History of the Latin script
The Latin script is the most used alphabetic writing system in the world. It is the standard script of the English language and is referred to as "the alphabet" in English, it is a true alphabet which originated in the 7th century BC in Italy and has changed continually over the last 2500 years. It has roots in the Semitic alphabet and its offshoot alphabets, the Phoenician and Etruscan; the phonetic values of some letters changed, some letters were lost and gained, several writing styles developed. Two such styles, the minuscule and majuscule hands, were combined into one script with alternate forms for the lower and upper case letters. Due to classicism, modern uppercase letters differ only from their classical counterparts. There are few regional variants; the Latin alphabet started out as uppercase serifed letters known as roman square capitals. The lowercase letters evolved through cursive styles that developed to adapt the inscribed alphabet to being written with a pen. Throughout the ages, many dissimilar stylistic variations of each letter have evolved that are still identified as being the same letter.
After the evolution of the alphabet from the Western Greek Alphabet through Old Italic alphabet, G developed from C, the letter J developed from a flourished I, V and U split and the ligature of VV became W, the letter thorn Þ was introduced from the runic alphabet but was lost in all languages except Icelandic, the letter s could be written either as a long s inside a word or as a terminal s at the end or after a long s after the 7th century AD, but the long s was abandoned in the 19th century. However, thanks to classical revival, Roman capitals were reintroduced by humanists making Latin inscriptions legible to modern readers while many medieval manuscripts are unreadable to an untrained modern reader, due to unfamiliar letterforms, narrow spacing and abbreviation marks with some exceptions of some marks such as the apostrophe and the exception of Carolingian minuscule letters which were mistaken for Roman. Additionally the phonetic value of the letters has changed from its origins and is not constant across the languages adopting the Latin alphabet, such as English or French the orthography does not match the phonetics, resulting in Homophonic heterographs such as in English and adopting digraphs for new sounds, such as sh for Voiceless postalveolar fricative in English.
It is held that the Latins adopted the western variant of the Greek alphabet in the 7th century BC from Cumae, a Greek colony in southern Italy – making the early Latin alphabet one among several Old Italic alphabets emerging at the time. From the Cumae alphabet, the Etruscan alphabet was derived; the Latins adopted 21 of the original 26 Etruscan letters. Gaius Julius Hyginus, who recorded much Roman mythology, mentions in Fab. 277 the legend that it was Carmenta, the Cimmerian Sibyl, who altered fifteen letters of the Greek alphabet to become the Latin alphabet, which her son Evander introduced into Latium 60 years before the Trojan War, but there is no sound basis to this tale. "The Parcae, Clotho and Atropos invented seven Greek letters – A B H T I Y. Others say that Mercury invented them from the flight of cranes, when they fly, form letters. Palamedes, son of Nauplius, invented eleven letters; the Greek letters Mercury is said to have brought to Egypt, from Egypt Cadmus took them to Greece.
Cadmus in exile from Arcadia, took them to Italy, his mother Carmenta changed them to Latin to the number of 15. Apollo on the lyre added the rest." The original Latin alphabet was: The oldest Latin inscriptions do not distinguish between /ɡ/ and /k/, representing both by C, K and Q according to position. K was used before A; this is explained by the fact. C originated as a turned form of Greek Q from Greek Koppa. In Latin, K survived only in a few forms such as Kalendae. G was invented to distinguish between /ɡ/ and /k/. C stood for /ɡ/ I stood for both /i/ and /j/. V stood for both /u/ and /w/. K was marginalized in favour of C, which afterward stood for both /ɡ/ and /k/. During the 3rd century BC, the Z was dropped and a new letter G was placed in its position – according to Plutarch, by Spurius Carvilius Ruga – so that afterward, C = /k/, G = /ɡ/. An attempt by the emperor Claudius to introduce three additional letters was short-lived, but after the conquest of Greece in the 1st century BC the letters Y and Z were adopted and readopted from the Greek alphabet and placed at the end.
