158158Re: Languages written in the Roman alphabet (Was: Re: Chinese whispers game)
- Mar 1, 20092009/3/1 Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
>(Latin Letter Small Capital R)! It'd be tough trying to think up a
> I think that of languages in Africa, only Berber, Arabic, Hausa, and
> Ge'ez+friends do not use the Latin alphabet.
> In fact, some of them use something I've always found interesting: IPA
> letters which they thought up upper-case variants for!
> That is rather ingenious. I hope they didn't need to use letters like ʀ
distinctive upper-case for that.
2009/3/1 R A Brown <ray@...>
> Philip Newton wrote:It seems as though colonial history plays a large part in terms of who gets
>> 2009/3/1 Eugene Oh <un.doing@...>:
>>> Does Swahili not have its own script? I honestly did not know it used the
>>> Roman alphabet.
> No, it doesn't - but then neither does English! Most languages, I think,
> share scripts.
> Swahili used to be written in a variety of the Arabic alphabet, but has
> used the Roman alphabet for a long time now. As an official language of
> Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and the African Union, it is written in the Roman
> alphabet - without diacritics.
to devise a Roman orthography for the local tongue!
>I am certainly learning a lot about the origins of typographic conventions
> At one time, of course, the languages of Europe got along without
> diacritics. It was essentially the rise of printing that led their
> consistent use; at first, as we see in French, it was an attempt to adopt
> the Greek system to the vocalic system. Some, like the cedilla, originated
> from the habit of writing a small _z_ under the letter _c_ if it was to
> retain the "soft" sound before a back vowel (i.e. writing a small
> superscript _z_ was considered more elegant than _cz_).
today. But what are the "Greek system" and the "vocalic system"? I thought
Greek was the first alphabet to use vowel letters...?
> Personally, I'm not phased one way or the other by diacritics (tho, I doBlame the French. :-P
> think Vietnamese has somewhat overdone their use :)
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