Nichi-Ran jiten is a Japanese–Dutch dictionary compiled by Peter Adriaan van de Stadt and published by the Taiwanese branch of Nan'yō Kyōkai in 1934. It has about 33,800 entries; as of 2011, a second edition has not been published, but at least one facsimile edition was published in 1989 by the current Nan'yō Kyōkai, now based in Tokyo. While the Nichi-Ran jiten was published only in 1934, its compilation had been finished in 1925. According to the preface, the compiler, Peter Adriaan van de Stadt, was approached in 1922 by the Japanese consulate general Matsumoto in Batavia. Matsumoto had seen a Dutch-Japanese pocket dictionary by Van de Stadt and asked Van de Stadt to compile a larger Japanese–Dutch dictionary. Van de Stadt agreed after some persuasion, completed his work in 1925. However, when he offered the manuscript to the Nan'yō Kyōkai, they told him that the publication was too big a financial risk. Van de Stadt left the manuscript with Nan'yō Kyōkai. Only through the involvement of other parties, it was published nine years in 1934.
According to the book's colophon, the 1934 publication was by Nan'yō Kyōkai Taiwan shibu, the branch of Nan'yō Kyōkai in Taiwan. Van de Stadt is acknowledged as the sole author. There never was a second edition. However, a facsimile edition was printed in 1989 by the current Nan'yō Kyōkai based in Tokyo. Despite uninterrupted relations between Japan and the Netherlands dating back to 1640 and earlier, the Nichi-Ran jiten has been the only Japanese–Dutch Dictionary of at least medium size till 2006. On the other hand, efforts to compile a Dutch–Japanese dictionary date back to the period of Rangaku and lead to two major publications in Japan; the dictionary Haruma Wage was published in 1796–1799. The publication known as the ‘Nagasaki Haruma' was presented to the Shōgun in 1833 and published 1855–1858. Both publications were based on François Halma's Woordenboek der Nederduitsche en Fransche Taalen. However, when Japan was opened to other countries from 1854 on, Rangaku became obsolete, the attention of Japanese scholars switched form Dutch to English.
The next medium size Dutch–Japanese dictionary was published 150 years in 1994, by the Japanese publisher Kodansha. The dictionary contains about 33,800 entries; the entries are alphabetical and spelled in a version of modified Hepburn. Van de Stadt deviated from current usage of modified Hepburn by not using the apostrophe to indicate the long n before a vowel. Sometimes he ignored the special case of other times he used a hyphen; the Latin spelling of the title word is followed by the Japanese spelling and equivalents or a definition in Dutch. Example sentences follow directly the meaning for which they are relevant or are placed all at the end of the entry; some examples show expressions in kanbun. Below is a text impression of the entry for aida. A photographic reproduction of a full page can be seen at the right. Aida zn. ruimte v.. Vz. gedurende. ¶ 其間に intusschen. ¶ 間に立つ tusschenin staan. ¶ 七人の間に分ける tusschen zeven menschen verdeelen. ¶ の間は zoo lang als. ¶ 私が留守の間に gedurende mijn afwezigheid. ¶ 君と僕の間 tusschen ons beiden.
¶ 此間 kort geleden. ¶ 御座候間 aangezien The compiler of the Japanese–Dutch dictionary Nichi-Ran jiten was Peter Adriaan van de Stadt. Van de Stadt was trained to be a government official at the University of Leiden. In 1895 he went to the Dutch East Indies. With the exception of 8 years in service of a private company and 3 years of additional study Van de Stadt worked as a civil servant. From 1918 on he was adviser for Japanese affairs, in which capacity he read and translated Japanese, he retired in 1932. Van de Stadt was made officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau in 1910, he received the Order of the Rising Sun and the Legion of Honor as well. Van de Stadt compiled the Chinese dictionary Hakka woordenboek, Batavia landsdrukkerij, The Hague, 1912. A searchable photographic version of Nichi-Ran jiten 日蘭辭典 An indexed photographic version of the Edo Haruma Dutch–Japanese dictionary is hosted by the library of the Waseda University: 早稲田大学図書館所蔵 江戸ハルマ（蘭和辞書）全文画像 Van de Stadt, P. A... 日蘭辭典. 臺北: 南洋協會臺灣支部. Van de Stadt, C.
