Latin alphabet wikipedia the free encyclopedia

This article is about the alphabet used to write the Latin language. For modern alphabets derived from it used in other languages and applications, see Latin script and Latin-script alphabet. Latin alphabet wikipedia the free encyclopedia article contains IPA phonetic symbols.

Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols. The Latin alphabet or the Roman alphabet is a writing system originally used by the ancient Romans to write the Latin language. Latin script, which is the basic set of letters common to the various alphabets descended from the classical Latin alphabet, such as the English alphabet. The Duenos Inscription, dated to the 6th century BC, shows the earliest known forms of the Old Latin alphabet. Etruscan, which might have lacked any voiced plosives.

The apices in this first-century inscription are very light. The vowel I is written taller rather than taking an apex. The interpuncts are comma-shaped, an elaboration of a more typical triangular shape. From the shrine of the Augustales at Herculaneum. Greek loanwords, placing them at the end of the alphabet. The Latin names of some of these letters are disputed. This scheme has continued to be used by most modern European languages that have adopted the Latin alphabet.

Diacritics were not regularly used, but they did occur sometimes, the commonest being the apex used to mark long vowels, which had previously sometimes been written double. The primary mark of punctuation was the interpunct, which was used as a word divider, though it fell out of use after 200 AD. Old Roman cursive script, also called majuscule cursive and capitalis cursive, was the everyday form of handwriting used for writing letters, by merchants writing business accounts, by schoolchildren learning the Latin alphabet, and even emperors issuing commands. J, U and W are missing.

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. The languages that use the Latin script today generally use capital letters to begin paragraphs and sentences and proper nouns. The lighter green indicates the countries that use a language predominantly written in a Latin alphabet as a co-official language at the national level. The Latin alphabet spread, along with the Latin language, from the Italian Peninsula to the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea with the expansion of the Roman Empire. Later, it was adopted by non-Catholic countries.