About the Book
Writing is one of the most important means of communication - the only one that can defy time and space. Whenever there has been civilization there has been writing and reading in the remote past as in the present day. Written language has become the vehicle of civilization and so of learning and education. Writing is thus one of the main aspects of culture which clearly distinguish mankind from the animal world.
The purpose of this book is to provide an introduction to this fascinating subject of the history of writing or the alphabet. In the first part a historical sketch of the development of the non-alphabetic scripts is discussed and the second part deals with the origin and development of alphabet. More space is devoted to less-known problems, to those which present more interest from the standpoint of the history of writing, to the origins of some single scripts, to the connection between the various system, and so forth rather than deal with all the alphabets of all the modern nations of the world.
The book is intended for two different type of readers. The general readers will, it is hoped, welcome the information supplied by the notes on the history of some little known people and on the linguistic and ethnic problems presented by others. The student on the other hand, who may use the book as an approach the study of different scripts and alphabets, will undoubtedly find the bibliographies a valuable aid to further study.
IF it is. speech that marks man off from the beast, and the great
discoveries of the use of tools, the use of fire, taming animals, tilling
the ground, working metals are long strides in his progress, the invention
of writing and its improvement into a practical system may fairly
be taken as the step leading directly to full civilization
It is true that one or two recent writers have cried down writing
as the instrument by which cliques of priests and rulers enslaved the
far more useful handworkers. But without writing these authors could
not have brought this injustice to our attention, and it is no doubt by
writing that they will set it straight.
Be this as it may, the history of writing makes an attractive story;
I have felt the attraction ever since as a schoolboy I read Isaac Taylor's
Alphabet, and for more than twenty years I have yearly lectured on
the subject. It is difficult to exaggerate how much it has grown since
his time, many new scripts have been discovered, to several of them
the key had to be found, to a few it is still missing. Some ten years ago
Dr. Diringer's great Italian work L'Alfabeto nella Storia della Civiltd,
for me superseded all former sources. Now I welcome the same store
of learning duly increased and recast in an English form.
The whole matter has a special interest as affording the best opportunity
for studying the phenomena of diffusion and of independent invention
and of the mixed process which has been called "idea diffusion," the
stimulus to invention afforded by the knowledge that a problem has
been solved, though its particular solution may not be known, or may
not be acceptable. By its very nature writing keeps a record of its own
development. Our author proves with a new completeness the astonishing
fact that almost certainly every alphabetic writing of any importance
derives from one source, and the obscure scripts were devised by men
who were aware of the existence of perfected alphabets. This is a
fascinating result; it is so rare in life that so sweeping a generalization
Though he calls his book The Alphabet, our author deals frst with
non-alphabetic writings, the great systems of Egypt, Mesopotamia
China and Central America, and the various ideographic odds and ends.
These are all separate inventions, great inventions no doubt, but not
so great as to be unique. It is very interesting to note how close to each
other were the mental processes by which the three great systems were
Then he clears the syllabaries out of the way, poor half and half things
derived from more complicated scripts without reaching true simplicity.
Finally he attacks the thorny problem of the real alphabet. He bids
us give up our hope that the key is in the Sinaitic script, but will not
say more than that alphabet-making was in the air in Syria during the
first half of the second millennium B.C. We must commend his self-
restraint in not leading us beyond the edge of solid ground.
The writings of Asia, either ideographic or alphabetic, amount to
about a hundred, another hundred fills the Indian world and Its derivatives.
No one has explored this last labyrinth as deeply as our author-I am
not sure that many would wish to do so.
The climax is the story of the Greek alphabet and its descendants,
some fifty scripts, the part of the tale which comes nearest to us. But
it has its surprises, we have to accept that our Latin alphabet would
not be what it is if it had been derived directly from western Greek:
to those like me who dislike the Etruscans, it is a grief that we should
have got our alphabet through them; for myself I think it would have
been better without their share in it. To the Etruscans also, through
small neighbouring peoples, it seems that we northern Teutons owed
our runic writing: for many years scholars derived it alternately from
Greek and from Latin-now the strife is over and we can happily credit
the Raetians or some such tribe with teaching our ancestors to write.