J... Engel van de Stadt, 1746–1819. Zijn voor- en nageslacht. Den Haag. Van Sterkenburg, P. G. J. & W. J. Boot et al... Kodansha's Nederlands-Japans Woordenboek・講談社オランダ語辞典. Kodansha・講談社: 東京, 1994. ISBN 4-06-154801-8
A syllabary is a set of written symbols that represent the syllables or moras which make up words. A symbol in a syllabary, called a syllabogram represents an consonant sound followed by a vowel sound —that is, a CV or V syllable—but other phonographic mappings such as CVC, CV- tone, C are found in syllabaries. A writing system using a syllabary is complete when it covers all syllables in the corresponding spoken language without requiring complex orthographic / graphemic rules, like implicit codas silent vowels or echo vowels; this loosely corresponds to shallow orthographies in alphabetic writing systems. True syllabograms are those that encompass all parts of a syllable, i.e. initial onset, medial nucleus and final coda, but since onset and coda are optional in at least some languages, there are middle, start and full true syllabograms. Most syllabaries only feature one or two kinds of syllabograms and form other syllables by graphemic rules. Syllabograms, hence syllabaries, are pure, analytic or arbitrary if they do not share graphic similarities that correspond to phonic similarities, e.g. the symbol for ka does not resemble in any predictable way the symbol for ki, nor the symbol for a.
Otherwise they are synthetic, if they vary by onset, nucleus or coda, or systematic, if they vary by all of them. Some scholars, e.g. Daniels, reserve the general term for analytic syllabaries and invent other terms as necessary; some system provides katakana language conversion. Languages that use syllabic writing include Japanese, Vai, the Yi languages of eastern Asia, the English-based creole language Ndyuka, Shaozhou Tuhua, the ancient language Mycenaean Greek. In addition, the undecoded Cretan Linear A is believed by some to be a syllabic script, though this is not proven. Chinese characters, the cuneiform script used for Sumerian and other languages, the former Maya script are syllabic in nature, although based on logograms, they are therefore sometimes referred to as logosyllabic. The contemporary Japanese language uses two syllabaries together called kana, namely hiragana and katakana, which were developed around 700; because Japanese uses CV syllables, a syllabary is well suited to write the language.
As in many syllabaries, vowel sequences and final consonants are written with separate glyphs, so that both atta and kaita are written with three kana: あった and かいた. It is therefore sometimes called a moraic writing system. Languages that use syllabaries today tend to have simple phonotactics, with a predominance of monomoraic syllables. For example, the modern Yi script is used to write languages that have no diphthongs or syllable codas. Few syllabaries have glyphs for syllables that are not monomoraic, those that once did have simplified over time to eliminate that complexity. For example, the Vai syllabary had separate glyphs for syllables ending in a coda, a long vowel, or a diphthong, though not enough glyphs to distinguish all CV combinations; the modern script has been expanded to cover all moras, but at the same time reduced to exclude all other syllables. Bimoraic syllables are now written with two letters, as in Japanese: diphthongs are written with the help of V or hV glyphs, the nasal coda is written with the glyph for ŋ, which can form a syllable of its own in Vai.
In Linear B, used to transcribe Mycenaean Greek, a language with complex syllables, complex consonant onsets were either written with two glyphs or simplified to one, while codas were ignored, e.g. ko-no-so for Κνωσός Knōsos, pe-ma for σπέρμα sperma. The Cherokee syllabary uses dummy vowels for coda consonants, but has a segmental grapheme for /s/, which can be used both as a coda and in an initial /sC/ consonant cluster; the languages of India and Southeast Asia, as well as the Ethiopian Semitic languages, have a type of alphabet called an abugida or alphasyllabary. In these scripts, unlike in pure syllabaries, syllables starting with the same consonant are expressed with graphemes based in a regular way on a common graphical element; each character representing a syllable consists of several elements which designate the individual sounds of that syllable. In the 19th century these systems were called syllabics, a term which has survived in the name of Canadian Aboriginal syllabics. In a true syllabary there may be graphic similarity between characters that share a common consonant or vowel sound, but it is not systematic or close to regular.