Now the new Latin alphabet contained 23 letters: The Latin names of some of the letters are disputed. In general, the Romans did not use the traditional names as in Greek, but adopted the simplified names of the Etruscans, which derived from saying the sounds of the letters: the vowels stood for themselves, the names of the stop consonant letters were formed by adding the neutral vowel e, which in Latin became /eː/, the names of the continuant consonants were formed by preceded the sound with /e/. X was named /eks/ rather than /kseː/, as /ks/ could not begin a word in Latin; when the letter Y was introduced into Latin, it was proba
Yat or jat is the thirty-second letter of the old Cyrillic alphabet. There is another version of Yat, the iotified Yat, a Cyrillic character combining a decimal I and a yat. There was no numerical value for this letter and it was not in the Glagolitic alphabet, it was encoded in Unicode 5.1 at positions U+A652, U+A653. Yat represented a Common Slavic long vowel, it is believed to have represented the sound, a reflex of earlier Proto-Slavic */ē/ and */aj/. That the sound represented by yat developed late in the history of Common Slavic is indicated by its role in the Slavic second palatalization of the Slavic velar consonants. From the earliest texts, there was considerable confusion between the yat and the Cyrillic iotified a ⟨ꙗ⟩. One explanation is that the dialect of Thessaloniki, other South Slavic dialects shifted from /ě/ to /ja/ independently from the Northern and Western branches; the confusion was possibly aggravated by Cyrillic Little Yus ⟨ѧ⟩ looking similar to the older Glagolitic alphabet's yat ⟨ⱑ⟩.
An rare "iotated yat" form ⟨ꙓ⟩ exists. In various modern Slavic languages, yat has reflexed into various vowels. For example, the old Slavic root běl became bel /bʲel/ in Standard Russian, bil /bʲil/ in Ukrainian, bjal in Bulgarian, beo in Serbian Ekavian and bijel in Serbian Ijekavian, as well as Croatian and other non-Serbian versions of Serbo-Croatian, biel / biały in Polish, bílý in Czech and biely in Slovak. Older, unrelated reflexes of yat exist. Due to these reflexes, yat no longer represented an independent phoneme but an existing one, represented by another Cyrillic letter; as a result, children had not to write yat. Therefore, the letter was dropped in a series of orthographic reforms: in Serbian with the reform of Vuk Karadžić, in Russian and Ukrainian with the October revolution, in Bulgarian and Rusyn as late as 1945; the letter is no longer used in the standard modern orthography of any of the Slavic languages written with the Cyrillic script, but survives in liturgical and church texts written in the Russian recension of Church Slavonic.
It has, since 1991, found some favor in advertising. In Bulgarian, the different reflexes of the yat form the so-called yat border, running from Nikopol on the Danube to Solun on the Aegean Sea; the yat border is the most important Bulgarian isogloss. West of that isogloss, old yat is always realized as /ɛ/. East of it, the reflexes of yat prototypically alternate between /ja/ or /ʲa/ and /ɛ/. After World War II, Literary Bulgarian was based on the pronunciation of the eastern dialects; some examples of the alternation in the standard language follow: mlyako → mlekar. From the liberation of Bulgaria until 1945, the standard Bulgarian orthography did not reflect this alternation and used the Cyrillic letter yat for both "ya" and "e" in alternating roots; this was regarded as a way to maintain unity between Eastern and Western Bulgarians, as much of what was seen as Western Bulgarian dialects was under foreign control. In 1945 the letter was removed from the Bulgarian alphabet and the spelling was changed to conform to the Eastern pronunciation.
