|WikiProject Languages||(Rated Start-class)|
|WikiProject Writing systems||(Rated Start-class, Top-importance)|
|WikiProject Typography||(Rated Start-class, Top-importance)|
|Wikipedia Version 1.0 Editorial Team / Vital|
|Letter (alphabet) was the collaboration of the week for the week starting on March 5, 2006.
For details on improvements made to the article, see history of past collaborations.
How should alphabets/articles be listed?
When I started this article I intended for the alphabet listings to be a directory of articles rather than lists of symbols. Accordingly, it may be more proper to list the letters of alphabets as such:
Arabic alphabet: Alif (ﺍ), Beth (ﺏ), Taw (ﺕ), Ṯāʼ (ﺙ), Gimel (ﺝ), Heth (ﺡ), ḫāʼ (ﺥ), Dalet (ﺩ), ḏāl (ﺫ), Resh (ﺭ), Zayin (ﺯ), Shin (ﺱ), Shin (ﺵ), Tsade (ﺹ), ḍād (ﺽ), Teth (ﻁ), ẓāʼ (ﻅ), Ayin (ﻉ), ġayn (ﻍ), Pe (ﻑ), Qoph (ﻕ), Kaph (ﻙ), Lamedh (ﻝ), Mem (ﻡ), Nun (ﻥ), He (هـ), Waw (ﻭ), Yodh (ﻱ)
Also problematic is that letters may have many symbols - it may be better to show one symbol paranthetically than invite countless symbols into the mix. But this is just my opinion. What is the consensus? Should the alphabet listings primarily show article names or letter symbols?
Poggio 21:52, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
- Hm. Yes, I thought about that when I added arabic letters... and I concluded that I prefer the symbols. But, if the consensus is reached that the article name should be incuded here - fine by me. Therefore, I vote neutral :-) --Dijxtra 11:51, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
- Another issue I notice with the "Latin alphabet" listing - the listing in the article appears to be specifically the variant of the Latin alphabet used in English. It is neither a maximal set of Latin characters (which would include many additional letters) nor a minimal set (which would NOT include late additions/modified forms such as J, G, U or W.) It would be better to choose one approach or the other instead of identifying the English variation as 'the Latin alphabet' when it is actually one of many expanded derivatives. I would guess the other alphabets listed may have similar problems as all of them can be used to write diverse languages. Arker (talk) 04:54, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Would like to hear discussion on why letters are graphemes. The tricky word here is "are." From my understanding of graphemes, letters are a subset of graphemes (since graphemes include punctuation, etc). It is therefore misleading to simply state letters ARE graphemes (as one edit stated). To those unfamiliar with the technical term, grapheme, this may incorrectly imply that graphemes are synonymous with letters. Poggio 22:27, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
- Letters ARE graphemes in the same way dogs ARE animals.St jimmy 14:32, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
- I'm thinking two pictures would be good that show letters from two seperate alphabets. I really like the one with beads that you just added! Andromeda321 15:20, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
- I like the Cyrillic image showing capital, lowercase, and italics, but I'd like to see a version of such an image that also included the handwritten (script) form. Some letters look very, very differnt between the print and written forms. --EncycloPetey 10:59, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
Is the word "letter" only used for Greek and derived alphabets? What about alphabets (sound-based scripts) such as the Arabic alphabet, the Hangul and kana? 惑乱 分からん * \)/ (\ (< \) (2 /) /)/ * 11:13, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
will Wikipedia run out of letters
- Well, you can use the same letter several times... 惑乱 分からん * \)/ (\ (< \) (2 /) /)/ * 13:27, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
... don't belong to here:
- Or, as an option, the article is renamed to Letter (writing), in order to prepare for a general enhancement, to contain the main classes of writing systems:
- "Logographies" - complex generic syllabary modification systems, in increasing horrificity order: Chinese (not too horrific!), Hieroglyphs, Cuneiform, Crow Congress Footprints;
- Syllabaries - full syllable letter sets vowel modifiers only, Korean, Hieratic, Cherokee, Ethiopian,
- Abjads - don't contain vowels, Arabic, Hebreew, Arameic, ndmnthrwrtngsstms...
