History of the alphabet

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The history of the alphabet goes back to the consonantal writing system used to write Semitic languages in the Levant during the 2nd millennium BCE. Nearly all alphabetic scripts used throughout the world today ultimately go back to this Semitic script.[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 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 and the closely related Paleo-Hebrew alphabet, and later Aramaic (derived from the Phoenician alphabet) and the Nabatean—derived from the Aramaic alphabet and developed into the Arabic alphabet—five closely related members of the Semitic family of scripts that were in use during the early first millennium BCE.

Some modern authors distinguish between consonantal alphabets, with the term abjad coined for them in 1996, and "true alphabets" with letters for both consonants and vowels. In this narrower sense, the first true alphabet would be the Greek alphabet, which was adapted from the Phoenician alphabet. Many linguists are skeptical of the value of wholly separating the two categories. Latin, the most widely used alphabet today,[8] in turn derives from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets, themselves derived from Phoenician.


Two scripts are well attested from before the end of the fourth millennium BCE: Mesopotamian cuneiform and Egyptian hieroglyphs. 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, as phonographs denoting sounds, or as determinatives which provide clues to meaning without directly writing sounds.[9] 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 an influence on the creation of the first alphabet (used to write a Semitic language).[10] All subsequent alphabets around the world have either descended from this first Semitic alphabet, or have been inspired by one of its descendants by stimulus diffusion, with the possible exception of the Meroitic alphabet, a 3rd-century BCE adaptation of hieroglyphs in Nubia to the south of Egypt. The Rongorongo script of Easter Island may also be an independently invented alphabet, but too little is known of it to be certain.[11]

Consonantal alphabets[edit]

Semitic alphabet[edit]

The Proto-Sinaitic script of Egypt has yet to be fully deciphered. However, it may be alphabetic and probably records the Canaanite language. The oldest examples are found as graffiti in the Wadi el-Hol and date to c. 1850 BCE.[12] The table below shows hypothetical prototypes of the Phoenician alphabet in Egyptian hieroglyphs. Several correspondences have been proposed with Proto-Sinaitic letters.

Egyptian prototype
Acrophony ʾalp 'ox' bet 'house' gaml 'thrown hunting club' digg 'fish' or 'door' haw, hillul 'jubilation' waw 'hook' zen, ziqq 'handcuff' ḥet 'courtyard' or 'fence' ṭēt 'wheel' yad 'arm' kap 'hand'
Egyptian prototype
Acrophony lamd 'goad' mem 'water' nun 'large fish' or 'snake' samek 'support' or 'pillar' ʿen 'eye' piʾt 'bend' ṣad 'plant' qup 'monkey' or 'cord of wool' raʾs 'head' šananuma 'bow' taw 'signature'

This Semitic script adapted Egyptian hieroglyphs to write consonantal values based on the first sound of the Semitic name for the object depicted by the hieroglyph, the "acrophonic principle".[13] For example, the hieroglyph per 'house' was used to write the sound [b] in Semitic, because [b] was the first sound in the Semitic word bayt 'house'.[14] Little of this proto-Canaanite script has survived, but existing evidence suggests it retained its pictographic nature for half a millennium until it was adopted for governmental use in Canaan.[15] The first Canaanite states to make extensive use of the alphabet were the Phoenician city-states and so later stages of the Canaanite script are called Phoenician. The Phoenician cities were maritime states at the center of a vast trade network and soon the Phoenician alphabet spread throughout the Mediterranean. Two variants of the Phoenician alphabet had major impacts on the history of writing: the Aramaic alphabet and the Greek alphabet.[16]

Descendants of the Aramaic abjad[edit]

Global distribution of the Arabic alphabet. The dark green areas shows the countries where this alphabet is the sole main script. The light green shows the countries where the alphabet co-exists with other scripts.

The Phoenician and Aramaic alphabets, like their Egyptian prototype, represented only consonants, a system called an abjad. The Aramaic alphabet, which evolved from the Phoenician in the 7th century BCE, to become the official script of the Persian Empire, appears to be the ancestor of nearly all the modern alphabets of Asia except India:

Alphabets with vowels[edit]

Greek alphabet[edit]


Greek alphabet on an ancient black figure vessel. There is a digamma but no ksi or omega. The letter phi upright in the photograph is missing a stroke and looks like the omicron Ο, but on the other side of the bottom it is a full Φ.
Etruscan writing, the beginning of the writing with the Latin alphabet.