In Russian, written confusion between the yat and'е' appears in the earliest records. Some scholars, for example W. K. Matthews, have placed the merger of the two sounds at the earliest historical phases, attributing its use until 1918 to Church Slavonic influence. Within Russia itself, however, a consensus has found its way into university textbooks of historical grammar, taking all the dialects into account, the sounds remained predominantly distinct until the 18th century, at least under stress, are distinct to this day in some localities. Meanwhile, the yat in Ukrainian merged in sound with /i/, therefore has remained distinct from ⟨е⟩; the story of the letter yat and its elimination from the Russian alphabet makes for an interesting footnote in Russian cultural history. See Reforms of Russian orthography for details. A full list of words that were written with the letter yat at the beginning of 20th century can be found in the Russian Wikipedia. A few inflections and common words were distinguished in spelling by е / ѣ.
Its retention without discussion in the Petrine reform of the Russian alphabet of 1708 indicates that it still marked a distinct sound in the Moscow koiné of the time. By the second half of the 18th century, the polymath Lomonosov noted that the sound of ѣ was scarcely distinguishable from that of the letter е, a century the philologist Grot stated flatly in his standard Russian orthography (Русское правописаніе, Russkoje pravopisanije, [ˈru.skə.jə ˌpra.və.pʲɪ
Latin or Roman script, is a set of graphic signs based on the letters of the classical Latin alphabet. This is derived from a form of the Cumaean Greek version of the Greek alphabet used by the Etruscans. Several Latin-script alphabets exist, which differ in graphemes and phonetic values from the classical Latin alphabet; the Latin script is the basis of the International Phonetic Alphabet and the 26 most widespread letters are the letters contained in the ISO basic Latin alphabet. Latin script is the basis for the largest number of alphabets of any writing system and is the most adopted writing system in the world. Latin script is used as the standard method of writing in most Western, Central, as well as in some Eastern European languages, as well as in many languages in other parts of the world; the script is either called Roman script or Latin script, in reference to its origin in ancient Rome. In the context of transliteration, the term "romanization" or "romanisation" is found. Unicode uses the term "Latin".
The numeral system is called the Roman numeral system. The numbers 1, 2, 3... are Latin/Roman script numbers for the Hindu–Arabic numeral system. The letter ⟨C⟩ was the western form of the Greek gamma, but it was used for the sounds /ɡ/ and /k/ alike under the influence of Etruscan, which might have lacked any voiced plosives. During the 3rd century BC, the letter ⟨Z⟩ – unneeded to write Latin properly – was replaced with the new letter ⟨G⟩, a ⟨C⟩ modified with a small vertical stroke, which took its place in the alphabet. From on, ⟨G⟩ represented the voiced plosive /ɡ/, while ⟨C⟩ was reserved for the voiceless plosive /k/; the letter ⟨K⟩ was used only in a small number of words such as Kalendae interchangeably with ⟨C⟩. After the Roman conquest of Greece in the 1st century BC, Latin adopted the Greek letters ⟨Y⟩ and ⟨Z⟩ to write Greek loanwords, placing them at the end of the alphabet. An attempt by the emperor Claudius to introduce three additional letters, thus it was during the classical Latin period that the Latin alphabet contained 23 letters: The use of the letters I and V for both consonants and vowels proved inconvenient as the Latin alphabet was adapted to Germanic and Romance languages.
W originated as a doubled V used to represent the sound found in Old English as early as the 7th century. It came into common use in the 11th century, replacing the runic Wynn letter, used for the same sound. In the Romance languages, the minuscule form of V was a rounded u. In the case of I, a word-final swash form, j, came to be used for the consonant, with the un-swashed form restricted to vowel use; such conventions were erratic for centuries. J was introduced into English for the consonant in the 17th century, but it was not universally considered a distinct letter in the alphabetic order until the 19th century. By the 1960s, it became apparent to the computer and telecommunications industries in the First World that a non-proprietary method of encoding characters was needed; the International Organization for Standardization encapsulated the Latin alphabet in their standard. To achieve widespread acceptance, this encapsulation was based on popular usage; as the United States held a preeminent position in both industries during the 1960s, the standard was based on the published American Standard Code for Information Interchange, better known as ASCII, which included in the character set the 26 × 2 letters of the English alphabet.
