Latin script

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For the Latin script originally used by the ancient Romans to write Latin, see Latin alphabet. Latin script_sentence_0

Latin script_table_infobox_0

Latin

RomanLatin script_header_cell_0_0_0

TypeLatin script_header_cell_0_1_0 Alphabet (impure) and BicameralLatin script_cell_0_1_1
LanguagesLatin script_header_cell_0_2_0 Official script in:


131 sovereign states


Co-official script in:


12 sovereign statesLatin script_cell_0_2_1

Time periodLatin script_header_cell_0_3_0 c. 700 BC – presentLatin script_cell_0_3_1
Parent systemsLatin script_header_cell_0_4_0 Egyptian hieroglyphsLatin script_cell_0_4_1
Child systemsLatin script_header_cell_0_5_0 Fraser alphabet (Lisu)

Osage script Latin alphabet (partially) several phonetic alphabets, such as IPA, which have been used to write languages with no native script (partially) Pollard script (Miao) (partially) Caroline Island script (Woleaian) (indirectly) Cherokee syllabary (indirectly, partially) Yugtun scriptLatin script_cell_0_5_1

Sister systemsLatin script_header_cell_0_6_0 Cyrillic script

Armenian alphabet Georgian script Coptic alphabet RunesLatin script_cell_0_6_1

DirectionLatin script_header_cell_0_7_0 Left-to-rightLatin script_cell_0_7_1
ISO 15924Latin script_header_cell_0_8_0 Latn, 215Latin script_cell_0_8_1
Unicode aliasLatin script_header_cell_0_9_0 LatinLatin script_cell_0_9_1
Unicode rangeLatin script_header_cell_0_10_0 See Latin characters in UnicodeLatin script_cell_0_10_1

Latin script, also known as Roman script, is a set of graphic signs (script) based on the letters of the classical Latin alphabet. Latin script_sentence_1

This is derived from a form of the Cumaean Greek version of the Greek alphabet used by the Etruscans. Latin script_sentence_2

Several Latin-script alphabets exist, which differ in graphemes, collation and phonetic values from the classical Latin alphabet. Latin script_sentence_3

The Latin script is the basis of the International Phonetic Alphabet and the 26 most widespread letters are the letters contained in the ISO basic Latin alphabet. Latin script_sentence_4

Latin script is the basis for the largest number of alphabets of any writing system and is the most widely adopted writing system in the world (commonly used by about 70 percent of the world's population). Latin script_sentence_5

Latin script is used as the standard method of writing in most Western, Central, as well as in some Eastern European languages, as well as in many languages in other parts of the world. Latin script_sentence_6

Name Latin script_section_0

The script is either called Latin script or Roman script, in reference to its origin in ancient Rome. Latin script_sentence_7

In the context of transliteration, the term "romanization" (British English: "romanisation") is often found. Latin script_sentence_8

Unicode uses the term "Latin" as does the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Latin script_sentence_9

The numeral system is called the Roman numeral system, and the collection of the elements is known as the Roman numerals. Latin script_sentence_10

The numbers 1, 2, 3 ... are Latin/Roman script numbers for the Hindu–Arabic numeral system. Latin script_sentence_11

