This article is about sets of 4 types of english alphabets used in written languages. The Proto-Canaanite script, later known as the Phoenician alphabet, is the first fully phonemic script. Thus the Phoenician alphabet is considered to be the first alphabet. Many languages use modified forms of the Latin alphabet, with additional letters formed using diacritical marks.
Alphabets are usually associated with a standard ordering of letters. This makes them useful for purposes of collation, specifically by allowing words to be sorted in alphabetical order. Knowing one’s ABCs”, in general, can be used as a metaphor for knowing the basics about anything. The history of the alphabet started in ancient Egypt. In the Middle Bronze Age, an apparently “alphabetic” system known as the Proto-Sinaitic script appears in Egyptian turquoise mines in the Sinai peninsula dated to circa the 15th century BC, apparently left by Canaanite workers.
The Proto-Sinaitic script eventually developed into the Phoenician alphabet, which is conventionally called “Proto-Canaanite” before ca. The oldest text in Phoenician script is an inscription on the sarcophagus of King Ahiram. The script was spread by the Phoenicians across the Mediterranean. In Greece, the script was modified to add the vowels, giving rise to the ancestor of all alphabets in the West. The vowels have independent letter forms separate from the consonants, therefore it was the first true alphabet. The Greeks chose letters representing sounds that did not exist in Greek to represent the vowels.
The Greek alphabet, in its Euboean form, was carried over by Greek colonists to the Italian peninsula, where it gave rise to a variety of alphabets used to write the Italic languages. Another notable script is Elder Futhark, which is believed to have evolved out of one of the Old Italic alphabets. Elder Futhark gave rise to a variety of alphabets known collectively as the Runic alphabets. The Old Hungarian script is a contemporary writing system of the Hungarians.