Here is the story duly enlightened by a great series of illustrations.
We owe much to the publishers for their liberality in this respect. Taylor
had to manage with some hundred pictures, they have allowed us generous
measure, nearly one thousand illustrations grouped in over two hundred
and fifty "figures." These enable us to follow the fascinating story in all
its ramifications as set out so clearly and diligently by our author. At
last we have in English a worthy successor to Isaac Taylor.
THE purpose of this book is to provide an introduction to the fascinating
subject of the history of the alphabet. In the First Part I shall try to give
a historical sketch of the development of the non-alphabetic scripts,
although the present book will deal more particularly with the origins
and development of the alphabet, to which the Second Part is dedicated.
The main problems of the primitive means of communicating ideas,
of the origins and the beginnings of writing, together with a more detailed
study of the non-alphabetic scripts and the development of handwriting,
must be left to my next book on writing as a whole.
Even so, a book on the development of the alphabet of the narrow
dimensions dictated by publishing difficulties can achieve its goal only
if the reader is prepared to accept various limitations. For instance, he
must not expect to find a complete bibliography: had this been attempted,
the space available would have been filled with nothing but the names
of authors and titles of books. Those who wish to pursue the study further
are referred to the bibliographical works cited in my book L' Alfabeto
nella Storia della Civilta, Florence, Barbera, 1937. Specific references
have generally been omitted for the sake of brevity and clearness and in
the interest of the general reader; but it must not be supposed that the
debt of this book to previous scholars is ignored.
It is not possible to deal in detail with all the alphabets of all the
modern nations of the world. I shall, instead, devote more space
to less-known problems, to those which present more interest from the
standpoint of the history of writing, to the origins of some single scripts,
to the connection between the various systems, and so forth. Some
chapters may, in consequence, seem disproportionate in comparison with
others, since unanimity cannot be achieved on matters of treatment;
questions which seem most important to one person, may appear
unimportant to others. I shall do my best to simplify as far as possible
the more intricate problems by presenting my conclusions and by
indicating whenever practicable the basic proofs out of which my
conclusions grew. If the general reader will exercise the necessary patience,
he will be able to survey the main documentary evidence revealing the
development of writing, particularly of the alphabetic scripts used in the
past or in the present day. At the same time, the general sketch of the
subject, the facts presented and much of the interpretation put upon them
will, I hope, appeal to students of writing whose presuppositions differ
from mine, and to all scholars who are specialists in the individual fields
here examined, but not in the subject as a whole. For obvious reasons,
no attempt has been made to give an exhaustive account of all the pertinent
material, and documentation has been restricted to a minimum. Doubtful
material has been eliminated as far as possible, and nothing has been
included which is not strictly verifiable from different sources. Speculation
has been omitted except in some special cases.
On the whole, I have attempted to treat the history of writing on the
same lines as other types of history, but those sections in which too little
is known, are presented as a series of unembellished facts. In some
instances, in view of the dearth of original documentary sources, I have
not felt disposed to indulge in speculation.
A work of this kind cannot possibly be carried out without troubling
many people, and I am therefore glad to acknowledge my gratitude to
all those who have helped and supported me. Dr. L. Barnett, Mr.
R. D. Barnett, Dr. E. Cerulli, Miss H. Herne, Mr. G. F. Hudson, Miss
Evelyn Jamison, Mr. A. Master, Dr. M. A. Murray, Mrs. Hilda Splitter,
Mrs. Beauchamp Tufnell, Miss Olga Tufnell and Mrs. K. P. K. Whitaker
(Miss Lai Po Kan) have read parts of my text in typescript and have
made valuable criticisms and suggestions in detail. To all these scholars
1 am greatly indebted.
Furthermore, I tender my sincere gratitude to Sir Ellis H. Minns
for his interest and help, not only in reading the proofs of the book
at an early stage, but also for contributing much of his vast knowledge
My thanks must also be expressed to the Society for the Protection
of Science and Learning, to the Wellcome-Marston Archaeological
Research Expedition to the Near East, to the Institute of Archaeology,
University of London, and to the London School of Oriental and African
Studies, who have helped me in one way or another.
