Germanic Alphabets

In: English and Literature

Submitted By ann202520
Words 526
Pages 3
Germanic Alphabets
The Old English language inherited the sound system of the common Germanic language. The 1st written monuments which survived to our days were written in 3 types of alphabets.
One of them is Runic Alphabet.
The runic alphabet is a specifically Germanic alphabet, not to be found in languages of other groups. The word rune originally meant ’secret’, ‘mystery’ and hence came to denote inscriptions believed to be magic. The runes were used as letters, each symbol to indicate separate sound. This alphabet is called futhark after the first six letters. Runic letters are angular; straight lines are preferred, curved lines avoided; this is due to the fact that runic inscriptions were cut in hard material: stone, bone or wood. The shapes of some letters resemble those of Greek or Latin, other have not been traced to any known alphabet, and the order of the runes in the alphabet is certainly original. The number of runes in different OG languages varied. As compared to continental, the number of runes in England was larger: new runes were added as new sounds appeared in English (from 28 to 33 runes in Britain against 16 or 24 on the continent). The main use of runes was to make short inscriptions on objects, often to bestow on them some special power or magic. The two best known runic inscriptions in England are the earliest extant OE written records. One of them is and inscription on a box called the “Franks Casket”, the other is a short text on a stone cross near the village of Ruthwell known as the “Ruthwell Cross”.
The second is Latin
The earliest known inscriptions in the Latin alphabet date from the 6th century BC. It was adapted from the Etruscan alphabet during the 7th century BC. The letters Y and Z were taken from the Greek alphabet to write Greek loan words. Other letters were added from time to time as the Latin alphabet was adapted for…...

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