The Latin alphabet is the Alphabet which one uses mainly to write the languages of Western Europe as in some of the countries which were colonized by Europeans. It is, in competition with the Cyrillic alphabet and, in less share, the Greek alphabet, the Western writing by defect and now - because of the economic and cultural importance of country using it (like the United States) an international writing: one can find words written in letters Latin in the streets of Japan as in those of Egypt. The Latin alphabet only is also used to note the addresses of Internet sites and Courriel.
This alphabet thus is named because the capital letters which it uses are of origin Romaine. The tiny ones result on the other hand from the writings of the Germanic Langues. It is under the reign of Charlemagne, eager to unify the various shapes of writing of the kingdom, that Alcuin mixed these writings by creating the Minuscule Caroline which is at the base of the various forms of the modern Latin alphabet.
LettersThe Latin alphabet, like the majority of those resulting from the Greek alphabet, is Bicaméral: one uses two C-Ws communication for each Graphème (or letter ), one known as tiny , the other capital. In the majority of the cases, each letter has the two alternatives. There exist however some exceptions, like the binding ß (called scharfes S or eszett ; used in German and formerly in other languages, of which French), who, in capitals, is replaced by S .
The expansion - as well geographical as temporal - of this alphabet does of it one of richest in national alternatives. As follows:
- each language given uses a more or less complete play of fundamental letters;
- each one can have of them modified letters which are added to it;
- among the modified letters, some are considered, according to the languages, like letters with whole share or alternatives of another letter.
It is seen, there exists nothing of such as a fixed and constant Latin alphabet; it is however possible to isolate the fundamental Graphème S used in a majority from languages: they are those of the alphabet of the origins (see low, section “History”) more J and U like G and W , is:
Name of the lettersAmong the innovations of the Latin alphabet compared to its model (indirect) Greek, one can count the name of the letters. Indeed, whereas the Greek letters bear names without direction in their language because inherited directly the Semitic Langues and, especially, polysyllabic ( alpha , beta , gamma , delta ), they are Latin monosyllables.
The Romans, indeed, did not seek to give a real name to their letters: they indicated them as they decided, which could function well only with the continuous and the vowels (that one pronounced probably long). Two groups of letters are thus found (one will limit oneself here to the purely Latin letters not offering difficulties of interpretation):
- those pronounceable without support: the vowels /a ː/, /e ː/, /i ː/, /o ː/, /u ː/and continuous /f ː/, /l ː/, /m ː/, /n ː/, /r ː/and /s ː/(one thus said “the /ffff/ consonant” by prolonging the sound as much as necessary);
- those which one was to articulate with a support vowel, /e/ among Romans: /be ː/, /ke ː/(letter C ), /de ː/, /ge ː/, /ka ː/(letter K , that one initially employed in front of has or a consonant then which was preserved only in rare words), /pe ː/, /ku ː/(letter Q , which gets busy only in front of a U ), etc
From there the manner that one has, in French comes but also in the other languages using the old Latin alphabet, to spell the words.
Extension of the fundamental graphèmesThe intrinsic limits with this alphabet, relatively limited of many different signs quickly had to be exceeded as soon as it was a question of transcribing languages other than Latin, languages from which the phonological system necessarily differs. For example, the Latin alphabet of the origins does not make it possible to note the sound of CH At .
- use of diacritic, signs complementary to a fundamental letter and which modify the value of it (Acute accent, Tilde, Ogonek, etc);
- invention of additional letters (resulting from binding S, contextual alternatives or alternatives suitable for a particular medieval C-W communication, mainly), among which some is now regarded as fundamental (like the W or the ß ), some disappeared (it is the case of the ȝ - yogh );
- loan of letters to other writings (the ƿ - wynn - English, for example, borrowed from the Rune S);
- use of Digraph S ( CH , HS , cz , etc).
Here some examples among many others:
- in all the languages using the Latin alphabet until the 19th century, one used the '' S '' long → ſ ;
- in German: scharfes S or Eszett → ß ;
- in Castilian and Portuguese: Tilde (the Nasalisation or the Palatalisation indicates) → ã or ñ ;
- in Catalan: Not median (not to pronounce L like one, /l/ “wet”) → ŀl ;
- in Polish and in others Slavic Languages Western: Tilde registered → ł , Ogonek → ą , háček → ř , kroužek → ů ;
- in Icelandic: ash → æ , eth → 2D , thorn → þ ;
- in Old English (in addition to æ , 2D , þ ): wynn → ƿ , Yogh → ȝ ;
- in various languages, like the Sámi and of many Languages of Africa (Based, Bambara, ouolof, Peul, Dinka, éfik, éwé, Gã, Kpellé, Mendé): eng → ŋ (character of the Alphabet side-Nigerian);
- Greenlandic: will kra (replaced by Q in 1973) → ĸ , etc
One will refer to Digramme , Diacritiques of the Latin alphabet , Abréviations , Ligature , additional Lettres of the Latin alphabet and contextual Variante for more details.
