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Greek-derived scripts

Subject Linguistics

Place Southern Europe » Greece

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631214816.1999.x


The Greek idea of writing spread through the Mediterranean world of antiquity ( figure 6 ). In Asia Minor several non-Hellenic peoples such as the Carians, Lycians, Lydians, Pamphylians and Phrygians developed their own alphabets on the Greek model. In Egypt it eventually supplanted the egyptian writing system in the form of the coptic alphabet . From the Hellenic colonies in Sicily it swept across the Italian peninsula, inspiring the creation of the etruscan alphabet and the Messapian alphabet and indirectly other old italic scripts , from which in turn the latin alphabet is a direct descendant. And on the mainland it was carried north in the wake of Christian missionary work to become the rootstock of the gothic alphabet , cyrillic and the glagolitic alphabet . Although the Greek alphabet is today used only for the Greek language, it is, through Latin, the parent script of the most widely disseminated family of scripts now in existence. Figure 6 Descendants of the Greek alphabet ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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