It is my pleasant duty to express my deep gratitude to the Scientific
and Technical Department of Hutchinson and Company, and especially
to Mr. W. H. Johnson for his unremitting care and attention to the host
of technical problems which have arisen in the production of this book.
Finally, in view of the special technical difficulties involved, due
acknowledgment must be made of the skill and care of the printers,
whose interest went beyond their usual function, and the result of their
expert and patient counsel appears on every page.
As far as possible I have omitted the diacritical marks which have been
devised by modern philologists for use in transcribing various alphabets
into Roman script. These marks, which serve to indicate the precise
value and pronunciation of certain symbols, consist of points, dashes,
circumflex accents, and so forth, added for instance to the letters g, h, s, t,
etc., and so forming the special signs, g, h, s, s, s, t, and many others.
These diacritical marks are indispensable in learned and technical
works, but they would only confuse the general reader more especially
since the phonetic values represented by them are not constant; for
instance the value of the Semitic s is quite different from that of the
Indian s; and the same is true of other letters and sounds in various
In the spelling and transliteration of Egyptian, Semitic, Indian,
Chinese, Greek and other words, especially place-names and proper
names, the practice commonly adopted has in general been followed,
but here and there consistency has been abandoned in order to present
to the reader familiar names in their familiar forms. Some spellings are,
for purposes of economy, simplified in cases where no confusion will result.
On the whole, inconsistencies in a composite work like this are unavoid-
able, and the general reader should understand that a quite satisfactory
solution of the problem of transliteration has not been found. Indeed,
I have to admit that after trying hard at an early stage to arrive at some
consistency, I had to abandon the attempt as hopeless, and welter in the
prevailing chaos; in some cases divergent transliterations still cause
difficulties, but it is reasonable to assume that general readers are indiffer-
ent to what experts know, while experts do not always agree as to the precise
spelling. Besides, some scientific transliterations are as formidable-looking
as Chinese or hieroglyphs.
On the whole, the consonants are transliterated according to the
English sounds, while for the vowels I use the system, generally adopted,
of transliteration according to the Italian phonetic values, corresponding
roughly to the following sounds: a as in "father," e as in "bell," i as in
"field," a as in "order," u as in "rude"; the letter y is employed with the
same phonetic value as in English.
It will be found that some practices, e.g. "idea-diffusion," are not
infrequently referred to in different sections of the book. Indeed, instead
of any attempt to give, as it were, definite description of these practices,
it has seemed better, at the cost of repetition, to give a separate description
for each case, even at some sacrifice of strict uniformity.
Smaller type has been used for certain sections of the book, which
contain either introductory and explanatory matter or bibliography.
These are intended respectively for two different types of readers, since
the manual has been planned to serve a twofold purpose. The general
reader will, it is hoped, welcome the information supplied by the notes
on the history of some little-known peoples and on the linguistic and
ethnic problems presented by others. The student, on the contrary,
who may use the book as an approach to the study of individual scripts
and alphabets, will undoubtedly find in the bibliographies a valuable
aid to further study. Of these, the general bibliography will be found at
the end of the volume, and the bibliographies dealing with particular
subjects at the end of the relevant chapters or of the paragraphs in which
the script in question is discussed.
STUDY OF HISTORY OF WRITING
How many people try to realize what writing has meant to mankind?
How could there be accumulation of wisdom without its being recorded
in written characters? If culture is, as many scholars think, "a com-
municable intelligence," and if writing is, as it is, one of the most important
means of communication-the only one indeed which can defy time and
space-it is not an exaggeration to say that writing is the main currency
of man's civilization. Wherever there has been civilization there have
been writing and reading, in the remote past as in the present day. Written
language has become the vehicle of civilization, and so of learning and
education. Writing is thus one of the main aspects of culture which clearly
distinguish mankind from the animal world.
The first and perhaps the most obvious consideration is that the
introduction of the art of writing gives permanence to man's knowledge.
