GK Question “First Of All Who Thought Of The Alphabets?” general knowledge book English 2021 current affairs quiz and answers for class 7, 8, 9, 10, 12

First Of All Who Thought Of The Alphabets?

The letters of an alphabet really look sound signs. The English alpha-bets are based on Roman alphabets. These are about 2500 years old. The capital letters, we have, are almost like those used in Roman inscriptions of the third century B.C.

Before the invention of alphabets people used pictures to record events or for the communication of ideas. A picture of several antelopes might mean “Here are good hunting grounds”. This was really a form of writing. The picture writing was developed by Babylonians, Egyptians and Chinese.

With the passage of time, the picture underwent a change. Instead of standing for the object, the picture was drawn to represent an idea. The picture of a foot might represent a. verb ‘to walk’. This stage of writing is called “ideographic” or “idea writing”.

There was one difficulty with this kind of writing. The messages might be interpreted by different people iii different ways. This method was changed slowly. The representation of sounds was taken through symbols. If the word for ‘arm’ was ‘id’, the picture of an arm would stand for the sound of ‘id’. Accordingly, the picture of arm, every time was used to convey the sound ‘id’. This stage of writing might be called ‘syllabic writing’.

The Babylonians and Chinese and Egyptians never passed beyond this stage of writing. The Egyptians did make a kind of alphabet by including 24 signs, among their pictures. These signs stood for separate letters or words of one consonant each, but without realising the valve of their invention.

People living near the eastern shore of the Mediterranean, about 3500 years ago made a strong leap forward, leading to our alphabets. They thought, the same signs could be used for same sound in all cases. Thus they used a limited number of signs in this manner and these signs made up an alphabet.

Hebrews and later the Phoenicians used a development of their alphabet the Phoenicians carried their alphabets to the Greeks. The Romans adopted the Greek alphabets with slight changes. With certain additions they handed down to the people of western Europe in the Latin alphabets. From this were derived the alphabets we use.

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