Standards issued by the ISO, for example ISO/IEC 10646, have continued to define the 26 × 2 letters of the English alphabet as the basic Latin alphabet with extensions to handle other letters in other languages. The Latin alphabet spread, along with Latin, from the Italian Peninsula to the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea with the expansion of the Roman Empire; the eastern half of the Empire, including Greece, the Levant, Egypt, continued to use Greek as a lingua franca, but Latin was spoken in the western half, as the western Romance languages evolved out of Latin, they continued to use and adapt the Latin alphabet. With the spread of Western Christianity during the Middle Ages, the Latin alphabet was adopted by the peoples of Northern Europe who spoke Celtic languages or Germanic languages or Baltic languages, as well as by the speakers of several Uralic languages, most notably Hungarian and Estonian; the Latin script came into use for writing the West Slavic languages and several South Slavic languages, as the people who spoke them adopted Roman Catholicism.
The speakers of East Slavic languages adopted Cyrillic along with Orthodox Christianity. The Serbian language uses both scripts, with Cyrillic predominating in official communication and Latin elsewhere, as determined by the Law on Official Use of the Language and Alphabet; as late as 1500, the Latin script was limited to the languages spoken in Western and Central Europe. The Orthodox Christian Slavs of Eastern and Southeastern Europe used Cyrillic, the Greek alphabet was in use by Greek-speakers around the eastern Mediterranean; the Arabic script was widespread within Islam, both among Arabs and non-Arab nations like the Iranians, Indonesians, M
International Phonetic Alphabet
The International Phonetic Alphabet is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation based on the Latin alphabet. It was devised by the International Phonetic Association in the late 19th century as a standardized representation of the sounds of spoken language; the IPA is used by lexicographers, foreign language students and teachers, speech-language pathologists, actors, constructed language creators and translators. The IPA is designed to represent only those qualities of speech that are part of oral language: phones, phonemes and the separation of words and syllables. To represent additional qualities of speech, such as tooth gnashing and sounds made with a cleft lip and cleft palate, an extended set of symbols, the extensions to the International Phonetic Alphabet, may be used. IPA symbols are composed of one or more elements of two basic types and diacritics. For example, the sound of the English letter ⟨t⟩ may be transcribed in IPA with a single letter, or with a letter plus diacritics, depending on how precise one wishes to be.
Slashes are used to signal broad or phonemic transcription. Letters or diacritics are added, removed or modified by the International Phonetic Association; as of the most recent change in 2005, there are 107 letters, 52 diacritics and four prosodic marks in the IPA. These are shown in the current IPA chart, posted below in this article and at the website of the IPA. In 1886, a group of French and British language teachers, led by the French linguist Paul Passy, formed what would come to be known from 1897 onwards as the International Phonetic Association, their original alphabet was based on a spelling reform for English known as the Romic alphabet, but in order to make it usable for other languages, the values of the symbols were allowed to vary from language to language. For example, the sound was represented with the letter ⟨c⟩ in English, but with the digraph ⟨ch⟩ in French. However, in 1888, the alphabet was revised so as to be uniform across languages, thus providing the base for all future revisions.
The idea of making the IPA was first suggested by Otto Jespersen in a letter to Paul Passy. It was developed by Alexander John Ellis, Henry Sweet, Daniel Jones, Passy. Since its creation, the IPA has undergone a number of revisions. After revisions and expansions from the 1890s to the 1940s, the IPA remained unchanged until the Kiel Convention in 1989. A minor revision took place in 1993 with the addition of four letters for mid central vowels and the removal of letters for voiceless implosives; the alphabet was last revised in May 2005 with the addition of a letter for a labiodental flap. Apart from the addition and removal of symbols, changes to the IPA have consisted of renaming symbols and categories and in modifying typefaces. Extensions to the International Phonetic Alphabet for speech pathology were created in 1990 and adopted by the International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association in 1994; the general principle of the IPA is to provide one letter for each distinctive sound, although this practice is not followed if the sound itself is complex.
