list here For Vietnamese a new type of script called chữ nôm based on Chinese characters is created. There are many ways to construct the new characters: Borrow the whole Chinese character and meaning with its Sino-Vietnamese reading. Sometimes it's also used to ...


8

English and other Latin-script writing systems have upper case, lower case, italic, bold etc. Arabic has as many as four different forms for each letter (initial, medial, final, isolated). It is all a question of how you define "case".


8

As others stated, on monumental inscriptions, the name of Julius Caesar would look similar to IVLIVS CAESAR However, saying it was "spelled with an I instead of a J" may be misleading, because 'J' as a later innovation did not arise from thin air: while 'I' and 'J' were not distinguished in Roman times, they existed as graphically distinct variants of ...


8

Because it isn't. When one takes the arrangement of the Hangul jamos to syllables in square fields apart, it is a fully alphabetic writing system with separate and independent symbols for vowels and consonants.


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