History Latin script_section_1

Main article: History of the Latin script Latin script_sentence_12

Old Italic alphabet Latin script_section_2

Latin script_table_general_1

Old Italic alphabetLatin script_table_caption_1
LettersLatin script_header_cell_1_0_0 𐌀Latin script_cell_1_0_1 𐌁Latin script_cell_1_0_2 𐌂Latin script_cell_1_0_3 𐌃Latin script_cell_1_0_4 𐌄Latin script_cell_1_0_5 𐌅Latin script_cell_1_0_6 𐌆Latin script_cell_1_0_7 𐌇Latin script_cell_1_0_8 𐌈Latin script_cell_1_0_9 𐌉Latin script_cell_1_0_10 𐌊Latin script_cell_1_0_11 𐌋Latin script_cell_1_0_12 𐌌Latin script_cell_1_0_13 𐌍Latin script_cell_1_0_14 𐌎Latin script_cell_1_0_15 𐌏Latin script_cell_1_0_16 𐌐Latin script_cell_1_0_17 𐌑Latin script_cell_1_0_18 𐌒Latin script_cell_1_0_19 𐌓Latin script_cell_1_0_20 𐌔Latin script_cell_1_0_21 𐌕Latin script_cell_1_0_22 𐌖Latin script_cell_1_0_23 𐌗Latin script_cell_1_0_24 𐌘Latin script_cell_1_0_25 𐌙Latin script_cell_1_0_26 𐌚Latin script_cell_1_0_27
TransliterationLatin script_header_cell_1_1_0 ALatin script_cell_1_1_1 BLatin script_cell_1_1_2 CLatin script_cell_1_1_3 DLatin script_cell_1_1_4 ELatin script_cell_1_1_5 VLatin script_cell_1_1_6 ZLatin script_cell_1_1_7 HLatin script_cell_1_1_8 ΘLatin script_cell_1_1_9 ILatin script_cell_1_1_10 KLatin script_cell_1_1_11 LLatin script_cell_1_1_12 MLatin script_cell_1_1_13 NLatin script_cell_1_1_14 ΞLatin script_cell_1_1_15 OLatin script_cell_1_1_16 PLatin script_cell_1_1_17 ŚLatin script_cell_1_1_18 QLatin script_cell_1_1_19 RLatin script_cell_1_1_20 SLatin script_cell_1_1_21 TLatin script_cell_1_1_22 YLatin script_cell_1_1_23 XLatin script_cell_1_1_24 ΦLatin script_cell_1_1_25 ΨLatin script_cell_1_1_26 FLatin script_cell_1_1_27

Archaic Latin alphabet Latin script_section_3

Latin script_table_general_2

Archaic Latin alphabetLatin script_table_caption_2
As Old ItalicLatin script_header_cell_2_0_0 𐌀Latin script_cell_2_0_1 𐌁Latin script_cell_2_0_2 𐌂Latin script_cell_2_0_3 𐌃Latin script_cell_2_0_4 𐌄Latin script_cell_2_0_5 𐌅Latin script_cell_2_0_6 𐌆Latin script_cell_2_0_7 𐌇Latin script_cell_2_0_8 𐌉Latin script_cell_2_0_9 𐌊Latin script_cell_2_0_10 𐌋Latin script_cell_2_0_11 𐌌Latin script_cell_2_0_12 𐌍Latin script_cell_2_0_13 𐌏Latin script_cell_2_0_14 𐌐Latin script_cell_2_0_15 𐌒Latin script_cell_2_0_16 𐌓Latin script_cell_2_0_17 𐌔Latin script_cell_2_0_18 𐌕Latin script_cell_2_0_19 𐌖Latin script_cell_2_0_20 𐌗Latin script_cell_2_0_21
As LatinLatin script_header_cell_2_1_0 ALatin script_cell_2_1_1 BLatin script_cell_2_1_2 CLatin script_cell_2_1_3 DLatin script_cell_2_1_4 ELatin script_cell_2_1_5 FLatin script_cell_2_1_6 ZLatin script_cell_2_1_7 HLatin script_cell_2_1_8 ILatin script_cell_2_1_9 KLatin script_cell_2_1_10 LLatin script_cell_2_1_11 MLatin script_cell_2_1_12 NLatin script_cell_2_1_13 OLatin script_cell_2_1_14 PLatin script_cell_2_1_15 QLatin script_cell_2_1_16 RLatin script_cell_2_1_17 SLatin script_cell_2_1_18 TLatin script_cell_2_1_19 VLatin script_cell_2_1_20 XLatin script_cell_2_1_21

The letter ⟨C⟩ was the western form of the Greek gamma, but it was used for the sounds /ɡ/ and /k/ alike, possibly under the influence of Etruscan, which might have lacked any voiced plosives. Latin script_sentence_13

Later, probably during the 3rd century BC, the letter ⟨Z⟩ – unneeded to write Latin properly – was replaced with the new letter ⟨G⟩, a ⟨C⟩ modified with a small horizontal stroke, which took its place in the alphabet. Latin script_sentence_14