This means that: It does not use combinations of letters to represent single sounds, the way English does with ⟨sh⟩, ⟨th⟩ and ⟨ng⟩, or single letters to represent multiple sounds the way ⟨x⟩ represents /ks/ or /ɡz/ in English. There are no letters that have context-dependent sound values, as do "hard" and "soft" ⟨c⟩ or ⟨g⟩ in several European languages; the IPA does not have separate letters for two sounds if no known language makes a distinction between them, a property known as "selectiveness". Among the symbols of the IPA, 107 letters represent consonants and vowels, 31 diacritics are used to modify these, 19 additional signs indicate suprasegmental qualities such as length, tone and intonation; these are organized into a chart. The letters chosen for the IPA are meant to harmonize with the Latin alphabet. For this reason, most letters modifications thereof; some letters are neither: for example, the letter denoting the glottal stop, ⟨ʔ⟩, has the form of a dotless question mark, derives from an apostrophe.
A few letters, such as that of the voiced pharyngeal fricative, ⟨ʕ⟩, were inspired by other writing systems. Despite its preference for harmonizing with the Latin script, the International Phonetic Association has admitted other letters. For example, before 1989, the IPA letters for click consonants were ⟨ʘ⟩, ⟨ʇ⟩, ⟨ʗ⟩, ⟨ʖ⟩, all of which were derived either from existing IPA letters, or from Latin and Greek letters. However, except for ⟨ʘ⟩, none of these letters were used among Khoisanists or Bantuists, as a result they were replaced by the more widespread symbols ⟨ʘ⟩, ⟨ǀ⟩, ⟨ǃ⟩, ⟨ǂ⟩, ⟨ǁ⟩ at the IPA Kiel Convention in 1989. Although the IPA diacritics are featural, there is little systemicity in the letter forms. A retroflex articulation is indicated with a right-swinging tail, as in ⟨ɖ ʂ ɳ⟩, implosion by a top hook, ⟨ɓ ɗ ɠ⟩, but other pseudo-featural elements are due to haphazard derivation and coincidence. For example, all nasal consonants but uvular ⟨ɴ⟩ are based on the form ⟨n⟩: ⟨m ɱ n ɳ ɲ ŋ⟩.
However, the similarity between ⟨m⟩ and ⟨n⟩ is a historical accident. Some of the new letters were ordinary Latin letters tu
Spread of the Latin script
This article discusses the geographic spread of the Latin script throughout history, from its archaic beginnings in Latium to the dominant writing system on Earth in modernity. The Latin letters' ancestors are found in the Etruscan and Phoenician alphabet; as the Roman Empire expanded in late antiquity, the Latin script and language spread along with its conquests, remained in use in Italy and Western Europe after the Western Roman Empire's disappearance. During the early and high Middle Ages, the script was spread by Christian missionaries and rulers, replacing earlier writing systems on the British Isles and Northern Europe. In the Age of Discovery, the first wave of European colonisation saw the adoption of Latin alphabets in the Americas and Australia, whereas sub-Sahara Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific were Latinised in the period of New Imperialism. Realising that Latin was now the most used script on Earth, the Bolsheviks made efforts to develop and establish Latin alphabets for all languages in the lands they controlled in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
However, after the Soviet Union's first three decades, these were abandoned in the 1930s in favour of Cyrillic. Some post-Soviet Turkic-majority states decided to reintroduce the Latin script in the 1990s after the 1928 example of Turkey. In the early 21st century, non-Latin writing systems were still only prevalent in most parts of the Middle East and North Africa and former Soviet regions, most countries in Indochina and East Asia and some Balkan countries in Europe; the Latin script originated in archaic antiquity in the Latium region in central Italy. It is held that the Latins, one of many ancient Italic tribes, adopted the western variant of the Greek alphabet in the 7th century BCE from Cumae, a Greek colony in southern Italy – making the early Latin alphabet one among several Old Italic alphabets emerging at the time; the early Latin script was influenced by the regionally dominant Etruscan civilization. Along with the Latin language, the Latin writing system spread first spread over the Italian Peninsula with the rise of the Roman Republic after 350 BCE.