By at least the 8th century BCE the Greeks borrowed the Phoenician alphabet and adapted it to their own language,[19] creating in the process the first "true" alphabet, in which vowels were accorded equal status with consonants. According to Greek legends transmitted by Herodotus, the alphabet was brought from Phoenicia to Greece by Cadmus. The letters of the Greek alphabet are the same as those of the Phoenician alphabet, and both alphabets are arranged in the same order.[19] However, whereas separate letters for vowels would have actually hindered the legibility of Egyptian, Phoenician, or Hebrew, their absence was problematic for Greek, where vowels played a much more important role.[20] The Greeks used for vowels some of the Phoenician letters representing consonants which weren't used in Greek speech. All of the names of the letters of the Phoenician alphabet started with consonants, and these consonants were what the letters represented; this is called the acrophonic principle.

However, several Phoenician consonants were absent in Greek, and thus several letter names came to be pronounced with initial vowels. Since the start of the name of a letter was expected to be the sound of the letter (the acrophonic principle), in Greek these letters came to be used for vowels. For example, the Greeks had no glottal stop or voiced pharyngeal sounds, so the Phoenician letters ’alep and `ayin became Greek alpha and o (later renamed omicron), and stood for the vowels /a/ and /o/ rather than the consonants /ʔ/ and /ʕ/. As this fortunate development only provided for five or six (depending on dialect) of the twelve Greek vowels, the Greeks eventually created digraphs and other modifications, such as ei, ou, and o—which became omega—or in some cases simply ignored the deficiency, as in long a, i, u.[21]

Several varieties of the Greek alphabet developed. One, known as the Cumae alphabet, was used west of Athens and in southern Italy. The other variation, known as Eastern Greek, was used in Asia Minor. The Athenians (c. 400 BCE) adopted that latter variation and eventually the rest of the Greek-speaking world followed. After first writing right to left, the Greeks eventually chose to write from left to right, unlike the Phoenicians who wrote from right to left. Many Greek letters are similar to Phoenician, except the letter direction is reversed or changed, which can be the result of historical changes from right-to-left writing to boustrophedon, then to left-to-right writing.


Global distribution of the Cyrillic alphabet. The dark green areas shows the countries where this alphabet is the sole main script. The light green shows the countries where the alphabet co-exists with other scripts.

Greek is in turn the source of all the modern scripts of Europe. The alphabet of the early western Greek dialects, where the letter eta remained an /h/, gave rise to the Old Italic alphabet which in turn developed into the Old Roman alphabet. In the eastern Greek dialects, which did not have an /h/, eta stood for a vowel, and remains a vowel in modern Greek and all other alphabets derived from the eastern variants: Glagolitic, Cyrillic, Armenian, Gothic—which used both Greek and Roman letters—and perhaps Georgian.[22]

Although this description presents the evolution of scripts in a linear fashion, this is a simplification. For example, Georgian scripts derive from the Semitic family, but were also strongly influenced in their conception by Greek. A modified version of the Greek alphabet, using an additional half dozen demotic hieroglyphs, was used to write Coptic Egyptian. Then there is Cree syllabics (an abugida), which is a fusion of Devanagari and Pitman shorthand developed by the missionary James Evans.[23]

Latin alphabet[edit]

Global distribution of the Latin alphabet. The dark green areas show the countries where this alphabet is the sole main script. The light green shows the countries where the alphabet co-exists with other scripts.

A tribe known as the Latins, who became the Romans, also lived in the Italian peninsula like the Western Greeks. From the Etruscans, a tribe living in the first millennium BCE in central Italy, and the Western Greeks, the Latins adopted writing in about the seventh century. In adopting writing from these two groups, the Latins dropped four characters from the Western Greek alphabet. They also adapted the Etruscan letter F, pronounced 'w,' giving it the 'f' sound, and the Etruscan S, which had three zigzag lines, was curved to make the modern S. To represent the G sound in Greek and the K sound in Etruscan, the gamma was used. These changes produced the modern alphabet without the letters G, J, U, W, Y, and Z, as well as some other differences.

