History of the alphabet  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The history of the alphabet is believed to have begun in Ancient Egypt, more than a millennium into the history of writing. The first consonantal alphabet found has emerged around 2000 BCE to represent the language of Semitic workers in Egypt (see Middle Bronze Age alphabets), and was derived from the alphabetic principles of the Egyptian hieroglyphs. Nearly all alphabets in the world today either descend directly from this development or were inspired by its design.

The most widely used alphabet is the Latin alphabet. It derives from the Greek, the first script to consistently assign letters to both consonants and vowels, which in turn was derived from the Phoenician alphabet (it was an abjad - a system where each symbol usually stands for a consonant).

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "History of the alphabet" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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