Without letters, there can be no knowledge of much importance. The
evidences for studying the earlier ethical development of ancient
civilization are very scanty, and always indirect, until we reach the
introduction of writing and the production of written sources. The study
of the history of writing should, therefore, be considered as one of the
more important, perhaps the most important, of the departments of
historical science, and as a clue to the story of human intellectual progress.
No wonder that in the past writing was held in much esteem. The
ancient Egyptians attributed the creation of writing either to Thoth,
the god who invented nearly all the cultural elements, or to Isis. The
Babylonian god of writing, Nebo, Marduk's son, was also the god of
man's destiny. An ancient Jewish tradition considered Moses as the
inventor of the script. Greek myths attributed writing to Hermes or
to other gods. The ancient Chinese, Indians and many other peoples
also believed in the divine origin of the script. Writing had always an
enormous importance in learning and a magic power over the unlearned
people, in such a way that even to-day "illiterate" is almost synonymous
Nowadays, however, astonishing as it may sound, the history of
writing is the true Cinderella with learned men and the layman alike.
No such subject is taught either in the Universities or in the secondary
or primary schools; no important museum has thought it necessary to
offer to the public a comprehensive exhibition of the story of writing.
Although thousands of articles on matters forming part of our subjects
have appeared in hundreds of anthropological, archseological, philological
and other learned periodicals, published in every civilized country of
all the five continents, and in the transactions of various learned societies,
learned books dealing with this subject as a whole are very few and
mainly out of date or incomplete.
In particular, no serious attempts have been made to collect and present
within reasonable compass for popular consumption the vast amount of
matter relating to the history of writing. The author does not claim to
have done this, and he hopes that this book will not be considered as
an exhibition of that type of scholarship which wishes to be regarded
as omniscient and encyclopaedic. There cannot, obviously, be much
originality in a book of this kind unless it is in the way in which things
which belong together are brought together and their relationships and
outside influences are classified; it is an effort to put the whole matter,
as far as possible, in its true light. Indeed, the limited number of books
dealing with the whole subject in contrast to the infinite number of articles
treating of some detailed question within it, scattered over an infinite
number of journals, can be explained, partly at least, by the difficulties
involved in the investigation of this enormous field of human knowledge,
the history of writing. As a matter of fact, the subject demands a new
type of historian, a historian who is alike anthropologist, ethnologist,
psychologist, philologist, classical scholar, archaeologist, palaeographer,
orientalist, egyptologist, americanologist, etc.
Although, as already mentioned, the history of writing does not
constitute a subject of teaching in a University or any other school, it
forms the main basis for two important branches of study:
(I) Epigraphy (with its sub-divisions, such as Greek epigraphy, Latin
epigraphy, Hebrew epigraphy, and so forth), that is the science which
deals mainly with ancient inscriptions, including their study, decipherment
and interpretation, i.e., the records cut, engraved, or moulded on hard
material, such as stone, metal or clay.
(2) Palaeography (with parallel subdivisions, that is Greek palaeo-
graphy, Latin palaeography, Hebrew palaeography, etc.), which treats
mainly of the writing-including study, decipherment and interpretation
of the texts-that is painted or traced with ink or colour, with a stylus,
brush, reed or pen, on soft materials, such as paper, parchment, papyrus,
linen or wax. The study of palaeography is of the greatest practical
importance to textual criticism, to classical philology, to ancient and
medizeval history, and to other branches of historical science, whereas
the study of epigraphy has revolutionized our whole knowledge of the
ancient world. Thanks to epigraphy, the last century has witnessed
the rediscovery and reconstruction of entire civilizations, each of them
beginning in a high antiquity, and each presenting a highly organized
Certain branches of the history of writing form part of other depart-
ments of learning; for instance, hieroglyphic, hieratic and demotic writing
are comprehended in egyptology, cuneiform writing in assyriology;
the writing of primitive peoples is dealt with by anthropologists or
ethnologists, Chinese writing by sinologists, the Arabic scripts by arabists;
the development of Indian writing forms part of Indian epigraphy
and palreography. Philologists and glottologists-students of the science
of languages-deal also with the development of writing in connection
with the language or languages with which they are concerned. On the
other hand, graphology, "the science of writing," is more concerned
with the psychological and biological points of view than with the history
The cultured man is also sometimes interested in one or another
branch of the history of writing. Egyptology and assyriology, including
the study of hieroglyphic, hieratic, demotic and cuneiform writings,
had their "good times" in certain periods of the last century; hittitology,
that ic the branch of learning concerned with the Hittites (the ancient
inhabitants of Asia Minor and northern Syria) and their scripts, was in
great consideration at the end of the last century and in the first decades
of the present; alphabetology, the new department which deals with the
intricate problems of the origin of the alphabet, had a brief enjoyment
of "good time" quite recently in the U.S.A.
