Script Families

Many scripts are known to have or thought to have developed from other scripts, and they can be grouped into families that share common ancestors. Here are the writings systems on Omniglot arranged in their script families

Script families


Writing systems: Abjads | Alphabets | Abugidas | Syllabaries | Semanto-phonetic scripts | Undeciphered scripts | Alternative scripts | Constructed scripts | Fictional scripts | Magical scripts | Index (A-Z) | Index (by direction) | Index (by language) | Index (by continent) | What is writing? | Types of writing system | Differences between writing and speech | Language and Writing Statistics | Languages


Cunieform scripts

Sumerian Cuneiform was invented in southern Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) in about 3,500 BC. It was the oldest known writing system that has been deciphered. It was adapated to write other languages of Mesopotamia and nearby places, and other scripts were modelled on it.

Cuneiform scripts
Akkadian Cuneiform, Elamite scripts, Sumerian Cuneiform
Scripts based on Cuneiform
Old Persian Cuneiform, Ugaritic

More information about Cuneiform
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuneiform

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Ancient Egyptian

Hieroglyphic writing first appeared in ancient Egypt in about 3,200 BC and was used until the 4th century AD. The Hieratic script, a cursive version of the Hieroglyphic script, developed about the same time, and an even more cursive script, Demotic, appeared in about 650 BC. The Proto-Sinaitic script was modelled on the Hieroglyphic and Hieratic scripts, and many other scripts developed from or were based on it.

Scripts based on these scripts
Blackfoot, Cree, Inuktitut, Ojibwe

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Chinese scripts

Chinese scripts developed from the Chinese Oracle Bone script, which dates from about 1,250 BC, or were modelled on descendents of that script. Much older writing has been found in China, however it has not been deciphered and it is not known if it is related to the later scripts.

Sinitic scripts
Chinese Hanzi, Chinese Hanzi (Simplified), Chinese Oracle Bone Script, Chữ-nôm, Japanese Hiragana, Japanese Kanji, Japanese Katakana, Jurchen, Khitan, Nüshu, Xixia (Tangut), Zhuang (話僮 / Sawndip), Zhùyīn Fúhào (Bopomofo)
Scripts based on Sinitic scripts
Naxi Geba, Sui, Yi

More information about Chinese scripts
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_family_of_scripts

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Mesoamerican scripts

These scripts developed in Mesoamerica and date back to at least 900 BC, and possibly much earlier. It is not known if they developed from each other, or were modelled on each other.

Mesoamerica
Mayan

More information about Mesoamerican writing systems
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesoamerican_writing_systems

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Scripts of Unknown Origin

The origins of the writing systems in this section are not known or are uncertain.

Luwian Hieroglyphs, Naxi,

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Scripts created for particular languages

These scripts were invented to write particular languages. They may be based on or inspired by other writing systems

A-chik Tokbirim, Adinkra, ADLaM, Afaka, Aima, Arleng, Avoiuli, Bagatha, Balti-B, Bamum, Hangeul (Korean),

Writing systems: Abjads | Alphabets | Abugidas | Syllabaries | Semanto-phonetic scripts | Undeciphered scripts | Alternative scripts | Constructed scripts | Fictional scripts | Magical scripts | Index (A-Z) | Index (by direction) | Index (by language) | Index (by continent) | What is writing? | Types of writing system | Differences between writing and speech | Language and Writing Statistics | Languages

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