For example, the characters for'ke','ka', and'ko' in Japanese hiragana have no similarity to indicate their common "k" sound. Compare this with Devanagari, an abugida, where the characters for'ke','ka' and'ko' are के, का and को with क indicating their common "k" sound. English, along with many other Indo-European languages like German and Russian, allows for complex syllable structures, making it cumbersome to write English words with a syllabary. A "pure" syllabary would require a separate glyph for every syllable in English, thus one would need separate symbols for "bag", "beg", "big", "bog", "bug", "bad", "bed", "bid", "bod", "bud", "bead", "bide", "bode", etc. Since English has well over 10,000 different possibilities for individual syllables, a s
The Ruiju myōgishō, alternatively misread as Ruijū myōgishō, is a Japanese dictionary from the late Heian Period. The title, sometimes abbreviated as Myōgishō, combines the ruiju from the Wamyō Ruijushō and the myōgi from the Tenrei Banshō Myōgi. Additional Buddhist titles, like Sanbō ruiju myōgishō, use the word sanbō because the text was divided into butsu, hō, sō sections; the origins of the Ruiju myōgishō are uncertain. Bailey concludes it was "compiled early in the twelfth century by a priest." Kaneko believes the received edition dates from the late 12th century, but the original version was compiled around 1081-1100 CE. There are various received texts of several indexes. Like other early Japanese dictionaries, the Ruiju myōgishō borrowed from Chinese dictionaries, in particular the Yupian and the Qieyun. For collation of character entries, the Chinese Yupian has a system of 542 logographic radicals; the Ruiju myōgishō cuts them down into 120 radicals simpler than the Japanese Shinsen Jikyō system of 160.
The Ruiju myōgishō compounds. The entries give both on'yomi Sino-Japanese borrowings and kun'yomi native Japanese readings for kanji, using Chinese fanqie spellings, Man'yōgana, katakana. Meanings are illustrated by quotations from over 130 Chinese classic texts and classical Japanese literature; these quotes have two types of Kanbun annotations, shōten for Chinese tones and Japanese accents, occasional kunten for Japanese pronunciations. "Many passages contain no Japanese readings at all," says Bailey, "but there are a total of 10,000 Japanese readings given in the whole work." While special care is needed for its commentary nature, the Ruiju myōgishō remains a standard Japanese source of information regarding Heian era pronunciation. There are various extant editions; the main editions include: The Zushoryō edition. It is part of the Shoryōbu collection in the Imperial Household Agency. Compiled between 1081 and 1100, it retains signs of the original. It provides detailed literary citations for entries.
The Kanchi-in edition. It is a national treasure of Japan, it is a mid-Kamakura period facsimile. While it is an expanded and revised edition of the original, it is the only complete edition surviving today; the Kōzan-ji edition. Part of the Tenri Central Library collection, it is entitled Sanbō ruiju jishū, is a revised edition. It only contains the butsu part of the 巻上 section found in the Kanji-in edition; the Hōbodai-in edition. It is part of the Tō-ji Hōbodai-in collection. Revised and incomplete. In addition to the above, the Ren'jō-in and Sainen-ji revised editions exist, but both are incomplete. Bailey, Don Clifford.. "Early Japanese Lexicography". Monumenta Nipponica 16:1-52. Kaneko Akira 金子彰.. "類聚名義抄." In Nihon jisho jiten 日本辞書辞典, Okimori Takuya 沖森卓也, et al. eds. pp. 269-272. Tokyo: Ōfū. ISBN 4-273-02890-5 Li, Shin Woongchul, Kazuhiro Okada.. "Japanese Rendition of Tenrei Bansho Meigi's Definition in Early Japanese Lexicography: An Essay". Journal of the Graduate School of Letters 11:83-96
Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary
First published in 1918, Kenkyusha’s New Japanese-English Dictionary has long been the largest and most authoritative Japanese-English dictionary. Translators and specialists who use the Japanese language affectionately refer to this dictionary as the Green Goddess or because of its distinctive dark-green cover; the fifth edition, published in 2003, is a volume with 3,000 pages. The editors in chiefs of the fifth edition are Watanabe Toshiro, Edmund R. Skrzypczak, Paul Snowden. Besides the print edition, the dictionary is available on CD-ROM, in electronic dictionary and iPhone versions. Electronic dictionaries that contain the fifth edition are flagship models, they include the Canon Wordtank G70, the Seiko SR-E10000 and SR-G10000, the Casio "University Student" series and "Professional" series. The Sharp PW-SB2, PW-SB3, PW-SB4 and PW-SB5 models contain the full Kenkyusha dictionary. For both Casio and Sharp at least, the dictionary is available on an SD or micro SD card that can be purchased separately for certain models.