From then on, ⟨G⟩ represented the voiced plosive /ɡ/, while ⟨C⟩ was generally reserved for the voiceless plosive /k/. Latin script_sentence_15

The letter ⟨K⟩ was used only rarely, in a small number of words such as Kalendae, often interchangeably with ⟨C⟩. Latin script_sentence_16

Classical Latin alphabet Latin script_section_4

After the Roman conquest of Greece in the 1st century BC, Latin adopted the Greek letters ⟨Y⟩ and ⟨Z⟩ (or readopted, in the latter case) to write Greek loanwords, placing them at the end of the alphabet. Latin script_sentence_17

An attempt by the emperor Claudius to introduce three additional letters did not last. Latin script_sentence_18

Thus it was during the classical Latin period that the Latin alphabet contained 23 letters: Latin script_sentence_19

Latin script_table_general_3

Classical Latin alphabetLatin script_table_caption_3
LetterLatin script_header_cell_3_0_0 ALatin script_header_cell_3_0_1 BLatin script_header_cell_3_0_2 CLatin script_header_cell_3_0_3 DLatin script_header_cell_3_0_4 ELatin script_header_cell_3_0_5 FLatin script_header_cell_3_0_6 GLatin script_header_cell_3_0_7 HLatin script_header_cell_3_0_8 ILatin script_header_cell_3_0_9 KLatin script_header_cell_3_0_10 LLatin script_header_cell_3_0_11 MLatin script_header_cell_3_0_12 NLatin script_header_cell_3_0_13 OLatin script_header_cell_3_0_14 PLatin script_header_cell_3_0_15 QLatin script_header_cell_3_0_16 RLatin script_header_cell_3_0_17 SLatin script_header_cell_3_0_18 TLatin script_header_cell_3_0_19 VLatin script_header_cell_3_0_20 XLatin script_header_cell_3_0_21 YLatin script_header_cell_3_0_22 ZLatin script_header_cell_3_0_23
Latin name (majus)Latin script_header_cell_3_1_0 áLatin script_cell_3_1_1 Latin script_cell_3_1_2 Latin script_cell_3_1_3 Latin script_cell_3_1_4 éLatin script_cell_3_1_5 efLatin script_cell_3_1_6 Latin script_cell_3_1_7 Latin script_cell_3_1_8 Latin script_cell_3_1_9 Latin script_cell_3_1_10 elLatin script_cell_3_1_11 emLatin script_cell_3_1_12 enLatin script_cell_3_1_13 óLatin script_cell_3_1_14 Latin script_cell_3_1_15 qv́Latin script_cell_3_1_16 erLatin script_cell_3_1_17 esLatin script_cell_3_1_18 Latin script_cell_3_1_19 Latin script_cell_3_1_20 ixLatin script_cell_3_1_21 ꟾ graecaLatin script_cell_3_1_22 zétaLatin script_cell_3_1_23
Latin nameLatin script_header_cell_3_2_0 āLatin script_cell_3_2_1 Latin script_cell_3_2_2 Latin script_cell_3_2_3 Latin script_cell_3_2_4 ēLatin script_cell_3_2_5 efLatin script_cell_3_2_6 Latin script_cell_3_2_7 Latin script_cell_3_2_8 īLatin script_cell_3_2_9 Latin script_cell_3_2_10 elLatin script_cell_3_2_11 emLatin script_cell_3_2_12 enLatin script_cell_3_2_13 ōLatin script_cell_3_2_14 Latin script_cell_3_2_15 Latin script_cell_3_2_16 erLatin script_cell_3_2_17 esLatin script_cell_3_2_18 Latin script_cell_3_2_19 ūLatin script_cell_3_2_20 ixLatin script_cell_3_2_21 ī GraecaLatin script_cell_3_2_22 zētaLatin script_cell_3_2_23
Latin pronunciation (IPA)Latin script_header_cell_3_3_0 Latin script_cell_3_3_1 beːLatin script_cell_3_3_2 keːLatin script_cell_3_3_3 deːLatin script_cell_3_3_4 Latin script_cell_3_3_5 ɛfLatin script_cell_3_3_6 ɡeːLatin script_cell_3_3_7 haːLatin script_cell_3_3_8 Latin script_cell_3_3_9 kaːLatin script_cell_3_3_10 ɛlLatin script_cell_3_3_11 ɛmLatin script_cell_3_3_12 ɛnLatin script_cell_3_3_13 Latin script_cell_3_3_14 peːLatin script_cell_3_3_15 kuːLatin script_cell_3_3_16 ɛrLatin script_cell_3_3_17 ɛsLatin script_cell_3_3_18 teːLatin script_cell_3_3_19 Latin script_cell_3_3_20 iksLatin script_cell_3_3_21 iː ˈɡraekaLatin script_cell_3_3_22 ˈdzeːtaLatin script_cell_3_3_23