C, K, and Q in the Roman alphabet could all be used to write both the /k/ and /ɡ/ sounds; the Romans soon modified the letter C to make G, inserted it in seventh place, where Z had been, to maintain the gematria (the numerical sequence of the alphabet). Over the few centuries after Alexander the Great conquered the Eastern Mediterranean and other areas in the third century BCE, the Romans began to borrow Greek words, so they had to adapt their alphabet again in order to write these words. From the Eastern Greek alphabet, they borrowed Y and Z, which were added to the end of the alphabet because the only time they were used was to write Greek words.

The Anglo-Saxons began using Roman letters to write Old English as they converted to Christianity, following Augustine of Canterbury's mission to Britain in the sixth century. Because the Runic wen, which was first used to represent the sound 'w' and looked like a p that is narrow and triangular, was easy to confuse with an actual p, the 'w' sound began to be written using a double u. Because the u at the time looked like a v, the double u looked like two v's, W was placed in the alphabet after V. U developed when people began to use the rounded U when they meant the vowel u and the pointed V when the meant the consonant V. J began as a variation of I, in which a long tail was added to the final I when there were several in a row. People began to use the J for the consonant and the I for the vowel by the fifteenth century, and it was fully accepted in the mid-seventeenth century.

Simplified relationship between various scripts leading to the development of modern lower case of standard Latin alphabet and that of the modern variants.

Letter names and order[edit]

The order of the letters of the alphabet is attested from the fourteenth century BCE in the town of Ugarit on Syria's northern coast.[24] Tablets found there bear over one thousand cuneiform signs, but these signs are not Babylonian and there are only thirty distinct characters. About twelve of the tablets have the signs set out in alphabetic order. There are two orders found, one of which is nearly identical to the order used for Hebrew, Greek and Latin, and a second order very similar to that used for Ethiopian.[25]

It is not known how many letters the Proto-Sinaitic alphabet had nor what their alphabetic order was. Among its descendants, the Ugaritic alphabet had 27 consonants, the South Arabian alphabets had 29, and the Phoenician alphabet 22. These scripts were arranged in two orders, an ABGDE order in Phoenician and an HMĦLQ order in the south; Ugaritic preserved both orders. Both sequences proved remarkably stable among the descendants of these scripts.

The letter names proved stable among the many descendants of Phoenician, including Samaritan, Aramaic, Syriac, Arabic, Hebrew, and Greek alphabet. However, they were largely abandoned in Tifinagh, Latin and Cyrillic. The letter sequence continued more or less intact into Latin, Armenian, Gothic, and Cyrillic, but was abandoned in Brahmi, Runic, and Arabic, although a traditional abjadi order remains or was re-introduced as an alternative in the latter.

The table is a schematic of the Proto-Sinaitic script and its descendants.

No.  Reconstruction IPA value Proto-Sinaitic Proto-Canaanite[26] Ugaritic Phoenician Imperial Aramaic Hebrew Arabic Greek Latin Cyrillic Runic
1 ʾalp 'ox' [27][28] /ʔ/ 1 Aleph 𐎀 𐤀ʾālep 𐡀 'ālap̱ אʾālef ʾalif Α alpha A А azŭ *ansuz
2 bayt 'house' [27] /b/ 2 Bet 𐎁 𐤁bēt 𐡁 bēṯ בbēṯ bāʾ Β bēta B В vĕdĕ, Б buky *berkanan
3 gaml 'throwstick' /ɡ/ 3 Gimel 𐎂 𐤂gīmel 𐡂


גgīmel jīm Γ gamma C, G Г glagoli *kaunan
4 dalt 'door', digg 'fish' /d/ 4 Dalet/Dalet 𐎄 𐤃dālet 𐡃 dālaṯ דdāleṯ dāl, ذḏāl Δ delta D Д dobro
5 haw "window" / hillul "jubilation" [27] /h/ 5 Heh 𐎅 𐤄 𐡄 hē ה هhāʾ Ε epsilon E Е ye, Є estĭ
6 wāw 'hook' [27] /w/ 6 Waw 𐎆 𐤅wāw 𐡅 waw וvāv وwāw Ϝ digamma, Υ upsilon F, U, V, W, Y Оу / ukŭ → У *ûruz / *ûran
7 ziqq 'manacle' [27] /z/ 7 Ziqq 𐎇 𐤆zayin 𐡆 zayn זzayin زzayn or zāy Ζ zēta Z / З zemlya
8 dayp "eyebrow" [27] /ð/ Zayin (𐡃 dalaṯ)


