THE ALPHABET

LODWIN PEREZ
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THE ALPHABET
1 An alphabet is a set of letters or symbols used to write languages. In an alphabet, letters represent the sounds within the spoken language. A "true alphabet" has both vowels (a sound pronounced with an open vocal tract) and consonants (where there is closure of the vocal tract). Alphabets usually contain their letters in a specific order. This makes them useful for ordering written information (collation) by allowing us to sort words in alphabetical order. It also lets us use letters as a alternative to numerical ordering systems.
2 The history of the alphabet started in ancient Egypt. By the 27th century BC Egyptian writing had a set of some 24 hieroglyphs that are called uniliterals, to represent syllables that begin with a single consonant of their language, plus a vowel (or no vowel) to be supplied by the native speaker. These glyphs were used as pronunciation guides for logograms, to write grammatical inflections, and, later, to transcribe loan words and foreign names
3 The basic ordering of the Latin alphabet (A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z), which is derived from the Northwest Semitic "Abgad" order,[21] is well established, although languages using this alphabet have different conventions for their treatment of modified letters (such as the French é, à, and ô) and of certain combinations of letters (multigraphs).
3.1 The pronunciation of a language often evolves independently of its writing system, and writing systems have been borrowed for languages they were not designed for, so the degree to which letters of an alphabet correspond to phonemes of a language varies greatly from one language to another and even within a single language.
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