Medieval and later developments Latin script_section_5

It was not until the Middle Ages that the letter ⟨W⟩ (originally a ligature of two ⟨V⟩s) was added to the Latin alphabet, to represent sounds from the Germanic languages which did not exist in medieval Latin, and only after the Renaissance did the convention of treating ⟨I⟩ and ⟨U⟩ as vowels, and ⟨J⟩ and ⟨V⟩ as consonants, become established. Latin script_sentence_20

Prior to that, the former had been merely allographs of the latter. Latin script_sentence_21

With the fragmentation of political power, the style of writing changed and varied greatly throughout the Middle Ages, even after the invention of the printing press. Latin script_sentence_22

Early deviations from the classical forms were the uncial script, a development of the Old Roman cursive, and various so-called minuscule scripts that developed from New Roman cursive, of which the insular script developed by Irish literati & derivations of this, such as Carolingian minuscule were the most influential, introducing the lower case forms of the letters, as well as other writing conventions that have since become standard. Latin script_sentence_23

The languages that use the Latin script generally use capital letters to begin paragraphs and sentences and proper nouns. Latin script_sentence_24

The rules for capitalization have changed over time, and different languages have varied in their rules for capitalization. Latin script_sentence_25

Old English, for example, was rarely written with even proper nouns capitalized, whereas Modern English writers and printers of the 17th and 18th century frequently capitalized most and sometimes all nouns, which is still systematically done in Modern German, e.g. in the preamble and all of the United States Constitution: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. Latin script_sentence_26

ISO basic Latin alphabet Latin script_section_6

Main article: ISO basic Latin alphabet Latin script_sentence_27

Latin script_table_general_4

ISO basic Latin alphabetLatin script_table_caption_4
Uppercase Latin alphabetLatin script_header_cell_4_0_0 ALatin script_cell_4_0_1 BLatin script_cell_4_0_2 CLatin script_cell_4_0_3 DLatin script_cell_4_0_4 ELatin script_cell_4_0_5 FLatin script_cell_4_0_6 GLatin script_cell_4_0_7 HLatin script_cell_4_0_8 ILatin script_cell_4_0_9 JLatin script_cell_4_0_10 KLatin script_cell_4_0_11 LLatin script_cell_4_0_12 MLatin script_cell_4_0_13 NLatin script_cell_4_0_14 OLatin script_cell_4_0_15 PLatin script_cell_4_0_16 QLatin script_cell_4_0_17 RLatin script_cell_4_0_18 SLatin script_cell_4_0_19 TLatin script_cell_4_0_20 ULatin script_cell_4_0_21 VLatin script_cell_4_0_22 WLatin script_cell_4_0_23 XLatin script_cell_4_0_24 YLatin script_cell_4_0_25 ZLatin script_cell_4_0_26
Lowercase Latin alphabetLatin script_header_cell_4_1_0 aLatin script_cell_4_1_1 bLatin script_cell_4_1_2 cLatin script_cell_4_1_3 dLatin script_cell_4_1_4 eLatin script_cell_4_1_5 fLatin script_cell_4_1_6 gLatin script_cell_4_1_7 hLatin script_cell_4_1_8 iLatin script_cell_4_1_9 jLatin script_cell_4_1_10 kLatin script_cell_4_1_11 lLatin script_cell_4_1_12 mLatin script_cell_4_1_13 nLatin script_cell_4_1_14 oLatin script_cell_4_1_15 pLatin script_cell_4_1_16 qLatin script_cell_4_1_17 rLatin script_cell_4_1_18 sLatin script_cell_4_1_19 tLatin script_cell_4_1_20 uLatin script_cell_4_1_21 vLatin script_cell_4_1_22 wLatin script_cell_4_1_23 xLatin script_cell_4_1_24 yLatin script_cell_4_1_25 zLatin script_cell_4_1_26

