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Phoenician alphabet | Definition, Letters, & History [1]

Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.. – Academia – The Phoenician alphabet – Oops, What’s that
– World History Encyclopedia – The Phoenician Alphabet & Language. – Ancient Origins – Phoenicians: Creating what is now known as the Alphabet
Phoenician alphabet, writing system that developed out of the North Semitic alphabet and was spread over the Mediterranean area by Phoenician traders. It is the probable ancestor of the Greek alphabet and, hence, of all Western alphabets

Who Created the First Alphabet? [2]

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. Because these methods required a plethora of symbols to identify each and every word, writing was complex and limited to a small group of highly-trained scribes.
This Proto-Sinaitic script is often considered the first alphabetic writing system, where unique symbols stood for single consonants (vowels were omitted). Written from right to left and spread by Phoenician maritime merchants who occupied part of modern Lebanon, Syria and Israel, this consonantal alphabet—also known as an abjad—consisted of 22 symbols simple enough for ordinary traders to learn and draw, making its use much more accessible and widespread.
Some Phoenician characters were kept, and others were removed, but the paramount innovation was the use of letters to represent vowels. Many scholars believe it was this addition—which allowed text to be read and pronounced without ambiguity—that marked the creation of the first “true” alphabet.

History of the alphabet [3]

The history of the alphabet goes back to the consonantal writing system used for Semitic languages in the Levant in the 2nd millennium BCE. Most or nearly all alphabetic scripts used throughout the world today ultimately go back to this Semitic proto-alphabet.[1] Its first origins can be traced back to a Proto-Sinaitic script developed in Ancient Egypt to represent the language of Semitic-speaking workers and slaves in Egypt.[2] Unskilled in the complex hieroglyphic system used to write the Egyptian language, which required a large number of pictograms, they selected a small number of those commonly seen in their Egyptian surroundings to describe the sounds, as opposed to the semantic values, of their own Canaanite language.[3][4] This script was partly influenced by the older Egyptian hieratic, a cursive script related to Egyptian hieroglyphs.[5][6] The Semitic alphabet became the ancestor of multiple writing systems across the Middle East, Europe, northern Africa, and Pakistan, mainly through Ancient South Arabian,[7] Phoenician, Paleo-Hebrew (closely related and initially virtually identical to the Phoenician alphabet or even derived from it) and later Aramaic (derived from the Phoenician alphabet), four closely related members of the Semitic family of scripts that were in use during the early first millennium BCE.
(So-called impure abjads may use diacritics or a few symbols to represent vowels.) In this sense, then the first true alphabet would be the Greek alphabet, which was adapted from the Phoenician alphabet, but not all scholars and linguists think this is enough to strip away the original meaning of an alphabet to one with both vowels and consonants. Latin, the most widely used alphabet today,[10] in turn derives from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets, themselves derived from Phoenician.
Hieroglyphs were employed in three ways in Ancient Egyptian texts: as logograms (ideograms) that represent a word denoting an object visually depicted by the hieroglyph; more commonly as phonograms writing a sound or sequence of sounds; and as determinatives (which provide clues to meaning without directly writing sounds).[11] Since vowels were mostly unwritten, the hieroglyphs which indicated a single consonant could have been used as a consonantal alphabet (or “abjad”). 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)

Who Invented the Alphabet? [4]

Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Peyton from MN. Peyton Wonders, “Who Invented the alphabet?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Peyton!
In order to understand modern alphabets, we must take a trip back through time.. Archaeologists have discovered cave paintings thousands of years old that document the first forms of alphabets
One of the earliest forms of the alphabet was hieroglyphics. Hieroglyphics were single symbols that stood for entire words

Who Invented the Alphabet? [5]

New scholarship points to a paradox of historic scope: Our writing system was devised by people who couldn’t read. Centuries before Moses wandered in the “great and terrible wilderness” of the Sinai Peninsula, this triangle of desert wedged between Africa and Asia attracted speculators, drawn by rich mineral deposits hidden in the rocks
Scratched on the wall of a mine is the very first attempt at something we use every day: the alphabet.. The evidence, which continues to be examined and reinterpreted 116 years after its discovery, is on a windswept plateau in Egypt called Serabit el-Khadim, a remote spot even by Sinai standards
When I visited in 2019, I looked out over the desolate, beautiful landscape from the summit and realized I was seeing the same view the inventors of the alphabet had seen every day. The temple is built into the living rock, dedicated to Hathor, the goddess of turquoise (among many other things); stelae chiseled with hieroglyphs line the paths to the shrine, where archaeological evidence indicates there was once an extensive temple complex

