Talk:Latin alphabet

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


How and when was the order we currently know agreed (Gnevin 21:11, 7 February 2007 (UTC))

It goes a long way back, with spontaneous evolutions happening occasionally. It is largely derived from the order of the Greek alphabet, which in itself largely was derived from the Phoenician alphabet. . 惑乱 分からん 12:10, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

The last change happened some time around 1860, and re-ordered things to the familiar 'U, V, W', replacing 'U, W, V', where the 'W' is seen literally as a 'Double U'. I'm trying to date this properly, as I have a dictionary that (just) pre-dates it Philh42 11:50, 25 April 2007 (UTC)Philh42

  • The history of the ordering is not well described in any of the relevant articles: alphabet, latin alphabet, collating sequence, or collation. It seems to me that the history of the ordering of alphabets is best handled on their own pages, so some improvement here would be good. It's way out of my league, though! Anybody else able to take a pass at it? --Lquilter (talk) 16:03, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

The earliest attested ancestral version of the overall modern Latin alphabet order is that of the first 27 letters of the Ugaritic cuneiform alphabet (the last 3 letters of that alphabet are later additions within Ugaritic):

ʔ b g d h w z y k š l m n s ʕ p q r ġ t

Here's a version of the table showing which current Latin letters correspond to which letters in the first known alphabetic order:

ʔ b g d h w z y k š l m n s ʕ p q r ġ t

Some things are a little more complex than can be shown in this format (particularly "s"-"X", which has a kind of structural relationship, but no actual shape correspondence with the Phoenician or Greek letters in that position)... AnonMoos (talk) 03:09, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

"Encyclopedia" self reference[edit]

The image Image:Latin alphabet.png seems to violate Wikipedia:Avoid self-references. Other example text would be more appropriate. —Ben FrantzDale 23:32, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

"Wikipedia" and "encyclopedia" are two different things. The ikiroid (talk·desk·Advise me) 02:51, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
True, but this page has little to do with encyclopedias. That text might as well say "Thesaurus" :-). The other alphabet pages have ancient texts as their examples. I'd think this should have something like The quick brown fox or else something historical that's in Latin characters. —Ben FrantzDale 02:56, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
OK, No worries. I'll re-upload the picture with the text "The quick brown fox." I suppose that is a better example. The ikiroid (talk·desk·Advise me) 12:23, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Where's the N?[edit]

No N?????

I know, there ain't a J either! This alfabet sucks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:21, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Alphabet Applications[edit]

This is just a shot in the dark, but is it not more logical to call it the Roman alphabet? I consider the Latin alphabet to be the Roman alphabet adjusted to the sounds of the Latin language, just like all the other systems.

For instance, the letter 'W' in the German language is adjusted to be the same sound as the letter 'V' in English. If a German said to me, in his native language, "I work for BMW", and I were to write that in the Latin alphabet with no previous knowledge of German, I would write BMW as 'BMV', because that's how he would say it.

So what I mean is, the Roman alphabet adjusted for the German language is the 'German' alphabet, the Roman alphabet adjusted for the English language is the 'English' alphabet, and the Roman alphabet adjusted for the Latin language is the 'Latin' alphabet.

It was, after all, the Roman Empire which was the principle cause of the adoption of this alphabet by the linguists of Europe, so I cannot see how it would be unfair to call it by this name. I'm hoping for the opinion of someone better placed to decide than me, as I am not a linguistics graduate. Sjnorthwood | Talk 12 July 2007.

It would make more sense, but "Latin alphabet" is far and away the more common name. — Gwalla | Talk 03:54, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
Considering that "Latin alphabet" does appear to be the more common name, why is it that we seem to talk exclusively about "romanizing" text from other scripts rather than "latinizing" it? --Lazar Taxon 03:05, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps it is the more common name in America? I've never known anyone call it the Latin alphabet. It's always been the Roman alphabet. If there's a distinction, I would say that the Latin alphabet didn't traditionally include j or v as independent letters, or w, whereas the term Roman alphabet denotes the 26-letter entity. - 19:46, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Calling it Roman is more common in the US, also. However, the latin alphabet was standardized as "Latin" by international committees, and that is now the technical term. But there is a bigger problem - This article breaks out the "English" alphabet as different from the Latin Alphabet. In fact, the modern Latin Alphabet and the Modern English Alphabet are the exact same. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:28, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