The use of the letters I and V for both consonants and vowels proved inconvenient as the Latin alphabet was adapted to Germanic and Romance languages. Latin script_sentence_28

W originated as a doubled V (VV) used to represent the Voiced labial–velar approximant /w/ found in Old English as early as the 7th century. Latin script_sentence_29

It came into common use in the later 11th century, replacing the letter wynn ⟨Ƿ ƿ⟩, which had been used for the same sound. Latin script_sentence_30

In the Romance languages, the minuscule form of V was a rounded u; from this was derived a rounded capital U for the vowel in the 16th century, while a new, pointed minuscule v was derived from V for the consonant. Latin script_sentence_31

In the case of I, a word-final swash form, j, came to be used for the consonant, with the un-swashed form restricted to vowel use. Latin script_sentence_32

Such conventions were erratic for centuries. Latin script_sentence_33

J was introduced into English for the consonant in the 17th century (it had been rare as a vowel), but it was not universally considered a distinct letter in the alphabetic order until the 19th century. Latin script_sentence_34

By the 1960s, it became apparent to the computer and telecommunications industries in the First World that a non-proprietary method of encoding characters was needed. Latin script_sentence_35

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) encapsulated the Latin alphabet in their (ISO/IEC 646) standard. Latin script_sentence_36

To achieve widespread acceptance, this encapsulation was based on popular usage. Latin script_sentence_37

As the United States held a preeminent position in both industries during the 1960s, the standard was based on the already published American Standard Code for Information Interchange, better known as ASCII, which included in the character set the 26 × 2 (uppercase and lowercase) letters of the English alphabet. Latin script_sentence_38

Later standards issued by the ISO, for example ISO/IEC 10646 (Unicode Latin), have continued to define the 26 × 2 letters of the English alphabet as the basic Latin alphabet with extensions to handle other letters in other languages. Latin script_sentence_39

Spread Latin script_section_7

Main article: Spread of the Latin script Latin script_sentence_40

The Latin alphabet spread, along with Latin, from the Italian Peninsula to the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea with the expansion of the Roman Empire. Latin script_sentence_41

The eastern half of the Empire, including Greece, Turkey, the Levant, and Egypt, continued to use Greek as a lingua franca, but Latin was widely spoken in the western half, and as the western Romance languages evolved out of Latin, they continued to use and adapt the Latin alphabet. Latin script_sentence_42

Middle Ages Latin script_section_8

With the spread of Western Christianity during the Middle Ages, the Latin alphabet was gradually adopted by the peoples of Northern Europe who spoke Celtic languages (displacing the Ogham alphabet) or Germanic languages (displacing earlier Runic alphabets) or Baltic languages, as well as by the speakers of several Uralic languages, most notably Hungarian, Finnish and Estonian. Latin script_sentence_43

The Latin script also came into use for writing the West Slavic languages and several South Slavic languages, as the people who spoke them adopted Roman Catholicism. Latin script_sentence_44

The speakers of East Slavic languages generally adopted Cyrillic along with Orthodox Christianity. Latin script_sentence_45

The Serbian language uses both scripts, with Cyrillic predominating in official communication and Latin elsewhere, as determined by the Law on Official Use of the Language and Alphabet. Latin script_sentence_46

Since the 16th century Latin script_section_9

As late as 1500, the Latin script was limited primarily to the languages spoken in Western, Northern, and Central Europe. Latin script_sentence_47

The Orthodox Christian Slavs of Eastern and Southeastern Europe mostly used Cyrillic, and the Greek alphabet was in use by Greek-speakers around the eastern Mediterranean. Latin script_sentence_48

The Arabic script was widespread within Islam, both among Arabs and non-Arab nations like the Iranians, Indonesians, Malays, and Turkic peoples. Latin script_sentence_49

Most of the rest of Asia used a variety of Brahmic alphabets or the Chinese script. Latin script_sentence_50