For example, the region of Umbria seems to have switched from its own script in the 2nd century BCE to Latin in the 1st. Next were the lands surrounding the Western Mediterranean Sea: Sicily and Corsica, Africa Proconsularis, Numidia and Gallia Transalpina; this continued during the early period of expansion of the Roman Empire in regions such as Illyria, Noricum, Gaul, western Germania, Britannia. The eastern half of the Empire, including Greece, Asia Minor, the Levant, Egypt, continued to use Greek as a lingua franca, but Latin was spoken in the western half, as the western Romance languages evolved out of Latin, they continued to use and adapt the Latin alphabet. Despite the loss of the Latin-speaking Western provinces, the Byzantine Empire maintained Latin as its legal language, under 6th-century emperor Justinian I producing the vast Corpus Juris Civilis that would have a major impact on Western European legal history from c. 1100 to 1900. The Germanic peoples that invaded and settled the Western Roman Empire between the 5th and 8th centuries, most notably the Franks, adopted the Latin script and spread it further.
With the spread of Western Christianity during the Middle Ages, the Latin alphabet was adopted by the peoples of Northern Europe who spoke Celtic languages or Germanic languages or Baltic languages, as well as by the speakers of several Uralic languages, most notably Hungarian and Estonian. The Latin script was introduced to Scandinavia in the 9th century, first in Denmark, it reached Norway during the 11th-century Christianisation, but in two different forms: the Anglo-Saxon Insular script in Western Norway and the Carolingian minuscule in Eastern Norway. The Latin script came into use for writing the West Slavic languages and several South Slavic languages such as Slovene and Croatian, as the people who spoke them adopted Roman Catholicism; the speakers of East Slavic languages adopted Cyrillic along with Orthodox Christianity. The Serbian language has come to use both scripts, whilst the Southeastern Slavic Bulgarian and Macedonian languages have maintained Cyrillic only; as late as 1500, the Latin script was limited to the languages spoken in Western and Central Europe and Italy.
The Orthodox Christian Slavs of Eastern and Southeastern Europe used Cyrillic, the Greek alphabet was in use by Greek-speakers around the eastern Mediterranean. The Arabic script was widespread within Islamdom, both among Arabs and non-Arab nations like the Iranians, Indonesians and Turkic peoples, as well as amongst Arab Christians. Most of the rest of Asia used a variety of the Chinese script. Since the 15th and 16th centuries, the Latin script has spread around the world, to the Americas and parts of Asia and Africa, the Pacific with European colonisation, along with the Spanish, English and Dutch languages. In an effort to Christianise and'civilise' the Mayans, the Roman Catholic bishop Diego de Landa of Yucatán ordered the burning of most Maya codices in July 1562, with it the near destruction of the Mayan hieroglyphic script, he rewrote t
The numeric system represented by Roman numerals originated in ancient Rome and remained the usual way of writing numbers throughout Europe well into the Late Middle Ages. Numbers in this system are represented by combinations of letters from the Latin alphabet. Roman numerals, as used today, employ seven symbols, each with a fixed integer value, as follows: The use of Roman numerals continued long after the decline of the Roman Empire. From the 14th century on, Roman numerals began to be replaced in most contexts by the more convenient Arabic numerals; the original pattern for Roman numerals used the symbols I, V, X as simple tally marks. Each marker for 1 added a unit value up to 5, was added to to make the numbers from 6 to 9: I, II, III, IIII, V, VI, VII, VIII, VIIII, X; the numerals for 4 and 9 proved problematic, are replaced with IV and IX. This feature of Roman numerals is called subtractive notation; the numbers from 1 to 10 are expressed in Roman numerals as follows: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X.
