Category: Writing Systems

Is it possible to shorten the ordinal numbers in modern Greek?

By: | Post date: 2017-06-06 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Modern Greek, Writing Systems

The traditional way of doing that is to use a Greek numeral; you could use them indiscriminately for ordinals, cardinals, and in antiquity even multiplicatives. So World War II, Henry VIII: Βʹ Παγκόσμιος Πόλεμος, Ερρίκος ο Ηʹ, which are in fact read out loud as Δεύτερος Παγκόσμιος Πόλεμος, Ερρίκος ο Όγδοος, with ordinals and not […]

Why are unicode characters outside the BMP called astral?

By: | Post date: 2017-06-05 | Comments: 2 Comments
Posted in categories: Other Languages, Writing Systems

Thank you for the A2A, Jelle Zijlstra, and why do I suspect that you’ve read my page Astral Planes? There’s 17 * 65536 characters in Unicode. Each 65536 characters is called a Plane. The first plane, the BMP, is the plane that most characters you will ever encounter are in. Only two other planes are […]

What’s the most unusual script/alphabet?

By: | Post date: 2017-06-01 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Other Languages, Writing Systems

A close companion to What in your opinion is the ugliest/most unappealing script? Cultural familiarity is going to defuse anyone’s opinion; so you won’t get many responses nominating Latin, or anything originating on the same continent as Latin. Is it Lontara alphabet, optimised to be written on palm leaves? Is it Vai syllabary, which aesthetically […]

How did it come to the letter Y (ypsilon) having the sound value of a consonant?

By: | Post date: 2017-05-31 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: English, Writing Systems

That outcome of <y> is specific to English, and as Y – Wikipedia says, it is through the influence of the obsolete English letter yogh, which was conflated with <y>: Yogh – Wikipedia The letter yogh (Ȝ ȝ; Middle English: yoȝ) was used in Middle English and Older Scots, representing y (/j/) and various velar […]

Are the many “i”-like combinations in modern Greek comparable to the “yat” and many “i”-sounding letters in old Russian orthography?

By: | Post date: 2017-05-27 | Comments: 3 Comments
Posted in categories: Modern Greek, Other Languages, Writing Systems

There is one major similarity between the Old Cyrillic and Greek alphabets: originally, both were (mostly) phonemic, but several of the distinct sounds represented by different letters merged later on, so that there was two or more ways of representing the same phoneme with different letters. So the letter Yat seems to have originally represented […]

When was it a rule that double rhos (Greek letters – ῤῥ) should be written with smooth and rough breathing marks and when did the rule change?

By: | Post date: 2017-05-22 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics, Writing Systems

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rho#Greek There’s a reason Konstantinos Konstantinides never heard of this practice: it had dropped out of use in Modern Greek early in the 20th century. As in fact had the initial rough breathing on rho. The ῤῥ orthography used to be regular in Western typography, but has long since fallen out of use; from memory, […]

Is there any font for writing in cuneiform?

By: | Post date: 2017-05-18 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Other Languages, Writing Systems

Every once in a while, I take offence at the possibility that any Unicode script might not be rendered on my Mac—even if I never use the script, will never see the script, and will have no idea what the script even is. And I go hunting for free fonts. There are five cuneiform blocks […]

Was Homer being transcribed when written vowels were invented for the Greek alphabet?

By: | Post date: 2017-05-15 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Writing Systems

Nestor’s Cup is one of the earliest inscriptions in Greek, and it’s got a metrical inscription that may allude to the Iliad: So it’s feasible that Homer started being transcribed as soon as vowels were introduced—which pretty much was as soon as the alphabet was adopted in Greek. (We have no evidence of Greek using […]

What is the last letter in the Coptic alphabet?

By: | Post date: 2017-05-15 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Other Languages, Writing Systems

On seeing this question, I thought, “Huh? Why is this not a question for Wikipedia?” And then I looked at Wikipedia—English and German and French; and I realised that it’s not as trivial a question as you might think. The last three letters of the Coptic alphabet listed on Wikipedia (all three languages) are Ϭ, […]

Would a universal language be symbolic?

By: | Post date: 2017-05-15 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Artificial Languages, Writing Systems

There have been a few proposals for symbolic universal language, most of them taking their inspiration from Chinese ideographic systems. Pasigraphy was at the start of the universal language movement: they were akin to universal thesauruses in symbolic form. Rather naive in retrospect. Blissymbols was probably the most thorough recent effort, and it has found […]

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