Latin alphabet  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world today. It evolved from the western variety of the Greek alphabet called the Cumaean alphabet, which was borrowed and modified by the Etruscans who ruled early Rome, which alphabet was then adapted and further modified by the ancient Romans to write the Latin language.

During the Middle Ages, it was adapted to the Romance languages, the direct descendants of Latin, as well as to the Celtic, Germanic, Baltic, and some Slavic languages, and finally to most of the languages of Europe.

With the age of colonialism and Christian proselytism, the Latin alphabet was spread overseas, and applied to Indigenous American, Indigenous Australian, Austronesian, East Asian, and African languages. More recently, western linguists have also tended to prefer the Latin alphabet or the International Phonetic Alphabet (itself largely based on the Latin alphabet) when transcribing or creating written standards for non-European languages, such as the African reference alphabet.

In modern usage, the term Latin alphabet is used for any direct derivation of the alphabet first used to write Latin. These variants may discard letters from the classical Roman script (like the Rotokas alphabet) or add new characters to it, as from the Danish and Norwegian alphabet. Letter shapes have changed over the centuries, including the creation of entirely new lower case characters.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Latin 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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