The system being decimal and hundreds follow the same underlying pattern. This is the key to understanding Roman numerals: Thus 10 to 100: X, XX, XXX, XL, L, LX, LXX, LXXX, XC, C. Note that 40 and 90 follow the same subtractive pattern as 4 and 9, avoiding the confusing XXXX. 100 to 1000: C, CC, CCC, CD, D, DC, DCC, DCCC, CM, M. Again - 400 and 900 follow the standard subtractive pattern, avoiding CCCC. In the absence of standard symbols for 5,000 and 10,000 the pattern breaks down at this point - in modern usage M is repeated up to three times; the Romans had several ways to indicate larger numbers, but for practical purposes Roman Numerals for numbers larger than 3,999 are if used nowadays, this suffices. M, MM, MMM. Many numbers include hundreds and tens; the Roman numeral system being decimal, each power of ten is added in descending sequence from left to right, as with Arabic numerals. For example: 39 = "Thirty nine" = XXXIX. 246 = "Two hundred and forty six" = CCXLVI. 421 = "Four hundred and twenty one" = CDXXI.
As each power of ten has its own notation there is no need for place keeping zeros, so "missing places" are ignored, as in Latin speech, thus: 160 = "One hundred and sixty" = CLX 207 = "Two hundred and seven" = CCVII 1066 = "A thousand and sixty six" = MLXVI. Roman numerals for large numbers are nowadays seen in the form of year numbers, as in these examples: 1776 = MDCCLXXVI. 1954 = MCMLIV 1990 = MCMXC. 2014 = MMXIV (the year of the games of the XXII Olympic Winter Games The current year is MMXIX. The "standard" forms described above reflect typical modern usage rather than an unchanging and universally accepted convention. Usage in ancient Rome varied and remained inconsistent in medieval times. There is still no official "binding" standard, which makes the elaborate "rules" used in some sources to distinguish between "correct" and "incorrect" forms problematic. "Classical" inscriptions not infrequently use IIII for "4" instead of IV. Other "non-subtractive" forms, such as VIIII for IX, are sometimes seen, although they are less common.
On the numbered gates to the colosseum, for instance, IV is systematically avoided in favour of IIII, but other "subtractives" apply, so that gate 44 is labelled XLIIII. Isaac Asimov speculates that the use of "IV", as the initial letters of "IVPITER" may have been felt to have been impious in this context. Clock faces that use Roman numerals show IIII for four o'clock but IX for nine o'clock, a practice that goes back to early clocks such as the Wells Cathedral clock of the late 14th century. However, this is far from universal: for example, the clock on the Palace of Westminster, Big Ben, uses a "normal" IV. XIIX or IIXX are sometimes used for "18" instead of XVIII; the Latin word for "eighteen" is rendered as the equivalent of "two less than twenty" which may be the source of this usage. The standard forms for 98 and 99 are XCVIII and XCIX, as described in the "decimal pattern" section above, but these numbers are rendered as IIC and IC originally from the Latin duodecentum and undecentum.