The name. Beginnings. Development of system. The peoples who employed cuneiform writing: Sumerians; Babylonians and Assyrians; other peoples Elamites; Early Elamite script; Neo-Elamite writing. End of the cuneiform writing. Decipherment. Bibliography.
The name. Origins. History of hieroglyphic writing. Hieratic writing. Demotic writing. Decipherment of Egyptian scripts. Bibliography.
Minoan civilization. Undeciphered scripts of Crete: Pictographic scripts ; Linear scripts. Origin of Cretan scripts. Attempted decipherments. The Phaistos disc. Bibliography.
General sketch. Exploration, excavation and studies. Cultural and chronological relationships with other civilizations. The Indus Valley script. Origin. Attempted decipherments. Supposed influences on other scripts. Bibliography.
Hittites. The peoples: their language and civilization. Main historical events. Hittite hieroglyphic writing. Origin of Hittite hieroglyphic writing. Bibliography.
Chinese. Origin of Chinese culture. Origin of Chinese writing. Earliest inscriptions. Story of Chinese characters: External form of Chinese symbols; main varieties of Chinese writing; systematization of Chinese characters; Phonetic dictionaries. Classification of Chinese characters. Modern Chinese writing; representation of Chinese by Latin alphabet. Bibliography
General sketch. "Mystery" of ancient Mexico. Study of ancient Mexico and Central America. Cultures of ancient Mexico and Central America. Main peoples who developed ancient Mexican and Central American cultures: Mayas; Zapotecs; Toltecs; Aztecs. Indigenous scripts of pre-Columbian America: Aztec character; Aztec codices, Aztec script. Maya script; Maya system of writing. Bibliography.
"Mysterious" problem. Facts. The script. Origin. Connection with other scripts. Bibliography.
General sketch. "Ideographic" scripts of non-Chinese people of China: Lo-lo-Mo-so group;Lo-lo script; Mo-so scripts; Man group: Central and northern China; Tangut script; bibliography. West African "ideographic" scripts; Nsibidi; the name; origin; the script; bibliography. Bamun scripts; bibliography. Recent ideographic scripts of American Indians; bibliography. Minahassa script. Chukcha script; bibliography.
Syllabaries. Pseudo-hieroglyphic script of Byblos: the inscription; the script; decipherment. Cypriote syllabary; bibliography. Japanese scripts: prehistoric Japanese "writings"; origin of Japanese scripts; Japanese ideograms; Japanese syllabic scripts; bibliography; suggested introduction of Latin alphabet. Cherokee syllabary: the script; origin. Morice's and Eubanks' Cherokee scripts; bibliography. Vai syllabary: bibliography. Artificial scripts of native Canadian tribes: Cree syllabary; bibliography. Southwestern China: the pollard and allied systems.
The scripts. Early Persian cuneiform script: the script; origin and end; inscriptions; decipherment; bibliography. Meroitic scripts: Meroe; the scripts; orgin; influences; bibliography.
The problem. Egyptian theory. Other theories. Cretan theory. Prehistoric-geometric signs theory. Ideographic theory. Sinaitic theory. Ugarit cuneiform alphabet. The pseudo-hieroglyphic script of Byblos and the origin of the alphabet according to M. Dunand. Undeciphered inscription found in Egypt. Balu 'a inscription. Other attempts at alphabetic writing. Early Canaanite inscriptions and "missing-link" theory. North Semitic inscriptions. Original alphabetic writing. Where was the alphabet invented? Influence of other systems. Decisive achievement. Absence of vowels. Names of letters. Order of letters. Main branches of early alphabets. Bibliography.
