The table is a schematic of the Phoenician alphabet and its descendants. Since then, letters have been added or removed to give the current Modern English alphabet of 26 letters. C, K, and Q in the Roman alphabet could all be used to write both the /k/ and /ɡ/ sounds; the Romans soon modified the letter C to make G, inserted it in seventh place, where Z had been, to maintain the gematria (the numerical sequence of the alphabet). [9] Since vowels were mostly unwritten, the hieroglyphs which indicated a single consonant could have been used as a consonantal alphabet (or "abjad"). Several correspondences have been proposed with Proto-Sinaitic letters.

Most or nearly all alphabetic scripts used throughout the world today ultimately go back to this Semitic proto-alphabet.


), 1996.

[12] The script was used only sporadically, and retained its pictographic nature, for half a millennium, until adopted for governmental use in Canaan[citation needed].

Among alphabets that are not used as national scripts today, a few are clearly independent in their letter forms.

The Osmanya alphabet was devised for Somali in the 1920s by Osman Yusuf Kenadid, and the forms of its consonants appear to be complete innovations.
Of the 29 consonant phonemes commonly reconstructed for Proto-Semitic, seven are missing: the interdental fricatives ḏ, ṯ, ṱ, the voiceless lateral fricatives ś, ṣ́, the voiced uvular fricative ġ, and the distinction between uvular and pharyngeal voiceless fricatives ḫ, ḥ, in Canaanite merged in ḥet. Since the start of the name of a letter was expected to be the sound of the letter (the acrophonic principle), in Greek these letters came to be used for vowels. These changes produced the modern alphabet without the letters G, J, U, W, Y, and Z, as well as some other differences.

[17] The Greeks used for vowels some of the Phoenician letters representing consonants which weren't used in Greek speech.

It originated around the 7th century from Latin script. [citation needed]. Creation of the English alphabet is generally credited to the Sumerians and the Mesoamericans. (estimated between 1850 and 1700 B.C. This Semitic script adapted Egyptian hieroglyphs to write consonantal values based on the first sound of the Semitic name for the object depicted by the hieroglyph (the "acrophonic principle"). Before the alphabet was invented, early writing systems had been based on pictographic symbols known as hieroglyphics, or on cuneiform wedges, produced by pressing a stylus into soft clay. The Athenians (c. 400 BCE) adopted that latter variation and eventually the rest of the Greek-speaking world followed. Mainly through Phoenician, Hebrew and later Aramaic, three closely related members of the Semitic family of scripts that were in use during the early first millennium BCE, the Semitic alphabet became the ancestor of multiple writing systems across the Middle East, Europe, northern Africa and South Asia. Several varieties of the Greek alphabet developed. This was not done when writing the Egyptian language, but seems to have been a significant influence[citation needed] on the creation of the first alphabet (used to write a Semitic language).

About twelve of the tablets have the signs set out in alphabetic order. From the Eastern Greek alphabet, they borrowed Y and Z, which were added to the end of the alphabet because the only time they were used was to write Greek words.