Adventure letters worldwide. "A": from bull to God

The only sound that is in all the well-known languages ​​of the world – [A]. In the Abkhaz sound sounds, only three: [a], [s] and difthong [aa], and the consonants – 57, and this is only in the literary version, in dialects even more. And in extinct Uburysky, a relative of Abkhaz, there were two vowels: long and brief [a]. Yes, what to say, if a baby with any skin color in any corner of the earth, born, first of all pronounces this sound? Naturally, in all languages ​​that have writing, there is also their own letter for this sound. How did she appear?

About how it all started

The fame of the creation of letters number 1 belongs to the Phoenicians. In fact, his writing, in particular the Literon "A", most likely, did not inven. Phoenicians were the people of navigators and merchants, they tried to grab the most running goods from local producers to then spread it across the world famous world. So happened and with letters.

Bright idea to record every sound with a special sign (what is called "phonetic letter") came to an unknown resident of the Middle East. Scientists have not yet decided even about what kind of tribes we are obliged to this innovation. But they could use hieroglyphs, like all normal ancient Egyptian or Chinese people.

The letter "Alp", as it was roughly called the Phoenician, looked like a tilted on the left side "A" and indicated, most likely, a gentle bow – a deaf guttural explosive consonant sound. In Russian, we pronounce something similar in the spoken interomotion "not-a", as if slightly rushing the throat.

In Greek, there were no gastal bones. But the letter, brought by Phoenic Muses, was beautiful, and should somehow adapt it to the farm. Invented that "alpha" (so provincials from the shores of the Aegean Sea distorted the word "alp") will mean sound [a]. Ellina also decided that the "bull" would look much more aesthetic if put it on the "horns". So the letter has acquired a modern appearance.

In this form, it was adopted by Etrusks, and then the Romans. However, at the Romans during the infancy of their civilization, the small motor was developed badly, so "and" they sometimes wrote like this:

During the heyday of the Empire, Romans loved the inscription "A" without crossbar – λ. With this option, oddly enough, the appearance of usual "A". How this happened, tells the head of the school of historical calligraphy, candidate of philological sciences Andrei Sannikov.

"And in Russian

Complex relationships with letters in general and with "A" in particular were the Slavs. Before the Greek-speaking, Byzantium was the task of baptize (and at the same time to make more civilized and consolidate in their field of influence) of wild northern barbarians. To do this, it was necessary to give them writing. But in the language of Slavs, there were so many barbaric sounds that the gentle Greek alphabet seemed to them did not fit. Therefore, Constantinople diluted the scientists of Kirill’s monks and Methodius to create a special alphabet for restless neighbors.

Serbian writer Milorad Pavice compared the creation of a Slavic alphabet with an attempt to carry a jug through a window with a grid: it needs to be broken, transfer each shard separately, and then glue the clay shards. "The same, they [Cyril and Methodius] were made with the Slavic language – broke it into pieces, moved them through the Cyrillic grille into their mouths and glued the fragments of their own saliva and Greek clay under their feet. "

Before the distribution of Arab numbers, the letters replaced many nations the designation of the number. The Slavs "A" passed the unit. The number from letters distinguished title: a wavy dash above the sign – as well as two points on the sides: · · ·

In fact, in Russia, as you know, I was not Cyrillic, but the verbs. Monks pursuing primarily a missionary goal, endowed the alphabet created by them with such a name (from the Old Slavonic "verb" – "Word") with religious meanings. Saving the order of Greek letters, for each of them they created a new symbol. The first letter ⰰ, denoted by [A], in shape resembled the cross. Why happened so, explains Andrei Sannikov.

The verbic letters were too intricate and uncomfortable for the letter, so this alphabet was quite quickly displaced by Cyrillic, created, probably already students of Cyril on the basis of Greek letter. Since then, we write "Normal" "A".

In other languages

The Phoenician letters became the basis for other alphabets. "Alp" in Arabic turned into an elegant vertical dash ا (called "alif", means long [A:] or a gentle bow), the type of which changes slightly depending on the location in the word. In modern Hebrew – in א ("Aleph", also sometimes denotes a gentle bow). The Armenian letter ա ("AIB" is erected to the Phoenician "Bull", transfers the sound [A]), with doubt and Georgian ა ("Ani", sound [a]).

Adventure letters worldwide.

The same tradition set "A" in the first place. There she remained in most other alphabets. Before the distribution of Arab numbers, the letters replaced many nations the designation of the number. The Slavs "A" passed the unit. The number from letters distinguished Titlo – a wavy dash above the sign – as well as two points on the sides: · · ·.

Symbol of God

Greek "Alpha" together with the last letter of the alphabet "omega" (Ω) became a symbol of God in Christianity; The appropriate expression is repeatedly found in the book of Revelation of John the Cologovo (Apocalypse), for example: "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end, says the Lord who has and was coming, Almighty" (Rev. 1: 8). That is why on icons sometimes there are symbols a and ω on the left and right of Jesus’s head.

The meaning of "God" has the ancient German Rune ᚨ (Ansus). By the way, on one of the versions, this sign from the alphabet of Vikings occurred from Latini from Latin. That is, is a distant relative of the Phoenician "Alp". In the alphabet of Vikings, Ansuz stood in a fourth place, and on the first – Rune ᚠ (Fehu), who had the meaning of "cattle": for some reason, it is necessary to start with bulls, the ancients were solidarity. Such priorities.

Children "A"

In different languages, the letter "A" indicates a variety of sounds. From [o] before Difthong [EJ]. But sometimes the standard set of alphabetic characters is not enough to transfer the entire phonetic language palette. So letters appear descendants. One of the most famous heirs "A" – ligature æ (æ), obtained, as it is easy to guess, from the compound "A" and "E". Usually this letter denotes the sound close to what is transmitted using the "I" in the word "to".

There are many options "A" with the "second floor" – diacritical symbols. For example, Å – with a circle upstairs. In antiquity to transfer a special sound in the languages ​​of Northern Europe over "A" wrote a little "O". Then these letters merged into one. Now, for example, in Swedish this hybrid is read as [O]. Similarly, it was born – with two dots, which are followed by the letter "E", wrote from above.

And these are also letters for [a] or sounds close to it in other systems of writing not related to Phoenician: in Khmerskaya – អ, in Sanskrit – अ or आ, in Bengalskaya – আ, in one of the Japanese options – あ.In the Tibetan alphabet analog "A" stands in the last place and looks like this: ཨ.

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