- Alphabeths - contain vowels as independent letters, Greek and descendants.
- Said: Rursus ☻ 07:05, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
- Eeeh, forget that (for its inaccuracy)! What I mean is that the article needs fact coordination with Writing system, so that [[Letter (whthck)]] discusses letters evolution and role, while [[Writing system]] discusses the letter system, derivation methods (diacritics, etc.), usage of special letter a.s.o.. Said: Rursus ☻ 07:15, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
The most common letters
What is the most common letters of the alphabets? I mean the most used letters in Latin, Arabic, Cyrillic, Hebrew, Japanese, Chinesse alphabets? Does anybody know about this? Wax69 (talk) 16:02, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
- Since each writing system can be used to write more than one language, and indeed many languages are written with more than one writing system, the question is technically unanswerable. However it is possible to answer for a language/writing system pairing, and this is important in cypher-breaking. For normal written English the frequency table I remember starts with ETAONRISH. Other languages have different frequencies. See Frequency_analysis_(cryptanalysis) Arker (talk) 04:44, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Why are the sentences in the article? They are not defined (not like a definition is really needed to understand it) and seem to have no importance to the article. It looks as though someone was just having fun? Should they be deleated or what? βeARer oF liGHt (talk) 06:12, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
How come there is no article about the usage of single-letters as words, such as A and I. I'd like to see how other languages use the alphabet to create words from a single letter. --Moopstick (talk) 00:59, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
- The article does cover single-letter words in English. There would be too many to cover all the languages of the world, but Wiktionary has comprehensive lists for each letter. See, e.g. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/a -- Beland (talk) 18:17, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
Latin vs. English
The article was a bit misleading, so I fixed it. The Latin alphabet used to write the Latin language has a different set of letters than the current English alphabet. However, the English alphabet is the same as the ISO basic Latin alphabet for historical reasons. "Latin" is used to refer to a variety of national alphabets that use Latin script. -- Beland (talk) 18:28, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
Origin of Letter
The origin of the word 'letter' is tamil word 'எழுத்து' Ezhutthu which means the written alphabets or any other symbol. In tamil grammatical book Tolkāppiyam , the first part is Ezhuttadikaram. This book has been dated variously between 8000 BCE and 10th CE. Just try to know these basis. The verb form of that word is 'எழுது' Ezhuthu which means 'to write'. This is origin of all the word literature, literary, etc., Can you allow this to add into this article ? --Inbamkumar86 (talk) 09:50, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
ezhutthu + ar -> elutthu + ar -> elett(h)er -> lett(h)er.
Actually, tamil word 'எழுத்து' has a root இலு (இழு) 'ilu' which means pull.
mid-12c., 'graphic symbol, written character,' from O.Fr. lettre, from L. littera (also litera) "letter of the alphabet," of uncertain origin, perhaps from Gk. diphthera "tablet," with change of d- to l- as in lachrymose. In this sense it replaced O.E. bocstæf, lit. "book staff" (cf. Ger. Buchstabe "letter, character," from O.H.G. buohstab, from P.Gmc. *bok-staba-m). The pl. litteræ in Latin meant "epistle, written documents, literature," a sense first attested early 13c. in M.E., replacing O.E. ærendgewrit, lit. "errand-writing." School letter in sports, first awarded by U. of Chicago football coach Amos Alonzo Stagg.
late 14c., from L. lit(t)eratura "learning, writing, grammar," originally "writing formed with letters," from lit(t)era "letter." Originally "book learning" (it replaced O.E. boccræft), the meaning "literary production or work" is first attested 1779 in Johnson's "Lives of the English Poets" (he didn't include this definition in his dictionary, however); that of "body of writings from a period or people" is first recorded 1812. --Inbamkumar86 (talk) 10:50, 23 June 2012 (UTC)