The Origins of the Alphabet [6]

Over the last 3,000 years, it has passed from empire to empire, all without fundamentally changing. Today, nearly 70 percent of the world’s population uses a variation of the alphabet used by the ancient Greek author Homer!
But the British inherited the alphabet from the earlier Latin alphabet of the Roman Empire. And the Italians, who were in love with ancient Greek culture (in an “affair” known as Hellenism), derived their alphabet from the one used by the Greeks.
If you’ve studied language, you have probably read how the Greeks, who originally used a completely different Mycenaean alphabet, adopted their new “classical” alphabet from the Phoenicians. Scholars believe the Greeks adopted this new alphabet sometime around the beginning of the first millennium b.c.e.

Phoenician alphabet | Definition, Letters, & History [7]

Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.. – Academia – The Phoenician alphabet – Oops, What’s that
– World History Encyclopedia – The Phoenician Alphabet & Language. – Ancient Origins – Phoenicians: Creating what is now known as the Alphabet
Phoenician alphabet, writing system that developed out of the North Semitic alphabet and was spread over the Mediterranean area by Phoenician traders. It is the probable ancestor of the Greek alphabet and, hence, of all Western alphabets

Alphabet | Definition, History, & Facts [8]

Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.. alphabet, set of graphs, or characters, used to represent the phonemic structure of a language
In the usual case, each alphabetic character represents either a consonant or a vowel rather than a syllable or a group of consonants and vowels. As a result, the number of characters required can be held to a relative few
In a syllabary, on the other hand, the same language would require 30 × 5 symbols to represent each possible consonant-vowel syllable (e.g., separate forms for ba, be, bi, bo, bu; da, de, di; and so on) and an additional five symbols for the vowels, thereby making a total of 155 individual characters. Both syllabaries and alphabets are phonographic symbolizations; that is, they represent the sounds of words rather than units of meaning.

The Origin of the English Alphabet (and all its 26 letters) [9]

The English alphabet has a fascinating history, and the development of each letter of the alphabet has its own story. Although English is widely spoken, for the non-English speakers, the English language is one of the most difficult languages to learn
Scholars, missionaries and conquerors shaped the English language into what we know and speak today.. The early alphabetic writing started about four thousand years ago
The origin was a Proto-Sinaitic (Proto-Canaanite) form of writing that was not very well known.. About 700 years after, the Phoenicians developed an alphabet based on the earlier foundations

Read the following passage and mark the letter A, B, C, or D on your answer sheet to indicate the correct answer to each of the questions. The Roman alphabet took thousands of years to develop, from t [10]

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1320 [11]

“More powerful than all poetry / More pervasive than all science / More profound than all philosophy / Are the letters of the alphabet / Twenty-six pillars of strength / Upon which our culture rests.” (Olof Gustaf Hugo Lagercrantz, Swedish author and critic). You see it everywhere—you’re looking at it right now, in fact—which makes it hard to remember sometimes that someone somewhere invented the alphabet, that it’s not a natural part of our being, not even as organic as counting to ten on your fingers
That is, writing does not have to be alphabetic—it can be pictographic, with symbols representing images, the way men’s and women’s bathrooms are identified with male and female symbols all across the globe. Symbols are just as valid a way of expressing a thought as any word written using a alphabet
And so there was a time before the invention of the alphabet, when other systems of writing prevailed in the West. This has always been true in China, for instance, where the writing system has never been tied explicitly to oral communication

Expedition Magazine [12]

The alphabet*—it’s a seemingly simple invention with a deeper history and longer journey than many people realize. The ancestor of most alphabets used today was invented in the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean coastal region), and the Penn Museum’s new Eastern Mediterranean Gallery showcases this invention as one of the region’s most influential legacies for the modern world
In comparison with the earliest writing systems, Mesopotamian cuneiform and Egyptian hieroglyphs, whose signs convey multiple sounds or whole words and are read differently depending on context, an alphabet has far fewer signs and takes less time to learn. Instead of hundreds of signs, students of alphabetic writing only need to learn twenty to thirty letters to spell out the basic sounds of their spoken language.
As continued prominence of a complex writing system like Chinese hanzi shows, however, widespread literacy does not require an alphabet, and some argue that expressive nuance and creative potential are lost in an alphabet’s simplicity.. Many people know that the Latin alphabet used for English and other languages today developed from the Greek alphabet, and that the Greeks adapted theirs from the Phoenicians