9 ḥaṣir 'mansion'[27] /ħ/ 8 Ḥet 𐎈 𐤇ḥēt 𐡇 ḥēṯ חḥēṯ حḥāʾ, خḫāʾ Η ēta H И iže *haglaz
10 ḫayt 'thread'[27] /x/ 𓎛 𐎃 (خḫāʾ)
11 ṭab 'good'[27] /tˤ/ 9 [a] () 𐎉 (𐤈ṭēt) (𐡈 ṭeṯ) (טṭēṯ) (طṭāʾ, ظẓāʾ) (Θ thēta) (Ѳ fita)
12 yad 'hand'[27] /j/ 10 Yad Yad 𐎊 𐤉yōd 𐡉 yoḏ יyōḏ يyāʾ Ι iota I, J І ižei *isaz
13 kap 'palm'[27] /k/ 20 Khof 𐎋 𐤊kap 𐡊 kāp̱ כ ךkāf كkāf Κ kappa K К kako
14 lamd 'goad'[27] /l/ 30 Lamed 𐎍 𐤋lāmed 𐡋 lāmaḏ לlāmeḏ لlām Λ lambda L Л lyudiye *laguz / *laukaz
15 Maym 'waters'[27] /m/ 40 Mem 𐎎 𐤌mēm 𐡌 mim מ םmēm مmīm Μ mu M М myslite
16 naḥš 'snake'[27] /n/ 50 Nun 𐎐 𐤍nun 𐡍 nun נ ןnun نnūn Ν nu N Н našĭ
17 samk 'support' /s/ 60 𐎒 𐤎sāmek 𐡎 semkaṯ סsāmeḵ Ξ ksi, (Χ chi) (X) Ѯ ksi, (Х xĕrŭ)
18 ʿayn 'eye'[27] /ʕ/ 70 Ayin 𐤏 𐎓 𐤏ʿayin 𐡏 ʿayn עʿayin عʿayn Ο omikron O О onŭ
19 ġinab 'grape'[27][28] /ɣ/ Ghayn 𐎙 (غġayn)
20 pay 'mouth'[27] / piʾt 'corner' /p/ 80

𐎔 𐤐 𐡐 pē פ ף فfāʾ Π pi P П pokoi
21 (ṣad)/ṣimaḥ 'plant'[28] or ṣirar 'bag'[27] /sˤ/, /ɬˤ/?,


90 𐎕 𐤑‎ ṣādē 𐡑 ṣāḏē צ ץṣāḏi صṣād, Ϻ san, (Ϡ sampi) Ц tsi, Ч črvĭ
(𐡏 ʿayn)


𐎑 (𐡈 ṭeṯ)


22 qup 'monkey' [32]/ qaw 'cord', 'line' [28] /kˤ/ or /q/ 100 Qoph 𐎖 𐤒qōp 𐡒 qop̱ קqōf قqāf Ϙ koppa Q Ҁ koppa
23 raʾš 'head' [27] /r/ or /ɾ/ 200 Resh 𐎗 𐤓rēš 𐡓 rēš רrēš رrāʾ Ρ rho R Р rĭtsi *raidô
24 śamš 'sun' [27][28] /ʃ/ [27]/[33] () 𐎌 𐤔šin 𐡔 šin (שšin) (سsīn) Σ sigma, ϛ stigma S С slovo, Ш ša, Щ šta, / Ѕ dzĕlo *sowilô
25 ṯad 'breast' [27] /θ/, /ɬ/ 300 ?[b] [34] (שׂ‎ śin) (شšīn)
𐡕 taw


שšin سsīn, (ثṯāʾ)
26 taw 'mark' [27] /t/ 400 Tof 𐎚 𐤕tāw תtāv تtāʾ, ثṯāʾ Τ tau T Т tvrdo *tîwaz

These 26 consonants account for the phonology of Northwest Semitic. Of the 29 consonant phonemes commonly reconstructed for Proto-Semitic, the voiceless fricatives ś, ṣ́, and ṯ̣ are missing. The phonemes ḏ, ṯ, ḫ, ġ disappeared in Canaanite, merging with z, š, ḥ, ʿ in Canaanite scripts, respectively. The six variant letters added in the Arabic alphabet include these (except for ś, which survives as a separate phoneme in Ge'ez ):

Graphically independent alphabets[edit]

One modern national alphabet that has not been graphically traced back to the Canaanite alphabet is the Maldivian script, which is unique in that, although it is clearly modeled after Arabic and perhaps other existing alphabets, it derives its letter forms from numerals. Another is the Korean Hangul, which was created independently in 1443. The Osmanya alphabet was devised for Somali in the 1920s by Osman Yusuf Kenadid, and the forms of its consonants appear to be complete innovations.

