Skip to content

International Association of Young Linguists

Narrow screen resolution Wide screen resolution Increase font size Decrease font size Default font size default color black color cyan color green color red color
Alphabet PDF Print
User Rating: / 2
PoorBest 
Contributed by Mohammad Shadmani   
Monday, 23 July 2007
Article Index
Alphabet
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7

VI  ADOPTION OF NEW ALPHABETS

Adoption of a foreign alphabet has occurred many times in history. Generally, political domination or the necessity of a common writing system for purposes of commerce has been responsible for adoption of new alphabets. The rapid spread of Greek, Latin, and Arabic is traceable to such causes. In a few instances, new alphabets have been adopted at least partially for reasons of reform. In the most dramatic instance, Turkish, which had been written in Arabic script until 1928, was converted to a Roman alphabet under the orders of Turkey’s president at the time, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Atatürk’s desire to modernize and Westernize Turkey entered into the decision to adopt Roman script, but he also wished to provide an alphabet more suitable to the Turkish language and more easily learned than Arabic.

Other languages that have changed alphabets include Mongolian, which converted to Cyrillic in 1939, and Vietnamese, which has officially used the Roman alphabet since 1910, in place of an alphabet based on Chinese characters. The Roman alphabet for writing Vietnamese was devised by French and Portuguese Jesuit missionaries in the 17th century and was used along with the Chinese alphabet for many years. In both cases a number of modifications were made in the borrowed alphabet in order to make it useful and accurate. Vietnamese, for example, uses accented forms, such as à, to denote tones.

Adoption of a completely new alphabet, for a people who already have one, is a relatively recent idea. Although many have been invented and proposed for purposes of reform, none has yet been adopted. British playwright George Bernard Shaw maintained that a new alphabet should be adopted and left money in his will to develop one. The resulting alphabet of 48 letters (24 vowels and 24 consonants) was published in 1962. Although phonetically accurate, it was so totally different from accustomed writing that it was never adopted. Other efforts have been made to alter English writing for the purpose of helping children and adults who cannot read learn to read, before exposing them to the irregularities of English spelling.

 

Trackback(0)
Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
quote
bold
italicize
underline
strike
url
image
quote
quote
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley

security code
Write the displayed characters


busy

Related Items:



 
Tag it:
Delicious
Furl it!
Spurl
digg
Blinkbits
BlinkList
blogmarks
co.mments
connotea
De.lirio.us
digg
Fark
feedmelinks
LinkaGoGo
Ma.gnolia
Netvouz
NewsVine
RawSugar
Reddit
Shadows
Simpy
Smarking
TailRank
Wists
YahooMyWeb
< Prev   Next >

User Menu






Lost Password?

Statistics

Members: 645
Articles: 27
Web Links: 25

Who's Online

Other Languages

Syndicate