See paragraph 4 of the article for a description of the modern usage of "Latin alphabet". The English alphabet is just one of many language alphabets included in the Latin Alphabet. —Coroboy (talk) 14:02, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Latin names of the letters?![edit]

Hi, these Latin names of the letters confuse me, even though the author readily admits that the names are disputed. The table says the y was called "i graeca". How is this possible? In the classical era, the y was used in Greek words to display the sound of the French u and the German ü. Why would the Romans call that letter "Greek i" when it was pronounced differently? And then the x. According to the article, the letter was called "ex", as in English. This seems highly inplausible to me. In all other languages I know, this letter is called "ix". This goes for both Germanic and Romance languages. So what the... ? Steinbach (fka Caesarion) 08:34, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

You have a point about "x". As for "y", the article explains that: FilipeS 09:53, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
The letter Y when introduced was probably called hy /hyː/ as in Greek (the name upsilon being not yet in use) but was changed to i Graeca ("Greek i") as Latin speakers had difficulty distinguishing /i/ and /y/ .

In any case, the original Latin names of F, L, M, N, R, S were all probably just the sound of the letter prolonged ("fffffff" etc.), while the name of X was a [k] + the sound of [s] prolonged. The initial "e" was added later to make the names more like real words... AnonMoos (talk) 02:59, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Windows font for Roman square capitals[edit]

which font do you use to get an ancient epigraphy impression? -- 09:06, 4 November 2007 (UTC) PS: de:Capitalis Quadrata

Trajan (typeface) -- 09:31, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Esh and Ezh?[edit]

I was wondering why there is no inclusion for these letters here. 20:45, 29 December 2007 (UTC) ·:RedAugust (talk) 06:26, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

They are listed in the subarticle List of Latin letters. FilipeS (talk) 21:01, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Well yeah... so is every other latin letter... I'm just wondering why they're not included in the "Wholly New Letters" section.·:RedAugust (talk) 06:26, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Because the "Extensions" section only mentions a few examples. A full list would be too long. FilipeS (talk) 12:07, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Z in the first alphabet table[edit]

There may be a misunderstanding here. I don't think the article means to say that the dropping of the letter Z from the alphabet and the introduction of G happened at the same time. FilipeS (talk) 19:22, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

Cumaean alphabet needs replacement for Ionic Alphabet[edit]

In Greece and most southern schools we are thought that the latin alphabet evolved from the Greek-Ionic alphabet, used by the Greeks in the southern region of Italy. Proof: any primary school textbook. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:24, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

No, that's not the case; in the Ionic alphabet, the written symbol "H" meant a long [ē] vowel sound, the written symbol "X" meant a [kʰ] aspirate sound, etc. AnonMoos (talk) 02:49, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Mix up in table[edit]

There is a mix up with U and V in the first alphabet table. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:23, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Edit: or maybe not. Maybe I jumped to conclusions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:24, 9 April 2008 (UTC)


Is it worth adding that the ancient language in stargate is based on latin? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:02, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

No. It's not really relevant. It belongs in the Stargate article, but here it's just trivia. — Gwalla | Talk 16:13, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Ligature usage[edit]

Is this statement true "2) ae was used only optionally in Medieval Latin - classical and standard practice is to write letters separately"?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 11:27, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Retarget Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz[edit]

Currently Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz retargets to Latin alphabet. However, I think it would make more sense as a retarget to English alphabet. After all, the Classical Latin alphabet did not have J, U, or W as separate letters, and this is the English Wikipedia, not the Modern Latin Wikipedia. --Metropolitan90 (talk) 02:45, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

Redirect to Basic Latin alphabet would be better than either... AnonMoos (talk) 02:51, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Criticism of global dominance[edit]

As a (non-eurocentric) multilinguist and language-lover, I came to the opinion, that nowadays too many things are romanised or latinised. You can buy whole books that 'teach you Chinese' without a single Chinese character, which is absolutly idiotic. I often see inproper use and "lingual discrimination" when using romanisations. An example is a poster in an international school that apprently shows "Welcome" in many languages, showing Chinese e.ex. as "Huan ying" instead of "欢迎" and so with Arabic, Hebrew, Russian and Japanese.

