Re: Latin Script

Date: Mon Jun 07 2010 - 14:18:29 CDT

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    From: Tulasi (
    > How do you define Latin Script?

    Do you mean historically or pragmatically? Historically, it is an adaptation of the Ionian Greek (or is it Doric?), via Etruscan, for the purpose of writing Latin, and later extended by the addition of alternate letterforms (J, W, Þ, and the lower case) and diacritics to the use of western European languages and globally to indigenous languages in primary contact with western European languages that use the Latin alphabet.

    Pragmatically, it is the collection of characters that are used in languages in conjunction with the primary collection of Roman derived letterforms as an alphabetic script. This means that the syllabic Fraser Lisu is not Latin script. Neither is Cyrillic, even though it has imported Dze and Je - the basic Latin alphabet does not constitute the core of Cyrillic usage.

    Typographic tradition also plays a part - Greek would probably be a lot more ambiguous if it hadn't developed typographically among Byzantine scribes. Latin typography developed primarily among post-Roman and Carolignian scribal traditions, with offshoot blackletter and Italic scribal traditions that have secondary status in the modern script. Greek and Cyrillic don't share this history, and as such, even though they are structurally similar, they have evolved along different lines and constitute distinct scripts. The fact that you don't find languages that mix the two up is evidence of these schizms. The border languages choose one or the other, or they have two different orthographies that use each script independently of the other.


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