Latin Alphabet


The Latin alphabet is a letter writing system that appeared in the first millennium BC. It serves the basis not only for most European scripts and  The International Phonetic Alphabet 0070–02AF . It was also used to write many languages of Africa and Asia.

The ancestor of the Latin alphabet is the  Greek 0391–03C9 one. Perhaps,  Etruscan alphabet 10300–10323 also posed a strong influence. However, it became isolated around the VII century BC. The oldest monuments of Latin writing date back to the VI century BC.

As for the first versions of the alphabet, they included 21 letters. The letters Θ, Φ and Ψ were used not in words, but in numbers. Later on, that role was played by C, M and L. In 312 BC, the letter Z was removed from the alphabet, and in 234 BC, G was put in its place. After the Roman conquest of Greece, in the I century BC, Z was returned for the Greek language, and with it came Y.

Unlike Greek or Phoenician letters, Latin letters were called by their pronunciation (for consonants with the addition of the sound ). The ancient Romans did not use lowercase forms, they appeared much later, closer to the Middle Ages. In general, the modern appearance of the alphabet started forming in the IX century.

In the XVI century, there was a separation of syllabic and non-syllabic variants of the letters I and V. That's how letters J and V appeared. In northern Europe, around the same time, the digraph VV was transformed into a separate letter W. With its addition, the Latin alphabet found its final (at the moment) form. The International Organization for Standardization adopted it as the “basic Latin alphabet”. However, if we keep in mind the system of writing Latin and Romance languages, then there is no W in it, and the alphabet consists of 25 letters.