There is a companion English-Japanese dictionary in its 6th edition, which contains 260,000 headwords. In 1918, the publication of the first edition of Kenkyusha’s New Japanese–English Dictionary, Takenobu's Japanese–English Dictionary, named after the editor-in-chief, Takenobu Yoshitarō, was a landmark event in the field of lexicography in Japan. Completed in under five years with the assistance and support of leading scholars in the field, published when Kenkyūsha was still a minor academic publishing company, the Takenobu was the most authoritative Japanese–English dictionary of the time, cemented Kenkyūsha's reputation in the field of academic publishing. In 1931, Kenkyūsha undertook a major revision in the dictionary by expanding upon former entries and adding newer ones; the British diplomat George Sansom, who became a renowned historian of Japan, was a major contributor and editor of this edition. Aside from the ever-evolving nature of the Japanese and English languages, competition from two other major dictionaries released in the 1920s – Takehara's Japanese–English Dictionary and Saitō's Japanese–English Dictionary, both of which were larger than the first edition of Kenkyūsha's – was a major driving force behind these revisions.
From this second edition onward, the dictionary became known as Kenkyusha’s New Japanese–English Dictionary. During World War II, reputable institutions in the United States and Great Britain, including Harvard University's Department of Far Eastern Languages, produced pirated versions of this dictionary for the war effort; because of the Pacific War, Kenkyūsha did not revise the dictionary for 20 years until 1949, when it decided to incorporate the many new borrowings from English that resulted from the American occupation of Japan. After five years of revision, Kenkyūsha published its third edition in 1954. Beginning with this edition and continuing through the 1974 fourth edition, the editors attempted to make the dictionary into a more scholarly work by citing English language expressions from English texts from literature; the editors abandoned this practice for the fifth edition, which has entries that sound more natural to both native-Japanese and native-English speakers. 1st Edition 2nd Edition 82th impression 91th impression Harvard University Press edition: A photolithographic reprint of the 82nd printing of the Japanese dictionary, with enlarged print size.?th impression 3rd Edition 4th Edition: Includes 80000 headwords, 100000 compound words and sentences, 50000 examples.
