Circles containing the Greek leftCyrillic bottom and Latin right alphabets, which share many of the same lettersalthough they have different pronunciations The largest segmental script is probably an abugida, Devanagari.
Even more extreme, the Pahlavi abjad eventually became logographic.
These three differ from each other in the way they treat vowels: abjads have letters for consonants and leave most vowels unexpressed; abugidas are also consonant-based, but indicate vowels with diacritics to or a systematic graphic modification of the consonants. The Latin word "alphabetum" came from the first two letters of the Greek alphabet, "alpha" and "beta". For example, a comma-shaped letter represented g, d, y, k, or j. Each column displays a different font style, in this order: Serif: with serifs, or little projections, at the end of most strokes Fixed-width: like old typewriter lettering - each letter is about the same width, so "i" takes up the same space as "w" Sans-serif: with no serifs Fantasy: fancy, artistic Alphabetical Order The English alphabet starts with the letter a and finishes with the letter z. Strictly speaking, these national languages lack a word corresponding to the verb "to spell" meaning to split a word into its letters , the closest match being a verb meaning to split a word into its syllables. Even English has general, albeit complex, rules that predict pronunciation from spelling, and these rules are successful most of the time; rules to predict spelling from the pronunciation have a higher failure rate. The Canadian Aboriginal syllabics are also an abugida rather than a syllabary as their name would imply, since each glyph stands for a consonant that is modified by rotation to represent the following vowel. Large letters are also called "capital letters" or "capitals". Thus a simple count of the number of distinct symbols is an important clue to the nature of an unknown script. The English word "alphabet" comes from the Latin word "alphabetum". Below you see the whole alphabet. With 33 letters, it is the largest true alphabet where each letter is graphically independent. This organization is used in Southeast Asia, Tibet, Korean hangul , and even Japanese kana , which is not an alphabet. Conversely, the vowel marks of the Tigrinya abugida and the Amharic abugida ironically, the original source of the term "abugida" have been so completely assimilated into their consonants that the modifications are no longer systematic and have to be learned as a syllabary rather than as a segmental script. Orthography and pronunciation Main article: Phonemic orthography When an alphabet is adopted or developed to represent a given language, an orthography generally comes into being, providing rules for the spelling of words in that language.
National languages sometimes elect to address the problem of dialects by simply associating the alphabet with the national standard.
Font Styles Printed letters of the alphabet come in different styles or designs. See below.
In French, these are not considered to be additional letters for the purposes of collation. A language may use different sets of symbols or different rules for distinct sets of vocabulary items, such as the Japanese hiragana and katakana syllabaries, or the various rules in English for spelling words from Latin and Greek, or the original Germanic vocabulary.
All three types may be augmented with syllabic glyphs. A language may spell some words with unpronounced letters that exist for historical or other reasons. Letters of the English Alphabet The English alphabet has 26 letters, starting with a and ending with z. Orthography and pronunciation Main article: Phonemic orthography When an alphabet is adopted or developed to represent a given language, an orthography generally comes into being, providing rules for the spelling of words in that language.
Below you see the whole alphabet. The number of letters in an alphabet can be quite small. The Hindi alphabet must represent both Sanskrit and modern vocabulary, and so has been expanded to 58 with the khutma letters letters with a dot added to represent sounds from Persian and English. The Georgian alphabet is much closer to Greek than the other Caucasian alphabets.
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