Category Archives: Evolved slowly from parent

Younger Futhark — 800 AD, Scandinavia

Elder Futhark evolved into Younger Futhark, with the transition happening between 650 AD and 800 AD.  Younger Futhark was most different from Elder Futhark in the number of characters: Younger Futhark had only two-thirds as many letters as Elder Futhark.  … Continue reading

Posted in Alphabet, Evolved slowly from parent, Rating: 4 "Huh, interesting!" | Leave a comment

Malayalam — ~830 AD? ~1600 AD, India

The Malayalam script is used in Kerala, the southernmost province on India’s western shore.  Kerala has been a destination for trade and travellers for thousands of years; Kerala is the easternmost point on the only surviving map of the Roman … Continue reading

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

Grantha — 500 AD, India

Around 500 AD, the Tamil people of Southern Inda started using Grantha, a slightly different form of the Brahmi alphabet, to write Sanskrit (the language of sacred Hindu texts), while still continuing to use Vatteluttu to write representations of the … Continue reading

Posted in Abugida, Evolved slowly from parent, now ceremonial, previous script didn't quite work, Rating: 4 "Huh, interesting!" | 4 Comments

Idu — 1390? AD, Korea

As in Japan, Koreans first started writing with Chinese script, but Chinese script didn’t work well to write Korean for similar reasons that it didn’t work well for Japanese.  (Japanese and Korean are syntactically very similar.) One thing the Koreans … Continue reading

Posted in Evolved slowly from parent, Logograms, Rating: 4 "Huh, interesting!", Syllabaries | 3 Comments

Kanji — 600? AD, Japan

Kanji — the Japanese adaption of Chinese script — was the first script used to write Japanese.  Kanji is very very similar to Chinese script, but unsurprisingly, the two scripts have diverged over the course of fourteen hundred years (or … Continue reading

Posted in Evolved slowly from parent, Logograms, Rating: 4 "Huh, interesting!" | Leave a 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

South Arabian — 800 BC, Yemen

Proto-Sinaitic split into two branches: a northern one which spawned almost all the writing systems of the modern world, and a southern one that did not.  Perhaps it is fairer to say that one branch of the script went to … Continue reading

Posted in Abjad, Evolved slowly from parent, Rating: 3 "I did not know that" | Leave a comment

Hieratic — 3200 BC, Egypt

Hieratic was a version of Egyptian hieroglyphics that developed in parallel with hieroglyphics. While the question of “is it a writing system or isn’t it?” has come up several times already in these postings, hieratic is interesting because it brings … Continue reading

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