Monthly Archives: February 2011

Old Uyghur — 700 AD, China

The Old Uyghur script descended from the “Uyghur” version of the Sogdian script, and was used from around 700 AD to around 1700 AD.  Woodblock printing and movable type printing was developed by Uyghurs in around 1250, around 200 years … Continue reading

Posted in Alphabet, Rating: 5 "Whoa!!" | 2 Comments

Sogdian — 200 AD, Uzbekistan

Sogdiana was an important nation on the Silk Road in Central Asia from around 400 BC to 1000 AD.  Sogdian traders went far and wide as merchants, similar to the Phoenicians; like the Phoenicians, they spread their language and their … Continue reading

Posted in Abjad, Alphabet, probably first in its area, Rating: 4 "Huh, interesting!" | 2 Comments

Old Nubian — 700 AD, Sudan

Old Nubian script started around 700 BC in Sudan, but it wasn’t common (especially at first).  Most official and/or formal writing was in Greek or Coptic for quite some time. Old Nubian script is mostly Coptic, but with three additional … Continue reading

Posted in Alphabet, Rating: 4 "Huh, interesting!" | Leave a comment

Coptic — 150 BC or 300 AD, Egypt

Coptic is an alphabet which was and is used to write Egyptian.  Around 150 BC, Egyptians were writing Egyptian using the Greek script, occasionally with some Demotic characters for sounds that weren’t in Greek.  By around 300 AD, they had … Continue reading

Posted in Alphabet, Rating: 4 "Huh, interesting!" | 1 Comment

Meroitic — 150 BC, Sudan

The two Meroitic scripts seems like the bastard love children of Egyptian (one from the hieroglyphic, one from the Demotic) and Old Persian, and Old Persian was a bit of a bastard love-child itself. The script is sort of an … Continue reading

Posted in Abjad, Alphabet, Rating: 4 "Huh, interesting!", Syllabaries | 1 Comment

Demotic — 650 BC, Egypt

Demotic was significant in the history of language understanding, as it was one of the three scripts on the Rosetta Stone (along with Greek script and Egyptian hieroglyphics).  However, it is really only a font difference from hieratic (or hieroglyphics). … Continue reading

Posted in Abjad, Evolved slowly from parent, government-mandated, Logograms, Rating: 2 "Not all that interesting" | 1 Comment

Pahlavi — 150 BC, Iran

As a result of Alexander the Great tromping through Central Asia, Greek deposed Imperial Aramaic as the official language of the region.  However, although Alexander might have been great, didn’t have much staying power: he died at age 32.  His … Continue reading

Posted in Abjad, Evolved slowly from parent, Rating: 3 "I did not know that", stupid | 3 Comments

Syriac — 200 BC? 6 AD?, Syria

There are wildly different starting dates given for Syriac, a script descended from Aramaic and used, over time, to write several different languages.  I believe this has to do with Syriac script evolving slowly into a distinct script, Syriac spoken … Continue reading

Posted in Abjad, Evolved slowly from parent, Rating: 4 "Huh, interesting!" | 1 Comment

Hebrew — 300 BC, Israel

Hebrew is a difficult writing system to shoehorn into this blog format.  For starters, when did the Hebrew script come into existence?  Unlike Cree and Cherokee, which had very distinct release dates, the Hebrew script evolved over thousands of years.  … Continue reading

Posted in Abjad, Rating: 4 "Huh, interesting!" | 2 Comments

Cree — ~1840 AD, Canada

Missionary James Evans developed a romanization for the Ojibwe language in around 1830 AD, but found that Ojibwe students had difficulty switching between the two very different mappings of Latin characters to pronunciation.  Inspired by the stunning success of Cherokee … Continue reading

Posted in Abugida, inventor known, Rating: 5 "Whoa!!", Syllabaries | 3 Comments