It's a global trend that I would describe as the Roman/Latin writing culture oppressing other forms of scripts. It's the dominance of the Latin alphabet which I would call "Latin-centrism", "Roman-centrism" or "Roman Scriptism". But there is no such term in fact as per my knowledge. Any ideas on that? I'd like to mention this in the article later on as well. 亮HH (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 15:07, 20 October 2008 (UTC).

World disctribution[edit]

There was a picture of latin alphabet world's distribution, but it was very false. The reason is it was exclusively based on official languages's distribution...But it's a fact that it's not a good element to judge.

For exemple, in a country like Algeria, where for political reason arabic is the sole official language (kabyle is 'national'), the arabic alphabet is nearly never used !!! 'cause the main languages of algeria in practice are french and kabyle...both of them written in latin alphabet. The algerian arabic language, which is officially considered as 'just a dialect', is rarely wrote, but when it is it's always in latin scrip too !!! Despite all this, Algeria is shown in the picture like a country where latin alphabet is "not used" !!!!!

Another exemple: Serbia. Officially serbia's official language is serbian. Offficially serbian language is wrote in both latin and cyrillic alphabets, but in reality cyrillic is the sole alphabet used sinc the 90s...

So, i think that it will be interesting to make a map with the REAL latin alphabet world's distribution —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:33, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina are displayed as Latin being a codominant alphabet. However, a major error is in displaying Montenegro as using solely Latin since Cyrillic is codominant with Latin. As for the above suggestion: In Serbia, Cyrillic is the only alphabet approved for state/official use, however Latin has roughly equal popularity (if not more) as Cyrillic in common life. (talk) 21:15, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
for the smart person that has depicted Kosovo as an independent country - the latin script isn't exclusive script in Kosovo no matter if you see it as independent. And yes - cyrilic script is used in Montenegro. --PrimEviL 11:18, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Etruscan alphabet[edit]

I have inserted Etruscan in place of "Old Latin" in the list of families near the top of the article, as the Old Latin article here points to a number of alphabetic systems, but the consensus (which the other Wikipedia articles show) is that the Romans in the time of the kings learned writing from the Etruscans directly, so a "Greek->Etruscan->Latin" path would be more straightforward...
William J. 'Bill' McCalpin (talk) 05:38, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Description of G[edit]

The article describes the "new letter G" as being "a C modified with a small horizontal stroke". However, the ancient Roman "new letter G" was clearly produced by adding a vertical stroke to the C, as can be seen in the article Roman square capitals. The horizontal stroke often seen in modern writing and typography comes from a misinterpretation of the Roman serif at the top of that vertical stroke as being an integral part of the letter, as also happens with the letter I. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:46, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

You're right, of course! I'll correct it. FilipeS (talk) 12:22, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
I briefly uncorrected it, then realised I was mistaken... Sorry about that! –CapitalLetterBeginning (talk) 13:16, 1 April 2010 (UTC)


There is a map showing all the areas that use the Latin alphabet in green, however shouldn't Japan be green as it is used there with rōmaji. JE19426 (talk) 10:12, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

The Latin alphabet is rarely used for writing words in Japanese. When it is used in connection with Japanese, it is mainly used solely as letters/ symbols, similarly to how Arabic numerals isn't part of the English alphabet. 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 00:29, 12 July 2011 (UTC)


I was thinking, maybe this page should have a table that shows some common pronunciations of each letter in modern European languages. I know it might be hard, since different languages use the letters for different sounds, but it seems like each letter's individual page mentions the common pronunciations for that letter. For example, the page A says "In most other languages that use the Latin alphabet, "a" denotes an open front unrounded vowel (/a/)." B says "In English and most other languages that use the Latin alphabet, ‹b› denotes the voiced bilabial plosive /b/, as in bib." I'm wondering if anyone else thinks that's a good idea. Maybe it isn't, but I'm just wondering. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 21:40, 22 August 2010 (UTC).