Among alphabets that are not used as national scripts today, a few are clearly independent in their letter forms. The bopomofo phonetic alphabet is graphically derived from Chinese characters. The Santali alphabet of eastern India appears to be based on traditional symbols such as "danger" and "meeting place", as well as pictographs invented by its creator. (The names of the Santali letters are related to the sound they represent through the acrophonic principle, as in the original alphabet, but it is the final consonant or vowel of the name that the letter represents: le "swelling" represents e, while en 'thresh grain' represents n.)

In early medieval Ireland, Ogham consisted of tally marks, and the monumental inscriptions of the Old Persian Empire were written in an essentially alphabetic cuneiform script whose letter forms seem to have been created for the occasion.

Alphabets in other media[edit]

Changes to a new writing medium sometimes caused a break in graphical form, or make the relationship difficult to trace. It is not immediately obvious that the cuneiform Ugaritic alphabet derives from a prototypical Semitic abjad, for example, although this appears to be the case. And while manual alphabets are a direct continuation of the local written alphabet (both the British two-handed and the French/American one-handed alphabets retain the forms of the Latin alphabet, as the Indian manual alphabet does Devanagari, and the Korean does Hangul), Braille, semaphore, maritime signal flags, and the Morse codes are essentially arbitrary geometric forms. The shapes of the English Braille and semaphore letters are not derived from the graphic forms of the letters themselves. Most modern forms of shorthand are also unrelated to the alphabet, generally transcribing sounds instead of letters.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Canaanites seem to have replaced the 𓄤 glyph with one resembling a spinning wheel (ṭayt) 𓊖.
  2. ^ A | glyph for ś has been found in the Canaanite Lachish Comb inscription, though no such glyph has been found in Proto-Sinaitic, and its origin hasn't been discovered.