Sometimes V and L are not used, with instances such as IIIIII and XXXXXX rather than VI or LX. Most non-standard numerals other than those described above - such as VXL for 45, instead of the standard XLV are modern and may be due to error rather than being genuine variant usage. In the early years of the 20th century, different representations of 900 appeared in several inscribed dates. For instance, 1910 is shown on Admiralty Arch, London, as MDCCCCX rather than MCMX, while on the north entrance to the Saint Louis Art Museum, 1903 is inscribed as MDCDIII rather than MCMIII. Although Roman numerals came to be written with letters
Standard Chinese known as Modern Standard Mandarin, Standard Mandarin, Modern Standard Mandarin Chinese, or Mandarin, is a standard variety of Chinese, the sole official language of China, the de facto official language of Taiwan and one of the four official languages of Singapore. Its pronunciation is based on the Beijing dialect, its vocabulary on the Mandarin dialects, its grammar is based on written vernacular Chinese. Like other varieties of Chinese, Standard Chinese is a tonal language with topic-prominent organization and subject–verb–object word order, it has more initial consonants but final consonants and tones than southern varieties. Standard Chinese is an analytic language, though with many compound words. There are two standardised forms of the language, namely Putonghua in Mainland China and Guoyu in Taiwan. Aside from a number of differences in pronunciation and vocabulary, Putonghua is written using simplified Chinese characters, Guoyu is written using traditional Chinese characters.
Many characters are identical between the two systems. In Chinese, the standard variety is known as: 普通话 in the People's Republic of China, as well as Hong Kong and Macau. Standard Chinese is commonly referred to by generic names for "Chinese", notably 中文. In total, there have been known over 20 various names for the language; the term Guoyu had been used by non-Han rulers of China to refer to their languages, but in 1909 the Qing education ministry applied it to Mandarin, a lingua franca based on northern Chinese varieties, proclaiming it as the new "national language". The name Putonghua has a long, albeit unofficial, history, it was used as early as 1906 in writings by Zhu Wenxiong to differentiate a modern, standard Chinese from classical Chinese and other varieties of Chinese. For some linguists of the early 20th century, the Putonghua, or "common tongue/speech", was conceptually different from the Guoyu, or "national language"; the former was a national prestige variety. Based on common understandings of the time, the two were, in fact, different.
Guoyu was understood as formal vernacular Chinese, close to classical Chinese. By contrast, Putonghua was called "the common speech of the modern man", the spoken language adopted as a national lingua franca by conventional usage; the use of the term Putonghua by left-leaning intellectuals such as Qu Qiubai and Lu Xun influenced the People's Republic of China government to adopt that term to describe Mandarin in 1956. Prior to this, the government used both terms interchangeably. In Taiwan, Guoyu continues to be the official term for Standard Chinese; the term Guoyu however, is less used in the PRC, because declaring a Beijing dialect-based standard to be the national language would be deemed unfair to speakers of other varieties and to the ethnic minorities. The term Putonghua, on the contrary, implies nothing more than the notion of a lingua franca. During the government of a pro-Taiwan independence coalition, Taiwan officials promoted a different reading of Guoyu as all of the "national languages", meaning Hokkien and Formosan as well as Standard Chinese.
Huayu, or "language of the Chinese nation" simply meant "Chinese language", was used in overseas communities to contrast Chinese with foreign languages. Over time, the desire to standardise the variety of Chinese spoken in these communities led to the adoption of the name "Huayu" to refer to Mandarin; this name avoids choosing a side between the alternative names of Putonghua and Guoyu, which came to have political significance after their usages diverged along political lines between the PRC and the ROC. It incorporates the notion that Mandarin is not the national or common language of the areas in which overseas Chinese live. Hanyu, or "language of the Han people", is another umbrella term used for Chinese. However, it has confusingly two different meanings: Standard Chinese; this term, as well as Hànzú, is a modern concept. A related concept is Hànzì; the term "Mandarin" is a translation of Guānhuà, which referred to the lingua franca of the late Chinese empire. The Chinese term is obsolete as a name for the standard language, but is used by linguists to refer to the major group of Mandarin dialects spoken natively across most of northern and southwestern China.
In English, "Mandarin" may refer to the standard language, the dialect group as a whole, or to historic forms such as the late Imperial lingua franca. The name "Modern Standard Mandarin" is sometimes used by linguists who wish to distinguish the current state of the shared language from other northern and historic dialects; the Chinese have different languages in different provinces, to such an extent