The Origin and Evolution of the English Alphabet

The Origin and Evolution of the English Alphabet

The Evolution of the English Alphabet Chart shows how over the last 4000 years the English alphabet along with at least 13 other major alphabets has evolved (or rather mutated) out of the Ancient Hebrew alphabet. The harmony in graphology (shape) of the letters of the alphabets is strikingly similar from alphabet to alphabet.

Etruscan writing

1) Three English letters have been moved between rows in the final column because they were wrongly in rows based upon transcriptional (sound) not transliteral (shape and historical) correlation. The latter correlation of these letters is discussed in my detailed introduction to the chart called, “Development of the Alphabet Chart” further down the page. The letters that have moved are:

a) Y—this has been moved from the hand and arm pictograph (ID [Modern Jewish Hebrew (MJH) yod]) row to the tent peg (UU [MJH waw]) pictograph row. (A pictograph is a pictorial sign or symbol: normally a picture-letter.)

b) C—this has been moved from the open palm of hand pictograph (KaP [MJH kaph]) row to the foot pictograph (GaM [MJH gimel]) row.

c) F—this has been moved from the open mouth pictograph (PA [MJH pe]) row to the tent peg pictograph (UU [MJH waw]) row.

2) Two Old and Middle English letters have been added to the final column:

a) ð—this has been added in the final column as the best English transliteration for the basket pictograph THaTH [the equivalent of MJH teth]. This is because this letter is an Old English (mid 5th C to mid 12th C) and Middle English (late 11th C to about 1470) letter, with the same sound as THaTH which was TH.

b) ∫— this has been added in the final column as the best English transliteration for the two front teeth pictograph SHaN [the equivalent of MJH shin]. This is because this letter is an Old English (mid 5th C to mid 12th C) and Middle English (late 11th C to about 1470) letter, with the same sound as SHaN which was SH.

3) The English letter S has been removed from the two front teeth pictograph (SHaN [MJH shin]) row because of amendment 2) b) (just above); also there is already one row (for the destination and pathway pictograph [TSaD (MJH tsadi)]) that has S as the best English transliteration. One English letter cannot be the best transliteration for more than one Ancient Hebrew pictograph.

4) The transcription TS has been removed from the destination and pathway pictograph (TSaD [MJH tsadi]) row because this chart is transliteral not transcriptional: for the exception of the “TH” and “SH” transcriptions of the letters ð and ∫ respectively—which demand a transcription due to these two letters not being very well known.

5) The written descriptions in the second column of the Ancient Hebrew pictographs now match the “Picture Descriptions” in my Ancient Hebrew Alphabet Chart: except for the letter TSaD (equivalent to tsadi in MJH) that has the description “destination and pathway” in this (Evolutionary) chart when it only has the description of “destination and path” in the other chart (due to space constraints). The longer description is more accurate.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Tx7NxYG5Vw?rel=0&showinfo=0&w=560&h=315]