We complete our look at the first Old English alphabet by exploring the remaining letters of the original alphabet. The north-south divide resulted in distinct letters and different spelling conventions. But over time, these differences blended together. Once again, we examine how these initial spelling rules impacted Modern English spellings.
As the sounds of English evolved in the 7th century, the first English scribes began to write the language with the Roman alphabet. But the English scribes had to invent ways to represent the unique sounds of Old English. In this episode, we explore the first English alphabet and the lingering effect of that alphabet on modern English spellings.
Kevin discusses the new History of the Alphabet series. An excerpt from the series is included. The history of the ‘constant consonants’ (B,D,L,M,N,P,R,T) is explored.
The first Indo-Europeans settle into Italy, but they encounter an existing civilization known as the Etruscans. The Etruscans borrow the alphabet from the Greeks, and soon pass it on to the Romans. Our modern alphabet finally begins to emerge.
Mycenaean Greek writing disappears during the Greek Dark Age, but the Greeks encounter the Phoenicians and adopt their alphabet. The Greek alphabet results in the spread of literacy. Modern English words from this period of Greek history are examined.
A look at the early division of the Indo-European languages into the Centum and Satem languages. The sound shift which marks the division of the Centum and Satem languages is then explored in the context of the modern English letter ‘C’. The history of the letter C is presented from its Greek origins to its modern usage.