Headlines sorted by Romanized alphabet. ISBN 0-7859-71289/ISBN 978-0-7859-7128-3 1st impression 4th impression?th impression 5th Edition: Includes 130000 headwords, 100000 compound words, 250000 examples. Headlines sorted by kana. ISBN 978-4-7674-2026-4 C7582, ISBN 978-4-7674-2016-5 C7582 Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary PLUS: A supplement book for the 5th edition of the printed dictionary, which adds 40000 entries including colloquial terms from Kenkyusha's CD-ROM dictionary and Kenkyusha Online Dictionary. ISBN 978-4-7674-2027-1 C0582 6th Edition: Includes 260000 entries. ISBN 978-4-7674-1026-5 C0582, ISBN 978-4-7674-1016-6 C0582 Kenkyusha's Bilingual Dictionary of Japanese Cultural Terms: Includes 3500 headwords and compound words. Consists of revised entries about Japanese-specific culture, seasonal events, modern terms from Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary. ISBN 978-4-7674-9053-3 C0582 Kenkyusha's FURIGANA English-Japanese Dictionary: Includes kana readings for Japanese entries.?th impression Kenkyusha's FURIGANA English-Japanese Dictionary Revised &
Kanji are the adopted logographic Chinese characters that are used in the Japanese writing system. They are used alongside katakana; the Japanese term kanji for the Chinese characters means "Han characters". It is written with the same characters in the Chinese language to refer to the character writing system, hanzi. Chinese characters first came to Japan on official seals, swords, coins and other decorative items imported from China; the earliest known instance of such an import was the King of Na gold seal given by Emperor Guangwu of Han to a Yamato emissary in 57 AD. Chinese coins from the first century AD have been found in Yayoi period archaeological sites. However, the Japanese of that era had no comprehension of the script, would remain illiterate until the fifth century AD. According to the Nihon Shoki and Kojiki, a semi-legendary scholar called Wani was dispatched to Japan by the Kingdom of Baekje during the reign of Emperor Ōjin in the early fifth century, bringing with him knowledge of Confucianism and Chinese characters.
The earliest Japanese documents were written by bilingual Chinese or Korean officials employed at the Yamato court. For example, the diplomatic correspondence from King Bu of Wa to Emperor Shun of Liu Song in 478 has been praised for its skillful use of allusion. Groups of people called fuhito were organized under the monarch to read and write Classical Chinese. During the reign of Empress Suiko, the Yamato court began sending full-scale diplomatic missions to China, which resulted in a large increase in Chinese literacy at the Japanese court. In ancient times paper was so rare that people stenciled kanji onto thin, rectangular strips of wood; these wooden boards were used for communication between government offices, tags for goods transported between various countries, the practice of writing. The oldest written kanji in Japan discovered so far was written in ink on wood as a wooden strip dated to the 7th century, it is a record of trading for salt. The Japanese language had no written form at the time Chinese characters were introduced, texts were written and read only in Chinese.
During the Heian period, however, a system known as kanbun emerged, which involved using Chinese text with diacritical marks to allow Japanese speakers to restructure and read Chinese sentences, by changing word order and adding particles and verb endings, in accordance with the rules of Japanese grammar. Chinese characters came to be used to write Japanese words, resulting in the modern kana syllabaries. Around 650 AD, a writing system called man'yōgana evolved that used a number of Chinese characters for their sound, rather than for their meaning. Man'yōgana written in cursive style evolved into hiragana, or onna-de, that is, "ladies' hand," a writing system, accessible to women. Major works of Heian-era literature by women were written in hiragana. Katakana emerged via a parallel path: monastery students simplified man'yōgana to a single constituent element, thus the two other writing systems and katakana, referred to collectively as kana, are descended from kanji. In comparison to kana kanji are called mana.
In modern Japanese, kanji are used to write parts of the language such as nouns, adjective stems, verb stems, while hiragana are used to write inflected verb and adjective endings and as phonetic complements to disambiguate readings and miscellaneous words which have no kanji or whose kanji is considered obscure or too difficult to read or remember. Katakana are used for representing onomatopoeia, non-Japanese loanwords, the names of plants and animals, for emphasis on certain words. In 1946, after World War II and under the Allied Occupation of Japan, the Japanese government, guided by the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, instituted a series of orthographic reforms, to help children learn and to simplify kanji use in literature and periodicals; the number of characters in circulation was reduced, formal lists of characters to be learned during each grade of school were established. Some characters were given simplified glyphs, called shinjitai. Many variant forms of characters and obscure alternatives for common characters were discouraged.