C [k or q] ?[edit]

About phonetic [k] is modern pronounciation ancient used [q], because in latin Q is used only before vowel [U] in other case C is used and have two phônetic walor [g] or [q], besides the kyril letter Ҁ [q] have a C shape. C it's a strange letter and have many prononciation [s / ʦ, q / ʧ, ʤ / g, ʨ] in french, turkish, latin slavic (Ćć-Ћћ, Čč-Чч, Cc-Цц), also check Georgian [ʦ] or Egoptic [ʣ], also analyse Ellêniqo Ϟ Ϙ & Ϭ (Egoptic)... Mag-Zen 16:01, 3 December 2010 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nemzag (talkcontribs)

Also, it's seems that the phônetic walue [k] came after byzantinë (ruman conqueror of Ellênic) adoption of Kappa instead of removed Qoppa [q]... The use of Q survived in Slavic until rewoluþion (1918 because of use of typewriter machine : Source, the sound ق [q] is only used in Arabia... Someone or a society are trying to trouble comprehension & magic ormfulatiôn of ancient text by removing letter, perhaps the Temple, Priests or Gods (Check Bible Gen 11-9). Nemzag (talk) 15:42, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Since K is sound [k], you should perhaps use [q] for C & Q in wiki documents to have more sound than only [k] Nemzag (talk) 20:48, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

I also believe that latin CH greek Χ was originaly pronounced [qʰ] after rôman conquest by remove of qoppa the combination became [kʰ]. The CH [qʰ] still exist in georgian since Q [q] is ... Nemzag (talk) 13:20, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Some exemple : track & Traque, Oceanë & Oqean (ωκεανός), Coran & Qoran, κούκος (quqos) & Cuckoo (Cuculus, coccum (qoqqum, “Scarlet”) from קאק (qôq, “Jackdaw”), κουρούνα (quruna, “Crow”), κορώνα (qorôna, “Corona”), κρανίο (qranɪo, “Cranium”), Κρόνος (qronos, “Cronos”), κόκαλο / кокал (qoqalo, “bone” calcium), κόκκυξ (qoqqyqs, “coccyx”), κοχλίας (qoqʰlea, “cochlea”), (qoqal, “Bone”) and others. Nemzag (talk) 18:42, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Z & G remplacement (3rd century BC) in latin[edit]

G have two walor [g] & [ʒ], since in latin G [ʒ] (numeral walue 7 - Geobritian ז׳ Orbitian ژ) replaced ellênic Z [z] (numeral walue 7 - Geobritian ז Orbitian ز). Nemzag (talk) 11:21, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Also if True is VERAX RÊCTUS RÊGULA RÊX (ρήγας) [verags rɛgθus rɛgula rɛgs rɛgas], in slavic ВЕРЕН [verɛn], deviated in germanic in WARA (True [vara] ; caution & attention [wara] !), some word like guarrantor & guerissor would be correctly pronounced [ʒvarranθɔr] & [ʒverrɪssɔr]... Gmazdên 09:12, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Written Latin "G" did not indicate a palatalized or assibilated pronunciation until the early Romance period (more like the 6th-century AD than the 3rd-century BC). AnonMoos (talk) 02:45, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

V, U, W remplacement in latin[edit]

In old latin, all words were writed CAPITALIZED and used V. After V became U & W. So some modern word using V were pronounced [w] or [v]. Nemzag (talk) 23:23, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

V and U were mere glyph swash variants of the same letter until the 17th century... AnonMoos (talk) 02:42, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

No, V and U are not the same in ancient latin maejuskles, the letter which looks like a V but is an U has not the same heigth as the letter V. the letter U, looking quite like a V, doesnt cut through the baseline whilst the letter V does. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:57, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

Significant ommissions[edit]

The development of the lower-case letters (Carolingian miniscule) and the experimentation with medieval hand-written scripts is completely missing from the article. Same for the standardization of serifs and printing, as well as additional "lost" forms of letters like long-S. History of the alphabet is almost entirely confined to the introduction. There need to be more pictured examples from throughout history. Above all, this article needs references. --EncycloPetey (talk) 15:56, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

It was not until the Middle Ages ...[edit]

Currently the article states:

It was not until the Middle Ages that the letter ⟨W⟩ (originally a ligature of two ⟨V⟩s) was added to the Latin alphabet, to represent sounds from the Germanic languages which did not exist in medieval Latin, and only after the Renaissance did the convention of treating ⟨I⟩ and ⟨U⟩ as vowels, and ⟨J⟩ and ⟨V⟩ as consonants, become established. Prior to that, the former had been merely allographs of the latter.

