Full Text

Latin alphabet


Subject Linguistics

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631214816.1999.x


Extract

The alphabet of the Latin language which is attested in inscriptions as of the sixth century bce . It descends from the greek alphabet which spread from the Greek colonies in Sicily and southern Italy to other parts of the Italian peninsula, giving rise to a number of scripts which are usually referred to collectively as old italic scripts . One of them, the etruscan alphabet , is the immediate forebear of the Latin alphabet. The adaptation to Latin took place during the seventh century bce . The oldest known inscription dates from the early sixth century. It is written from right to left on a gold brooch, known as the Praeneste Fibula, and reads MANIOS MED FHEFHAKED NVMASIOI or, in Classical Latin, Manios me fecit Numasio ‘Manius made me for Numasius’ ( figure 2 ). As in Etruscan, /f/ is written as FH in this inscription instead of later F . Other characteristics of the Latin alphabet which indicate its Etruscan origin ( table 5 ) include the triple representation of /k/ by means of the three letters K, O and C . Eventually K fell out of use, and O came to be combined with V , pronounced [kw]. In Etruscan, no distinction was made between voiceless and voiced gutturals, C being used for both. In Latin, however, it was felt necessary to indicate this distinction in writing. Hence the letter G was created, probably in the third century bce , by adding a stroke ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:

 

     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.


[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top