Phoenicians: Sailing Away [ushistory.org] [13]

This famous sequence of letters known to much of the world dates back to the 16th century B.C.E.. A fairly small group of traders and merchants known as the Phoenicians created the foundation for the modern English alphabet and other alphabets
The Phoenicians lived along the Mediterranean coast in what is now Lebanon. They inhabited a number of different city-states, the most famous of which were Tyre, Byblos, and Sidon
Because of this lack of cooperation, the Phoenicians were conquered and forced to pay tribute to the virtually every empire in the region, including the Egyptians, Hittites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, and Greeks.. When the Phoenicians created their new alphabet, they worked from symbols that were already in use among the Semitic-speaking peoples of Canaan and Mesopotamia

A Is for Astonishing – the World’s First Alphabet Was Not Invented by the Elites After All [14]

A Is for Astonishing – the World’s First Alphabet Was Not Invented by the Elites After All. It appears we owe our thanks to a group of Canaanite miners who toiled the Sinai desert and gave birth to every written system we know today.
The idea of an alphabetic writing system was conceived only once in history, and all known alphabets derive from that seminal script. From the genesis of writing, at the end of the fourth millennium B.C.E
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Why Was the Alphabet Invented, Anyway? [15]

There’s a bit of debate about the origin of the phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Some believe it’s a proverb coined by the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius; others say it’s a modern turn of phrase invented by the advertising industry at the turn of the 20th century.. But no matter its origin, the phrase begs a question: If art can express more than the words, then why was the alphabet ever invented? And the answer to that question still remains a bit of a head scratcher.
For tens of thousands of years before that, history was largely handed down orally. “The creation of writing is the event that gave humanity a history,” says Lydia Wilson in the new BBC documentary, “The Secret History of Writing
“What prompted our ancestors to start writing things down, not for the ear, but for the eye?” she asks.. Archaeologists have taught us that before the alphabet was invented, “written” communication was in the form of pictures, known as hieroglyphics

Alphabet Origins: From Kipling to Sinai [16]

Much of what we know about the interconnectivity of the Mediterranean world in the first millennium B.C. relies on archaeological discoveries of the past two centuries
The city of Babylon in southern Iraq, once reduced almost to a figment of modern imagination, was revealed by excavations beginning in the nineteenth century. The Assyrian empire, once unknown outside the Bible, was brought to light by excavations in northern Iraq beginning in the middle of the nineteenth century
Archaeological discovery has also played an important role in our understanding of the origins of the alphabet, which was invented in the early second millennium B.C. and spread across the Mediterranean world in the first millennium B.C.

which group of people developed the alphabet.
16 which group of people developed the alphabet. Advanced Guides


  1. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Phoenician-alphabet#:~:text=Phoenician%20alphabet%2C%20writing%20system%20that,hence%2C%20of%20all%20Western%20alphabets.
  2. https://www.history.com/news/who-created-the-first-alphabet
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_alphabet
  4. https://wonderopolis.org/wonder/who-invented-the-alphabet
  5. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/inventing-alphabet-180976520/
  6. https://armstronginstitute.org/396-the-origins-of-the-alphabet
  7. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Phoenician-alphabet
  8. https://www.britannica.com/topic/alphabet-writing
  9. https://www.daytranslations.com/blog/origin-english-alphabet/
  10. https://tuyensinh247.com/bai-tap-148440.html
  11. https://www.usu.edu/markdamen/1320hist&civ/chapters/17abgs.htm
  12. https://www.penn.museum/sites/expedition/the-alphabet/
  13. https://www.ushistory.org/civ/4f.asp
  14. https://www.haaretz.com/2012-05-25/ty-article/.premium/a-is-for-astonishing-the-worlds-first-alphabet-was-not-invented-by-the-elites-after-all/0000017f-df39-df7c-a5ff-df7b9c950000
  15. https://www.discovermagazine.com/the-sciences/why-was-the-alphabet-invented-anyway
  16. https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2014/assyria-to-iberia/blog/posts/alphabet
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