This paragraph has problems because it is not referring to all derivations of the Latin alphabet but specific ones such as the English and German alphabets. Those languages such at Italian (Italian alphabet) do not have W or J. -- PBS (talk) 15:04, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

The Italian alphabet never had a W as far as I know, however J was occasionally used until the final standardization of the Italian language in the late XIX century. Giovanni Verga still routinely used "J" to distinguish the vowel from the consonant (e.g. he wrote "bujo" instead of "buio" or "noja" instead of "noia"). BRG~itwiki (talk) 14:26, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

Latin Script[edit]

User:Woodstone, the Latin script is an extension of the Latin alphabet, is this correct? The Latin alphabet was used to make the Latin script, the 2 are not the same, is that correct? The article mentions the Latin script but does introduce the script, and reads like the 2 are the same. Thank you,CuriousMind01 (talk) 21:15, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

Latin script and Latin alphabet not that clearly separated. They are used as synonyms. All alphabets or scripts based on the original set of letters used to write Latin are loosely named Latin. Any sharp distinction is artificial and may lead to cumbersome formulations. −Woodstone (talk) 13:21, 5 June 2016 (UTC)

User:Woodstone, thank you. I think the two separate Wikipedia articles, Latin alphabet,Latin script are confusing presenting the two terms as 2 different subjects.CuriousMind01 (talk) 15:06, 5 June 2016 (UTC)

Requested move 6 March 2017[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved. (non-admin closure) TonyBallioni (talk) 18:07, 13 March 2017 (UTC)

Latin alphabetRoman alphabetWP:PRECISE. As is currently outlined in the final paragraph of the lead, the current title is ambiguous, but this article, and probably most articles linked to it, are primarily referring to the Roman alphabet as used to write/transliterate languages other than Latin. I have almost never seen the phrase "Latin alphabet" used in this sense outside Wikipedia, and the sources currently cited in this article appear to agree, with only sources specifically discussing the Latin language using the phrase "Latin alphabet". We romanize Chinese, Sanskrit, Arabic and so on, and the phrase latinize is almost never used thus. I actually suspect this should be split into two separate articles called Roman alphabet and Latin alphabet (cf English alphabet and the redirectsFrench alphabet, German alphabet, Spanish alphabet, Irish alphabet ... and all of these) and I could probably do this unilaterally, but seeking a clear consensus is better. Hijiri 88 (やや) 01:10, 6 March 2017 (UTC)


  • Support as nom. Hijiri 88 (やや) 04:00, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I think this is better. The Romans didn't really have lower-case - that emerged later - so I prefer Latin (for "Latin West" rather than specifically calling it Roman. Also, Roman causes confusion with "Roman type", the regular, upright style of a printing font. Blythwood (talk) 02:13, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose: the titles are synonymous; what you call it depends largely on what you were taught to call it in school, or local custom. This strikes me as imposing orthodoxy in a case where both alternatives are equally acceptable and a matter of personal preference. [edit: changed from "leaning oppose" to "oppose"] P Aculeius (talk) 04:45, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose I too tend to regard Latin alphabet as the more common term. Maybe it is a bit contradictory that "romanise" is often used, but that's the sort of quirk you get sometimes. PatGallacher (talk) 00:25, 8 March 2017 (UTC)