Through European colonization the Latin script has spread to the Americas, Oceania, parts of Asia, Africa, and the Pacific, in forms based on the Spanish, Portuguese, English, French, German and Dutch alphabets. Latin script_sentence_51

It is used for many Austronesian languages, including the languages of the Philippines and the Malaysian and Indonesian languages, replacing earlier Arabic and indigenous Brahmic alphabets. Latin script_sentence_52

Latin letters served as the basis for the forms of the Cherokee syllabary developed by Sequoyah; however, the sound values are completely different. Latin script_sentence_53

Under Portuguese missionary influence, a Latin alphabet was devised for the Vietnamese language, which had previously used Chinese characters. Latin script_sentence_54

The Latin-based alphabet replaced the Chinese characters in administration in the 19th century with French rule. Latin script_sentence_55

Since 19th century Latin script_section_10

In the late 19th century, the Romanians returned to the Latin alphabet, which they had used until the Council of Florence in 1439, primarily because Romanian is a Romance language. Latin script_sentence_56

The Romanians were predominantly Orthodox Christians, and their Church, increasingly influenced by Russia after the fall of Byzantine Greek Constantinople in 1453 and capture of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch, had begun promoting the Slavic Cyrillic. Latin script_sentence_57

Since 20th century Latin script_section_11

In 1928, as part of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's reforms, the new Republic of Turkey adopted a Latin alphabet for the Turkish language, replacing a modified Arabic alphabet. Latin script_sentence_58

Most of the Turkic-speaking peoples of the former USSR, including Tatars, Bashkirs, Azeri, Kazakh, Kyrgyz and others, used the Latin-based Uniform Turkic alphabet in the 1930s; but, in the 1940s, all were replaced by Cyrillic. Latin script_sentence_59

In 2017 Kazakhstan adopted the Latin script as their second official script replacing Cyrillic by 2025. Latin script_sentence_60

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, three of the newly independent Turkic-speaking republics, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan as well as Romanian-speaking Moldova, officially adopted Latin alphabets for their languages. Latin script_sentence_61

Kyrgyzstan, Iranian-speaking Tajikistan, and the breakaway region of Transnistria kept the Cyrillic alphabet, chiefly due to their close ties with Russia. Latin script_sentence_62

In the 1930s and 1940s, the majority of Kurds replaced the Arabic script with two Latin alphabets. Latin script_sentence_63

Although the only official Kurdish government uses an Arabic alphabet for public documents, the Latin Kurdish alphabet remains widely used throughout the region by the majority of Kurdish-speakers. Latin script_sentence_64

21st century Latin script_section_12

On 15 September 1999 the authorities of Tatarstan, Russia, passed a law to make the Latin script a co-official writing system alongside Cyrillic for the Tatar language by 2011. Latin script_sentence_65

A year later, however, the Russian government overruled the law and banned Latinization on its territory. Latin script_sentence_66

In 2015, the government of Kazakhstan announced that a Kazakh Latin alphabet would replace the Kazakh Cyrillic alphabet as the official writing system for the Kazakh language by 2025. Latin script_sentence_67

There are also talks about switching from the Cyrillic script to Latin in Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, and Mongolia. Latin script_sentence_68

In October 2019, the organization National Representational Organization for Inuit in Canada (ITK) announced that they will introduce a unified writing system for the Inuit languages in the country. Latin script_sentence_69

The writing system is based on the Latin alphabet and is modeled after the one used in the Greenlandic language. Latin script_sentence_70

In July 2020, 2.6 billion people (36% of the world population) use the Latin alphabet. Latin script_sentence_71

International standards Latin script_section_13

Main articles: ISO basic Latin alphabet and Latin script in Unicode Latin script_sentence_72

By the 1960s, it became apparent to the computer and telecommunications industries in the First World that a non-proprietary method of encoding characters was needed. Latin script_sentence_73

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) encapsulated the Latin alphabet in their (ISO/IEC 646) standard. Latin script_sentence_74

To achieve widespread acceptance, this encapsulation was based on popular usage. Latin script_sentence_75