  1. ^ Sampson, Geoffrey (1985). Writing systems: A linguistic introduction. Stanford University Press. p. 77. ISBN 0-8047-1254-9.
  2. ^ "Sinaitic inscriptions". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2019-08-21.
  3. ^ Goldwasser, O. (2012). "The Miners that Invented the Alphabet - a Response to Christopher Rollston". Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections. 4 (3). doi:10.2458/azu_jaei_v04i3_goldwasser.
  4. ^ Goldwasser, O. (2010). "How the Alphabet was Born from Hieroglyphs". Biblical Archaeology Review. 36 (2): 40–53.
  5. ^ Himelfarb, Elizabeth J. "First Alphabet Found in Egypt", Archaeology 53, Issue 1 (Jan./Feb. 2000): 21.
  6. ^ Goldwasser, Orly (2010). "How the Alphabet Was Born from Hieroglyphs". Biblical Archaeology Review. 36 (1). Washington, DC: Biblical Archaeology Society. ISSN 0098-9444. Retrieved 6 Nov 2011.
  7. ^ Sass, Benjamin; Emery and Claire Yass Publications in Archaeology; Makhon le-arkheʼologyah ʻa. sh. Sonyah u-Marḳo Nadler (2005). The alphabet at the turn of the millennium: the West Semitic alphabet ca. 1150-850 BCE : the antiquity of the Arabian, Greek and Phrygian alphabets. Tel-Aviv: Emery and Claire Yass Publications in Archaeology. ISBN 978-965-266-021-3. OCLC 63062039.
  8. ^ Haarmann 2004, p. 96.
  9. ^ "hieroglyphics".
  10. ^ Daniels, Peter T. (2016). "Writing in the World and Linguistics". Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society. 36 (36): 81.
  11. ^ Magazine, Smithsonian; Anderson, Sonja. "Did the People of Easter Island Invent a Writing System From Scratch?". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 2024-02-17.
  12. ^ Darnell, John Coleman; Dobbs-Allsopp, F. W.; Lundberg, Marilyn J.; McCarter, P. Kyle; Zuckerman, Bruce (2005). "Two Early Alphabetic Inscriptions from the Wadi el-Hôl". The Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research. 59: 63, 65, 67–71, 73–113, 115–124. JSTOR 3768583.
  13. ^ Hooker 1998, pp. 211–213.
  14. ^ McCarter 1974, pp. 54–68.
  15. ^ Azevedo, Joaquim (1994). "The Origin and Transmission of the Alphabet". Digital Commons @ Andrews University. Retrieved February 14, 2024.
  16. ^ Van De Mieroop, Marc (2022). "Vernaculars That Changed the World". Before and after Babel. Oxford University Press. pp. 149–C7.P48. ISBN 978-0-197-63466-0.
  17. ^ "Arabic Alphabet". Encyclopædia Britannica. Archived from the original on 26 April 2015. Retrieved 2015-05-16.
  18. ^ Hooker 1998, p. 222; Robinson 2007, p. 172.
  19. ^ a b McCarter 1974, p. 62.
  20. ^ Daniels & Bright 1996, p. 27, "there are languages for which an alphabet is not an ideal writing system. The Semitic abjads really do fit the structure of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic very well, [more] than an alphabet would [...], since the spelling ensures that each root looks the same through its plethora of inflections and derivations.".
  21. ^ Robinson 2007, p. 170.
  22. ^ Robinson 2007.
  23. ^ Andrew Dalby (2004:139) Dictionary of Languages
  24. ^ Robinson 2007, p. 162.
  25. ^ Millard, A. R. (1986). "The infancy of the alphabet". World Archaeology. 17 (3): 390–398. doi:10.1080/00438243.1986.9979978. JSTOR 124703.
  26. ^ "Proto-Canaanite - List of symbols". mnamon.sns.it. Retrieved 2024-02-05.
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Colless 2010, p. 96, fig. 5.
  28. ^ a b c d e Albright 1966, fig. 1.
  29. ^ "Aramaic and Hebrew: A linguistic comparison". vocab.chat. Retrieved 2024-01-21.
  30. ^ "Aramaic and Hebrew: A linguistic comparison". vocab.chat. Retrieved 2024-01-21.
  31. ^ "Aramaic and Hebrew: A linguistic comparison". vocab.chat. Retrieved 2024-01-21.
  32. ^ Pandey, Anshuman (30 July 2019). "Revisiting the Encoding of Proto Sinaitic in Unicode" (PDF). Unicode.org.
  33. ^ Colless 2010, p. 94, fig. 2.
  34. ^ Vainstub, Daniel; Mumcuoglu, Madeleine; Hasel, Michael G.; Hesler, Katherine M.; Lavi, Miriam; Rabinovich, Rivka; Goren, Yuval; Garfinkel, Yosef. "A Canaanite's Wish to Eradicate Lice on an Inscribed Ivory Comb from Lachish" (PDF). Jerusalem Journal of Archaeology. Retrieved 2023-12-13.
  35. ^ "Aramaic and Hebrew: A linguistic comparison". vocab.chat. Retrieved 2024-01-21.

Works cited[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Colless, Brian E. (2014). "The Origin of the Alphabet". Antiguo Oriente. 12: 71–104.
  • Diringer, David, ed. (1977). A history of the alphabet. London: Unwin. ISBN 978-0-905-41812-4.
  • Fischer, Steven Roger (2021) [2005]. A history of writing (New ed.). London: Reaktion Books. ISBN 978-1-789-14349-2.
  • Hoffman, Joel M. (2004). In the beginning: a short history of the Hebrew language. New York University Press. ISBN 978-0-814-73654-8.
  • Logan, Robert K. (2004) [1986]. The alphabet effect: a media ecology understanding of the making of Western civilization. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press. ISBN 978-1-572-73522-4.
  • Millard, A. R. (1986). "The Infancy of the Alphabet". World Archaeology. 17 (3): 390–398. doi:10.1080/00438243.1986.9979978. JSTOR 124703.
  • Naveh, Joseph (1997) [1982]. Early history of the alphabet: an introduction to west Semitic epigraphy and palaeography (Reprint ed.). Jerusalem: Magnes Press. ISBN 978-9-652-23436-0.
  • Powell, Barry B. (1991). Homer and the origin of the Greek alphabet. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-37157-5.
  • Ullman, B. L. (1927). "The Origin and Development of the Alphabet". American Journal of Archaeology. 31 (3): 311–328. ISSN 0002-9114. JSTOR 497822.

External links[edit]