Ancient South Arabia. South Semitic alphabets. South Arabian inscriptions. North Arabian inscriptions. Origin of South Semitic alphabets. Ethiopic script: origin; development of Ethiopic writing. Bibliography.
Cannanites. Early Hebrew alphabet; inscription; the script. Samaritan alphabet and script on Jewish coins. Scripts of Moabites, Ammonites, and Edomites. Phoenician laphabet. Bibliography. Probable offshoots of Phoenician alphabet: Libyan scripts; bibliography. Iberian scripts; bibliography.
Th Aramaeans; Aramaean states; spread of Aramaic speech. Aramaic alphabet; development; "dog-Aramaic"; Armazi Aramaic. Offshoots of Aramaic alphabet; classical Hebrew alphabet: origin; inscriptions and manuscripts; varieties of Hebrew alphabet; modern Hebrew alphabet; vowel marks; other diacritical marks; origin of punctuation marks and their employment; Yiddish and Judezmo. The Nabataeans and their script. Neo-Sinaitic alphabet. Arabic alphabet: Arabic language and script; origin of Arabic alphabet; early development of Arabic alphabet; development of Arabic script: Kufic and Naskhi; modern Arabic alphabet; diacritical points; adaptation of the Arabic character to other languages. Palmyrene alphabet. Syriac scripts: character to other language. Palmyrene alphabet. Syriac scripts: Syrians; their scripts; syriac; Christian Palestinian or Palestinian Syriac; Syriac alphabet; vocalization; punctuation; direction of writing; varieties of Syriac scripts: Estrangela and its descendants; "alphabet follows religion": Nestorians; "Assyrians"; Jacobites; Melkites; development of Nestorian, Jacobite and Melkite scripts; Neo-Syrian character; Garshuni; Greek in Syriac script. Mandaean alphabet. Manichaean alphabet. Bibliography.
APPENDIX TO CHAPTER IV. (Section on Arabic alphabet).
Malagasy script - problems awaiting solution. Yezidi cryptic script. Balti alphabet. Somali alphabet.
"The alphabet follows religion." Kharoshthi scrip and the problem of Indian writings; coins and inscriptions; other documents; the script; bibliography. Persian or Iranian scripts: general sketch; Pahlavi; Aramaic "ideograms"; Pahlavi alphabets; the scripts; the Avesta; bibliography. Sogdian alphabet; bibliography. Kok Turki runes; bibliography. Early Hungarian script; bibliography. Uighur alphabet; Buriat alphabet; bibliography. Probable offshoots of Aramaic branch; Armenian scripts; Armenian alphabet; origin of Armenian writing; bibliography. Georgian alphabets: Georgian; Georgian scripts; origin; bibliography.Alban or Alvan alphabet.
Origin of Indian writing: theories concerning origin of brahmi script. Indian inscriptions. Development of Indian scripts: Early period (up to fourth century A.D.); main type of early Indian or Brahmi scripts: (1) script written from right to left; (2) Early Maurya type, third century B.C.; (3) Early Kalinga type - the "Dravidi script; (4) Early western Deccan or Andhra script; (5) Late Maurya type; (6) Sunga type; (7) Prototypes of North Indian sub-division; (8) Prototype of South Indian scripts. Further development of Indian scripts: North Indian scripts (fourth century A.D. -fourteenth century): North Indian monumental type known as Gupta; Central Asian Gupta sub varieties: Central Asian slanting Gupta: Agnean and Kuchean; Agnean and Kuchean charactyers; bibliography; Chinese in cursive Gupta character. Western branch of eastern gupta; bibliography. Tibetan scripts and their offshoots: Passepa Character; Lepcha character. Adaptation of the Tibetan character to other language; the Nam language; Chinese in Tibetan writing. Siddhamatrka character; Deva-nagari script; Nandi-nagari; deva-nagari character; Sarada script; Proto-Bengali character; Oriya script; Maithili character; Early Manipuri character; Assamese character; Kaithi character; Gujarati script; Bihari character; eastern Hindi character; Mahajani character; Modi character. Modern north-western script; Takri character and its varieties: Dogri character; Cameali character; Mandeali character; Sirmauri character; Jaunsari character ;Kochi character; Kului character; Kashtawari character. Landa scripts: Multani character; Sindhi Varieties; Subdgu cgaracterl Gurmukhi script. South Indian scripts: Dravidian languages; development of South Indian character: Western variety; Centeral Indian script; Kanarese and Telugu character ;Later Kalinga script; Grantha character: early Grantha; middle Grantha; transitional Grantha modern Grantha; Tulu-Malayalam character. Tamil character. Vatteluttu character. Sinhalese character: Island of Cylon; development of Sinhalese language and script: Pali-Prakrit Sinhalese; proto-Sinhalese; mediaeval sinhalese; modern Sinhalese; bibliography. Maldivian scripts: General sketc; Evela Akuru; Dives Akuru; Gabuli Tana. Syro-Malabarese alphabet; bibliography. Textof specimens of modern Indian scripts. Bibliography.
