Latin script

Modern Latin alphabet

The modern Latin alphabet consists of 52 letters, including both upper and lower case, plus 10 numerals, punctuation marks and a variety of other symbols such as &, % and @. Many languages add a variety of accents to the basic letters, and a few also use extra letters and ligatures.

The lowercase letters developed from cursive versions of the uppercase letters.

Uppercase 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

Lowercase 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

Accented letters & special characters

Many languages supplement the basic Latin alphabet with a variety of accented letters:

These accented letters can have a number of different functions:

  • Modifying the pronunciation of a letter
  • Indicating where the stress should fall in a word
  • Indicating emphasis in a sentence
  • Indicating pitch or intonation of a word or syllable
  • Indicating vowel length
  • Visually distinguishing homophones

Some extra letters

Eth, Thorn, Yogh and Wynn were used in Old English; Eth and Thorn are also used in Icelandic; the dotless i is used in Turkish, and the schwa is used in Azeri. The other letters are used in various other languages, particularly those spoken in West Africa.

Ligatures (two or three letters joined together)

These are used in a number of languages including French, German, Icelandic, Croatian and Dutch:

Additional Info

Categories: Scripts
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