These are guidelines, so many characters outside these standards are still known and used. The kyōiku kanji are 1,006 characters; the list only contained 881 characters. This was expanded to 996 characters in 1977, it was not until 1982 the list was expanded to its current size. The grade-level breakdown of these kanji is known as the gakunen-betsu kanji haitōhyō, or the gakushū kanji; the jōyō kanji are 2,136 characters consisting of all the Kyōiku kanji, plus 1,130 additional kanji taught in junior high and high school. In publishing, characters outside this category are given furigana; the jōyō kanji were introduced in 1981, replacing an older list of 1,850 characters known as the tōyō kanji, introduced in 1946. Numbering 1,945 characters, the jōyō kanji list was extended to 2,136 in 2010; some of the new characters were Jinmeiyō kanji. Since September 27, 2004, the jinmeiyō k
A dictionary, sometimes known as a wordbook, is a collection of words in one or more specific languages arranged alphabetically, which may include information on definitions, etymologies, translation, etc. or a book of words in one language with their equivalents in another, sometimes known as a lexicon. It is a lexicographical reference. A broad distinction is made between specialized dictionaries. Specialized dictionaries include words in specialist fields, rather than a complete range of words in the language. Lexical items that describe concepts in specific fields are called terms instead of words, although there is no consensus whether lexicology and terminology are two different fields of study. In theory, general dictionaries are supposed to be semasiological, mapping word to definition, while specialized dictionaries are supposed to be onomasiological, first identifying concepts and establishing the terms used to designate them. In practice, the two approaches are used for both types.
There are other types of dictionaries that do not fit neatly into the above distinction, for instance bilingual dictionaries, dictionaries of synonyms, rhyming dictionaries. The word dictionary is understood to refer to a general purpose monolingual dictionary. There is a contrast between prescriptive or descriptive dictionaries. Stylistic indications in many modern dictionaries are considered by some to be less than objectively descriptive. Although the first recorded dictionaries date back to Sumerian times, the systematic study of dictionaries as objects of scientific interest themselves is a 20th-century enterprise, called lexicography, initiated by Ladislav Zgusta; the birth of the new discipline was not without controversy, the practical dictionary-makers being sometimes accused by others of "astonishing" lack of method and critical-self reflection. The oldest known dictionaries were Akkadian Empire cuneiform tablets with bilingual Sumerian–Akkadian wordlists, discovered in Ebla and dated 2300 BCE.
The early 2nd millennium BCE Urra=hubullu glossary is the canonical Babylonian version of such bilingual Sumerian wordlists. A Chinese dictionary, the c. 3rd century BCE Erya, was the earliest surviving monolingual dictionary. Philitas of Cos wrote a pioneering vocabulary Disorderly Words which explained the meanings of rare Homeric and other literary words, words from local dialects, technical terms. Apollonius the Sophist wrote the oldest surviving Homeric lexicon; the first Sanskrit dictionary, the Amarakośa, was written by Amara Sinha c. 4th century CE. Written in verse, it listed around 10,000 words. According to the Nihon Shoki, the first Japanese dictionary was the long-lost 682 CE Niina glossary of Chinese characters; the oldest existing Japanese dictionary, the c. 835 CE Tenrei Banshō Meigi, was a glossary of written Chinese. In Frahang-i Pahlavig, Aramaic heterograms are listed together with their translation in Middle Persian language and phonetic transcription in Pazand alphabet. A 9th-century CE Irish dictionary, Sanas Cormaic, contained etymologies and explanations of over 1,400 Irish words.
In India around 1320, Amir Khusro compiled the Khaliq-e-bari which dealt with Hindustani and Persian words. Arabic dictionaries were compiled between the 8th and 14th centuries CE, organizing words in rhyme order, by alphabetical order of the radicals, or according to the alphabetical order of the first letter; the modern system was used in specialist dictionaries, such as those of terms from the Qur'an and hadith, while most general use dictionaries, such as the Lisan al-`Arab and al-Qamus al-Muhit listed words in the alphabetical order of the radicals. The Qamus al-Muhit is the first handy dictionary in Arabic, which includes only words and their definitions, eliminating the supporting examples used in such dictionaries as the Lisan and the Oxford English Dictionary. In medieval Europe, glossaries with equivalents for Latin words in vernacular or simpler Latin were in use; the Catholicon by Johannes Balbus, a large grammatical work with an alphabetical lexicon, was adopted. It served as the basis for several bilingual dictionaries and was one of the earliest books to be printed.
