Africa Alphabet

Africa Alphabet

Infobox Writing system
name=Africa Alphabet
time=1928 -
languages=African languages
The Africa Alphabet (also International African Alphabet or IAI alphabet) was developed in 1928 under the lead of Diedrich Westermann. He developed it with a group of Africanists at the International Institute of African Languages and Cultures (later the IAI) in London. Its aim was to enable people to write all the African languages for practical and scientific purposes without diacritics.

This alphabet has influenced development of orthographies of many African languages (serving "as the basis for the transcription" of about 60, by one count [Sow, Alfa I., and Mohamed H. Abdulaziz, "Language and Social Change," Ch. 18 in Ali A. Mazrui (ed.) Africa Since 1935 (UNESCO General History of Africa, Vol. 8). University of California Press, 1993. P. 527.] ), but not all, and discussions of harmonization of systems of transcription that led to, among other things, adoption of the African reference alphabet.


ee also

*African reference alphabet
*Alphabets derived from the Latin
*Dinka alphabet
*Pan-Nigerian Alphabet
*Standard Alphabet by Lepsius
*ISO 6438



*Coulmas, Florian, "The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Writing Systems", 1996, Blackwell, Oxford
*IIACL, [ "Practical Orthography of African Languages"] , Revised Edition, London: Oxford University Press, 1930
*Sow, Alfa I., and Mohamed H. Abdulaziz, "Language and Social Change," Ch. 18 in Ali A. Mazrui (ed.) "Africa Since 1935" (UNESCO General History of Africa, Vol. 8). University of California Press, 1993.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Africa — • This name, which is of Phoenician origin, was at first given by the Romans to the territory about the city of Carthage Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Africa     Africa      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • alphabet — /al feuh bet , bit/, n. 1. the letters of a language in their customary order. 2. any system of characters or signs with which a language is written: the Greek alphabet. 3. any such system for representing the sounds of a language: the phonetic… …   Universalium

  • ALPHABET, HEBREW — The origin of alphabetic script has always been a subject of human curiosity. According to Greek mythology, script was brought to Greece from Phoenicia. This tradition was accepted by the Greek and Roman writers, some of whom developed it even… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Alphabet — [ William Caslon, letter founder; from the 1728 Cyclopaedia .] An alphabet is a standardized set of letters mdash basic written symbolsmdash each of which roughly represents a phoneme, a spoken language, either as it exists now or as it was in… …   Wikipedia

  • Alphabet phonétique international pour l'italien — Prononciation de l italien Cet article indique de quelle façon la langue italienne est transcrite avec l Alphabet phonétique international. Sommaire 1 Tables de sons 2 Remarques 3 Transcription phonétiqu …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Writing systems of Africa — The Writing Systems of Africa refer to the current and historical practice of written language on the African continent. The importance of oral culture and tradition in Africa and the recent dominance of European languages through colonialism,… …   Wikipedia

  • African reference alphabet — An African reference alphabet was first proposed in 1978 by a UNESCO organized conference held in Niamey, Niger, and the proposed alphabet was revised in 1982. The conference recommended to use single letters for a sound (actually a phoneme)… …   Wikipedia

  • Mandombe alphabet — Mandombe Type Alphabet organized into syllabic blocks …   Wikipedia

  • Standard Alphabet by Lepsius — The Standard Alphabet by Lepsius is an alphabet developed by Karl Richard Lepsius to write African languages. Published 1855 and in a revised edition (with many more languages added) in 1863. It was comprehensive but it was not used much as it… …   Wikipedia

  • Pan-Nigerian Alphabet — The Pan Nigerian Alphabet is a set of 33 Latin letters standardized by the National Language Centre of Nigeria in the 1980s. It is intended to be sufficient to write all the languages of Nigeria without using digraphs.HistorySeveral hundred… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.