As the United States held a preeminent position in both industries during the 1960s, the standard was based on the already published American Standard Code for Information Interchange, better known as ASCII, which included in the character set the 26 × 2 (uppercase and lowercase) letters of the English alphabet. Latin script_sentence_76

Later standards issued by the ISO, for example ISO/IEC 10646 (Unicode Latin), have continued to define the 26 × 2 letters of the English alphabet as the basic Latin alphabet with extensions to handle other letters in other languages. Latin script_sentence_77

As used by various languages Latin script_section_14

Main article: Latin-script alphabet Latin script_sentence_78

In the course of its use, the Latin alphabet was adapted for use in new languages, sometimes representing phonemes not found in languages that were already written with the Roman characters. Latin script_sentence_79

To represent these new sounds, extensions were therefore created, be it by adding diacritics to existing letters, by joining multiple letters together to make ligatures, by creating completely new forms, or by assigning a special function to pairs or triplets of letters. Latin script_sentence_80

These new forms are given a place in the alphabet by defining an alphabetical order or collation sequence, which can vary with the particular language. Latin script_sentence_81

Letters Latin script_section_15

For a more comprehensive list, see List of Latin-script letters. Latin script_sentence_82

Some examples of new letters to the standard Latin alphabet are the Runic letters wynn ⟨Ƿ ƿ⟩ and thorn ⟨Þ þ⟩, and the letter eth ⟨Ð/ð⟩, which were added to the alphabet of Old English. Latin script_sentence_83

Another Irish letter, the insular g, developed into yogh ⟨Ȝ ȝ⟩, used in Middle English. Latin script_sentence_84

Wynn was later replaced with the new letter ⟨w⟩, eth and thorn with ⟨th⟩, and yogh with ⟨gh⟩. Latin script_sentence_85

Although the four are no longer part of the English or Irish alphabets, eth and thorn are still used in the modern Icelandic and Faroese alphabets. Latin script_sentence_86

Some West, Central and Southern African languages use a few additional letters that have a similar sound value to their equivalents in the IPA. Latin script_sentence_87

For example, Adangme uses the letters ⟨Ɛ ɛ⟩ and ⟨Ɔ ɔ⟩, and Ga uses ⟨Ɛ ɛ⟩, ⟨Ŋ ŋ⟩ and ⟨Ɔ ɔ⟩. Latin script_sentence_88

Hausa uses ⟨Ɓ ɓ⟩ and ⟨Ɗ ɗ⟩ for implosives, and ⟨Ƙ ƙ⟩ for an ejective. Latin script_sentence_89

Africanists have standardized these into the African reference alphabet. Latin script_sentence_90

The Azerbaijani language also has ⟨Ə ə⟩, which represents the near-open front unrounded vowel. Latin script_sentence_91

Multigraphs Latin script_section_16

Main article: Latin-script multigraph Latin script_sentence_92

A digraph is a pair of letters used to write one sound or a combination of sounds that does not correspond to the written letters in sequence. Latin script_sentence_93

Examples are ⟨ch⟩, ⟨ng⟩, ⟨rh⟩, ⟨sh⟩, ⟨ph⟩, ⟨Th⟩ in English, and ⟨ij⟩, ⟨ee⟩, ⟨ch⟩ and ⟨ei⟩ in Dutch. Latin script_sentence_94

In Dutch the ⟨ij⟩ is capitalized as ⟨IJ⟩ or the ligature ⟨IJ⟩, but never as ⟨Ij⟩, and it often takes the appearance of a ligature ⟨ij⟩ very similar to the letter ⟨ÿ⟩ in handwriting. Latin script_sentence_95

A trigraph is made up of three letters, like the Germansch⟩, the Bretonc'h⟩ or the Milanese ⟨oeu⟩. Latin script_sentence_96

In the orthographies of some languages, digraphs and trigraphs are regarded as independent letters of the alphabet in their own right. Latin script_sentence_97

The capitalization of digraphs and trigraphs is language-dependent, as only the first letter may be capitalized, or all component letters simultaneously (even for words written in titlecase, where letters after the digraph or trigraph are left in lowercase). Latin script_sentence_98

