- Old Uyghur alphabet
Old Uyghur alphabet Type Abjad/Alphabet Languages Uighur Time period ca.700s AD – 1800s AD Parent systems Child systems Mongolian
Note: This page may contain IPA phonetic symbols.
The Old Uyghur alphabet was used for writing the Old Uyghur language, a variety of Old Turkic spoken in the Tarim basin, which is an ancestor of the modern Uyghur language. It was descendant of the Sogdian alphabet, used for texts with Buddhist, Manichaean and Christian content for 700–800 years in Uyghurstan. The last known manuscripts are dated to the 18th century. This was the prototype for the Mongolian and Manchu alphabets.
Like Sogdian writing but to an even greater extent, Old Uyghur writing tended to express with matres lectionis not only the long vowels but also the short ones. In fact, the practice of leaving short vowels unrepresented was almost completely abandoned in Uyghur. Thus, while ultimately deriving from a Semitic abjad, the Uyghur script can be said to have been largely "alphabetized".
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