Shit. I always forget to make sections until it becomes necessary.
@Blythwood: But wouldn't your argument work equally well as a "support" argument, since the people who spoke Latin, whom you call the Romans, didn't have a lower case? It's extremely rare to use "Latin alphabet" when discussing the use of this writing system itself in contemporary contexts, at least as far I have seen.
I've studied Japanese and Chinese, and dabbled in Korean and Sanskrit, and those languages are always "romanized", never "latinized"; I actually should have added to my initial rationale that the current title of this article is out of step with our article on Romanization.
Hijiri 88 (やや) 04:00, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
The idea that Roman alphabet – Latin alphabet should parallel Romanize – Latinize seems like a red herring to me, because the verbs have completely different meanings. Romanize means to transliterate writing into the Roman/Latin alphabet, while Latinize means to give words a Latin form (which you can do perfectly well with words that are already written in the Roman/Latin alphabet, but in languages other than Latin). They're not parallel. From a historical point of view, Latin alphabet makes more sense. It was developed from the Etruscan alphabet (in turn derived from a western Greek alphabet) for writing Latin, not "Roman", and it was used throughout Latium and eventually everywhere in Italy that wasn't using the Greek alphabet, as other alternatives, such as the Etruscan and Oscan alphabets, slowly vanished into history.
Was this due to Roman influence? Partly, but not entirely. The widespread use of Latin, and the convenience of writing in many cultures that didn't have a fully-developed writing system before the appearance of this alphabet, allowed it to spread independently of Roman authority. Now it's used for all kinds of languages that are neither Latin nor Roman. I'm almost on the fence because I'm used to hearing "Roman alphabet", but I've also become accustomed to hearing it referred to as the "Latin alphabet" as well, and I dislike the idea that we have to make one alternative official and eliminate the other from use. That may not be the intention of this proposal, but it would certainly tend to set such a course of action in motion. P Aculeius (talk) 04:45, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
@P Aculeius: (Sorry, I totally missed this. I didn't ping you below but am pinging you here because it's pretty unlikely that you would notice a response here without being notified.) If you think that "romanize" and "latinize" are not synonymous while "Roman alphabet" and "Latin alphabet" are, then you should find sources and edit our respective articles on the topics accordingly. At present, Romanization presents "latinization" as having the exact same meaning, amd this article presents the term "Latin alphabet" as being ambiguous without apparently being able to say the same of "Roman alphabet". The simple fact is that roughly half of the sources that have been analyzed for "Latin alphabet" refer specifically to the alphabet used to write the Latin language, but this is not the case for any of the sources checked for "Roman alphabet". I'm kinda regretting not doing a thorough breakdown of a massive list of reliable sources before posting this RM, but I'll probabky get around to it soon anyway. Then there's the fact that your blank ngram search didn't account for the discrepancy, and I'm sure ngrams that are limited to results that mention languages other than Latin would be shifted at least enough that the results for post-1920 books would be largely inverted. Hijiri 88 (やや) 00:18, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

Sources from mostly 2010s:

There are more sources using either Roman alphabet and Latin alphabet. Per WP:DIVIDEDUSE, if the usage is divided, use the less surprising title. Maybe "Latin alphabet"? George Ho (talk) 05:05, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

@George Ho: Actually, if you look through those results in light of what I said above, they bear out what I said about the usage being divided based on what is being described. Looking at the "Latin alphabet" results: only about half (the first, fifth, seventh, eighth and ninth books) use "Latin alphabet" to refer to the dominant subject of this article; the second, third and sixth are specifically about the alphabet used to write the Latin language; the fourth is a children's book that lists "Elven" along with languages written in the Roman alphabet, and so is not a reliable source. By contrast, the results for "Roman alphabet" all seem to describe the subject of this article. Hijiri 88 (やや) 09:05, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
  • @P Aculeius: the titles are synonymous is not entirely accurate. "Latin alphabet" refers to the alphabet as used to write the Latin language; "Roman alphabet" refers to the alphabet itself that is used to write various languages. The two are occasionally used interchangeably, but the latter tends overwhelmingly to describe the topic of this article, while the former tends overwhelmingly to describe a different topic that probably merits its own article, but isn't currently the main topic of this article. Hijiri 88 (やや) 08:44, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

If you pick and choose rather random-sounding sources, you can't be astonished at the rather random-looking results. I'd say that the survey above is also invalidated by the fact that it's restricted to random selections from the present decade that can be viewed on-line. A better way to judge the usage of the terms is with an n-gram search for all available English-language books over an extended period. I searched for "Latin alphabet" and "Roman alphabet" (not case-sensitive) in all English-language books available for search from 1800 to 2000, the latest searchable date (which has the advantage of excluding things like Wikipedia mirrors, blogs, and self-published novels on the internet, while including most of the style and grammar guides that would have been used in our schools. You can see the results here.