Ligatures Latin script_section_17

Main article: Ligature (typography) Latin script_sentence_99

A ligature is a fusion of two or more ordinary letters into a new glyph or character. Latin script_sentence_100

Examples are ⟨Æ æ⟩ (from ⟨AE⟩, called "ash"), ⟨Œ œ⟩ (from ⟨OE⟩, sometimes called "oethel"), the abbreviation&⟩ (from Latin: et, lit. Latin script_sentence_101

'and', called "ampersand"), and ⟨ ß⟩ (from ⟨ſʒ⟩ or ⟨ſs⟩, the archaic medial form of ⟨s⟩, followed by an ⟨ʒ⟩ or ⟨s⟩, called "sharp S" or "eszett"). Latin script_sentence_102

Diacritics Latin script_section_18

Main article: Diacritic Latin script_sentence_103

A diacritic, in some cases also called an accent, is a small symbol that can appear above or below a letter, or in some other position, such as the umlaut sign used in the German characters ⟨ä⟩, ⟨ö⟩, ⟨ü⟩ or the Romanian characters ă, â, î, ș, ț. Latin script_sentence_104

Its main function is to change the phonetic value of the letter to which it is added, but it may also modify the pronunciation of a whole syllable or word, or distinguish between homographs (such as the Dutch words (pronounced [ən) meaning "a" or "an", and , (pronounced [e:n) meaning "one"). Latin script_sentence_105

As with letters, the value of diacritics is language-dependent. Latin script_sentence_106

English is the only major modern European language requiring no diacritics for native words (although a diaeresis may be used in words such as "coöperation"). Latin script_sentence_107

Collation Latin script_section_19

Main article: Collating sequence Latin script_sentence_108

Some modified letters, such as the symbols ⟨å⟩, ⟨ä⟩, and ⟨ö⟩, may be regarded as new individual letters in themselves, and assigned a specific place in the alphabet for collation purposes, separate from that of the letter on which they are based, as is done in Swedish. Latin script_sentence_109

In other cases, such as with ⟨ä⟩, ⟨ö⟩, ⟨ü⟩ in German, this is not done; letter-diacritic combinations being identified with their base letter. Latin script_sentence_110

The same applies to digraphs and trigraphs. Latin script_sentence_111

Different diacritics may be treated differently in collation within a single language. Latin script_sentence_112

For example, in Spanish, the character ⟨ñ⟩ is considered a letter, and sorted between ⟨n⟩ and ⟨o⟩ in dictionaries, but the accented vowels ⟨á⟩, ⟨é⟩, ⟨í⟩, ⟨ó⟩, ⟨ú⟩ are not separated from the unaccented vowels ⟨a⟩, ⟨e⟩, ⟨i⟩, ⟨o⟩, ⟨u⟩. Latin script_sentence_113

Capitalization Latin script_section_20

Main article: Letter case Latin script_sentence_114

The languages that use the Latin script today generally use capital letters to begin paragraphs and sentences and proper nouns. Latin script_sentence_115

The rules for capitalization have changed over time, and different languages have varied in their rules for capitalization. Latin script_sentence_116

Old English, for example, was rarely written with even proper nouns capitalized; whereas Modern English of the 18th century had frequently all nouns capitalized, in the same way that Modern German is written today, e.g. German: Alle Schwestern der alten Stadt hatten die Vögel gesehen, lit. Latin script_sentence_117

'All of the sisters of the old city had seen the birds'. Latin script_sentence_118

Romanization Latin script_section_21

Main article: Romanization Latin script_sentence_119

Words from languages natively written with other scripts, such as Arabic or Chinese, are usually transliterated or transcribed when embedded in Latin-script text or in multilingual international communication, a process termed Romanization. Latin script_sentence_120

Whilst the Romanization of such languages is used mostly at unofficial levels, it has been especially prominent in computer messaging where only the limited 7-bit ASCII code is available on older systems. Latin script_sentence_121

However, with the introduction of Unicode, Romanization is now becoming less necessary. Latin script_sentence_122

Note that keyboards used to enter such text may still restrict users to Romanized text, as only ASCII or Latin-alphabet characters may be available. Latin script_sentence_123

See also Latin script_section_22

Latin script_unordered_list_0


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin script.