APPENDIX TO CHAPTER VI
APPENDIX TO CHAPTER VII
Korean character: Un-mun; vowel and consonants; is the Korean alphabet perfect? Origin of Korean alphabet. Woleai syllabary (?): the island; native script; origin; bibliography.
The Greek. Origin of the Greek alphabet. Changes introduced in the Greek alphabet. Varieties of Early Greek alphabet. Greek vowels. Greek sibilants. Additional consonantal signs. Classical Greek alphabet. Development of greek writing. Greek inscription and manuscripts. Conclusion. Bibliography. Asianic alphabet: Lycian alphabet; Phrygian alphabet; Pamphylian alphabet; Lydian alphabet; Carian script; conclusion; bibliography. Coptic alphabet; bibliography. Nubian character; bibliography. Messapian alphabet; bibliography. Gothic alphabet; bibliography. Early Slavonic alphabets: Cyrillie alphabet; adoption of the Cyrillic alphabet for, and its adaptation to, other language; reform of Russian orthography; Bukvitsa; Glagolitic alphabet; origin of Cyrillic and Glagolitic alphabets; bibliography. Local Albanian alphabets; bibliography. Alphabets of western Europe.
The Etruscans. Etruscan inscriptions. Etruscan alphabet. Origin of Etruscan alphabet. Development of Etruscan scritp. Last stage of Etruscan alphabet. Offshoots of the Etruscan alphabet: alphabet of the Piceni; Ventic alphabet; North Etruscan alphabets; Italic scripts: Oscan alphabet; Umbrian alphabet; Siculan alphabet; Latinian alphabets: Faliscan alphabet. Bibliography.
APPENDIX TO CHAPTER IX. - RUNES AND OGHAMS
Runes: the name; inscriptions and written documents; runic manuscripts; inscriptions found in sweden; Denmark and Schleswig; Norway; the British Isles; other countries; earliest inscriptions; origin of runes; the Futhark; development of runic writing: Early or Common Teutonic of Primitive Norse; Slavic runes; Anglo-Saxon or Anglian runes; Nordic or Scandinavian varieties; Haelsinge runes; the Manx runes; the dotted runes; cryptic varieties; end of runic scripts; bibliography. Oghams: the name; oghamic inscriptions; origin of the oghams; oghamic scripts; bibliography. Pictish oghams; the Picts; the script; heraldry (?); bibliography: Teutonic oghams(?); bibliography.
Early Latin inscriptions. Origin of the Latin alphabet. Development of the Latin alphabet. Latin cursive scripts. Varieties of the Latin alphabet. Mediaevel Varieties of the Latin alphabet: Italian semi-cursive minuscule; other continental hands; Insular or Anglo-Irish hands: Irish hand; Anglo-Saxon hand. Caroline or Carolingian hand. "Black letter" or Gothic. "Italic" and "Roman" type. Adaptation of the Latin alphabet to other languages. English alphabet. Problem of a standard international alphabet. Bibliography.
APPENDIX TO CHAPTER X
Specimens of adaptations of Latin script to African languages: Nyanja; Twi; Yoruba; Efik. Oberi Okaime Script.
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