In 1502 Ambrogio Calepino's Dictionarium was published a monolingual Latin dictionary, which over the course of the 16th century was enlarged to become a multilingual glossary. In 1532 Robert Estienne published the Thesaurus linguae latinae and in 1572 his son Henri Estienne published the Thesaurus linguae graecae, which served up to the 19th century as the basis of Greek lexicography; the first monolingual dictionary written in Europe was the Spanish, written by Sebastián Covarrubias' Tesoro de la lengua castellana o española, published in 1611 in Madrid, Spain. In 1612 the first edition of the Vocabolario degli Accademici della Crusca, for Italian, was published, it served as the model for similar works in English. In 1690 in Rotterdam was published, the Dictionnaire Universel by
The Latin or Roman alphabet is the writing system used by the ancient Romans to write the Latin language. Due to its use in writing Germanic and other languages first in Europe and in other parts of the world, due to its use in Romanizing writing of other languages, it has become widespread, it is used in China and has been adopted by Baltic and some Slavic states. The Latin alphabet evolved from the visually similar Cumaean Greek version of the Greek alphabet, itself descended from the Phoenician abjad, which in turn derived from Egyptian hieroglyphics; the Etruscans, who ruled early Rome, adopted the Cumaean Greek alphabet, modified over time to become the Etruscan alphabet, in turn adopted and further modified by the Romans to produce the Latin alphabet. During the Middle Ages, the Latin alphabet was used for writing Romance languages, which are direct descendants of Latin, as well as Celtic, Germanic and some Slavic languages. With the age of colonialism and Christian evangelism, the Latin script spread beyond Europe, coming into use for writing indigenous American, Austronesian and African languages.
More linguists have tended to prefer the Latin script or the International Phonetic Alphabet when transcribing or creating written standards for non-European languages, such as the African reference alphabet. The term Latin alphabet may refer to either the alphabet used to write Latin, or other alphabets based on the Latin script, the basic set of letters common to the various alphabets descended from the classical Latin alphabet, such as the English alphabet; these Latin-script alphabets may discard letters, like the Rotokas alphabet, or add new letters, like the Danish and Norwegian alphabets. Letter shapes have evolved over the centuries, including the development in Medieval Latin of lower-case, forms which did not exist in the Classical period alphabet. English is the only major modern European language requiring no diacritics for native words, it is believed that the Romans adopted the Cumae alphabet, a variant of the Greek alphabet, in the 7th century BC from Cumae, a Greek colony in Southern Italy.
The Ancient Greek alphabet was in turn based upon the Phoenician abjad. From the Cumae alphabet, the Etruscan alphabet was derived and the Romans adopted 21 of the original 27 Etruscan letters: Latin included 21 different characters; 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 Latin names of some of these letters are disputed. In general the Romans did not use the traditional names as in Greek: the names of the plosives were formed by adding /eː/ to their sound and the names of the continuants consisted either of the bare sound, or the sound preceded by /e/; the letter ⟨Y⟩ when introduced was called "hy" /hyː/ as in Greek, the name upsilon not being in use yet, but this was changed to "i Graeca" as Latin speakers had difficulty distinguishing its foreign sound /y/ from /i/. ⟨ Z ⟩ was given zeta. This scheme has continued to be used by most modern European languages that have adopted the Latin alphabet. For the Latin sounds represented by the various letters see Latin pronunciation. Diacritics were not used, but they did occur sometimes, the most common being the apex used to mark long vowels, which had sometimes been written doubled. However, in place of taking an apex, the letter i was written taller: ⟨á é ꟾ ó v́⟩.
For example, what is today transcribed Lūciī a fīliī was written ⟨lv́ciꟾ·a·fꟾliꟾ⟩ in the inscription depicted. The primary mark of punctuation was the interpunct, used as a word divider, though it fell out of use after 200 AD. Old Roman cursive script 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, emperors issuing commands. A more formal style of writing was based on Roman square capitals, but cursive was used for quicker, informal writing, it was most c