Lastly, it is increasingly frequent that the transcription or the transliteration of a nonLatin writing is done by means of the Latin letters (which give most of the characters of the International Phonetic Alphabet and others methods of transcription). One speaks in this case about a romanisation. Lastly, many languages remained without writing adopted the Latin alphabet: in fact the case of Langues of Africa can follow the Alphabet side-Nigerian or the international Alphabet of Niamey.
French alternativeOne uses, in French, the twenty-six fundamental letters as well as Digramme S (like œ), and of the diacritic (like E), which is however not regarded as independent letters. Lastly, the diacritic letters (like U or E after G to specify the value of it) and the Digramme S ( CH , pH , S ) are numerous.
See also: French Alphabet
Ancient alphabetThe Latin alphabet was initially used to write the Latin , the spoken language by the inhabitants of Rome and the Latium. It is derived from the Etruscan Alphabet, itself alternative of a Greek alphabet different from the alphabet known as traditional (that which one uses in the current editions). The Etruscan alphabet comprised some useless letters ( B , C , D and O ), which were never used in the useless inscriptions because of the phonological Système of the Etruscan , in which one does not find a Occlusive S sound or of /o/ vowel. They on the other hand will be used by Latin, among whom they find a full utility.
The capitals ( Capital ) are the normal form of this alphabet, the tiny S being of late invention (Minuscule Caroline medieval, IXe century of the Christian era) and, at the beginning, used not in contrast with capital letters but as an independent graphic system.
The notable facts of this alphabet are the following:
- one does not distinguish U from V , which is written both V ;
- in the first times, the letter C noted at the same time /g/ and /k/: indeed, the Etruscan alphabet made use of Greek gamma Γ /g/ with the value /k/, /g/ being absent from phonological Système Etruscan. G (graphic modification of C ) however supplemented the alphabet quickly. The letter K , redundant with C , was preserved in Latin only in front of /a/ and in very few words ( KALENDAE , “Calendes”). But confusion C ~ G however persisted in the Roman Prénom marked Caius Gaius , in particular for the Abréviation S: the first name is written C normally. the letter Z being useless because of the Rhotacisme, G replaced it in the alphabet (let us recall that in Greek one has, in the order, Α has , Β B , Γ G , Δ D , Ε E , Ϝ W ( Digamma ), Ζ Z ).
- the letter Q , used as alternative of /k/ in front of /u/ (it is the Koppa Greek, useless in this alphabet thus absent from the traditional alternative), was preserved only to form the Digramme QV noting the single phoneme /k ʷ/, distinct from the continuation of /kw/ consonants: one thus opposes QVI /k ʷi/“which” and CVI /ku ̯i/(with diphthong) “with which”.
- HAS, B, C, D, E, F, H, I, K, L, M, NR, O, P, Q, R, S, T, V, X
Then, 23 letters in its traditional C-W communication:
- has, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, K, L, M, NR, O, P, Q, R, S, T, V, X, Y, Z
- Note: Y and Z is late additions starting from the Greek alphabet to note of them loanwords.
Medieval alphabet and C-Ws communicationDuring centuries, the letters of the alphabet Latin were traced in various ways. These types of writings do not constitute alphabets in oneself but versions different from the same alphabet, which will become after the invention of printing works the Font face:
- Quadrata ;
- Cursive Roman;
- Latin national writings;
- Tiny Caroline;
- Gothic (not to confuse this Latin C-W communication, with the gotic writing which is another alphabet much older);
- humanistic writing;
- English letters;
- Antiqua ;
- Fraktur ;
- Sütterlin .
Cf : category: C-W communication of the Latin alphabet.
Alphabetical classificationSee the article Alphabetical classification.
OthersThe code ISO 15924 of this writing is Latn.
Related articlesLatin alphabet
- African Alphabet of reference
- African international Alphabet
- History of the Latin alphabet;
- Adaptations of the Latin alphabet;
- Diacritic of the Latin alphabet;
- additional Letters of the Latin alphabet;
- Use of the letters in mathematics;
- Rhotacisme (section “influences on the Latin alphabet”);
- romanisation, Transcription and transliteration;
Be-X-old: Лацінскіальфабэт Nds-nl: Latainse alfabet Simple: Novel alphabet Zh-min-nan: Lô-má-jī
|Random links:||Courchamps (Aisne) | Saint-Arroman (Hautes-Pyrénées) | Mediterranean plays 1967 | Riviera Maya | Hypselecara|