The results are that the phrase "Roman alphabet" was the more common phrase from 1800 to 1866, typically occurring about twice as often as "Latin alphabet" in published English-language works, except for a brief period around 1830, when the two phrases were being used at nearly the same rate. However, since 1867, both terms have been used at nearly equal rates, with a slight edge for "Latin alphabet" since 1930. I don't believe one can credibly argue that the popularity of the phrase "Latin alphabet" in English-language sources is due to books or articles discussing Latin; there simply can't be that many as a percentage of works describing or discussing the alphabet as a whole. A much higher percentage of the English-speaking population studied Latin and Roman history in the nineteenth century than in the twentieth; if the the occurrence of "Latin alphabet" were tied primarily to discussions of Latin, then we would see precisely the opposite trend.

What this shows is that the two phrases are indeed synonymous, and have been for a very long time. Given that this article title has also been stable and acceptable for a very long time, I can see no significant advantage to changing it, but a great risk of imposing one viewpoint on many editors (not to mention readers) who don't share that viewpoint. P Aculeius (talk) 14:33, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

Again, you're making the flawed assumption that the two terms are synonymous. The fact is that "Latin alphabet" is a less common name for the subject of our article, but a more common name for a different subject. Your n-gram neglects the fact that there are two different meanings and each name is more likely to refer to one than the other. The difference between 1985-2000 results is small enough that it could indeed be explained by the number of books in English about ancient Rome, Latin grammar and so on. The post-2000 results are so close as to make this point obvious. Hijiri 88 (やや) 21:15, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
By the way -- I'm not arguing that "Roman alphabet" is the COMMONNAME; I'm not an idiot. I am saying the two terms are roughly equally common to describe the topic of this article, but the current title also has a different meaning that is not shared by the proposed title, i.e., the name should be changed per WP:PRECISE. Hijiri 88 (やや) 21:26, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
And I just noticed that if we play around with the ngrams a bit, we discover that a significant proportion (10<%) of results for "roman alphabet" do not use the upper-case "R" because they are describing the writing system in "non-Roman" contexts, but the proportion of sources that do the same with "latin alphabet" is almost 0, and this has been the case since at least 1940.[1] This means that yes, indeed, the proportion of PA's results that were specifically discussing the Latin language could very well be enough that to account for the slightly higher number of "Latin alphabet" sources, and if we add the "latin" results to the "Latin" results and the "roman" results to the "Roman" results we would easily make up the tiny difference in PA's initial results. I'm going to look for more concrete sources since I actually don't think playing around with ngram results is helpful when the differences are, largely, insignificant, but I'm just noting this here to demonstrate that point. Hijiri 88 (やや) 00:32, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
  • For the record, I am aware this RM is not going to go my way, but my opinion on this matter has not changed. I don't think it is appropriate that all three of the "oppose" !votes are based on WP:COMMONNAME and the slightly larger number of sources that may or may not say "Latin alphabet", when my original RM rationale was WP:PRECISE and this has been roundly ignored. The ngrams in support of the "oppose" view are not convincing for the reasons I outlined. Since I know this is not going to pass at this point, I am removing myself from this discussion and my "support" !vote can be taken as withdrawn. I'm not going to strike it, since my original rationale still stands, and I am not sure if an open RM can be formally withdrawn anyway. I just couldn't be bothered arguing over this anymore. (I was planning on doing a thorough source check like I did on the Empress Jingū RM some years back, but other stuff, some of it off-wiki, got in my way, and I no longer think it's worth the effort given how unlikely it is to convince anyone.) Hijiri 88 (やや) 07:26, 11 March 2017 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.