Alphabet timeline (brief)

See Authors note at bottom of post —-

TOPIC: Timeline of alphabets and differences. Evidence rqd.

Elder Futhark (2nd – 8th Centuries)

24 runes. 3 x 8. Used to write Proto-Norse.

f u th a r k g w
h n i j ï p z s
t b e m l ng d o (oo)

Anglo-Saxon (5th – 11th centuries)

Extended: 29-33 runes.
FuthorcThames scramasax

Vienna Codex

Ruthwell Cross

Cotton Otho

Anglo-Saxon Futhorc

“Marcomannic runes” (8th-9th centuries)

Mix of Elder Futhark with Anglo-Saxon.
It is an attempt to represent all letters
of the Latin alphabet with runic equivilents.

Younger Futhark (9th-11th centuries)
(also Scandinavian Futhark).

Reduced for of Elder. 16 characters. Corresponds with
the phonetic changes when Proto-Norse become Old Norse.Split into 2 – Long-branch (Danish) and short-twig
(Norwegian/Swedish) runes. This is due to
functionality (long for stone, short for wood).

Medieval Runes (12th-15th Centuries)

Now it has one phoneme per Old Norse one.
Now there are signs for voiceless marks
(kinda like having a silent ‘e’ like in ‘give’).
Was side by side with Latin characters.
New runes for vowel sounds.
S, c and Z used interchangably with other characters.

Dalecarlian Runes (16th-19th Centuries)

Mix of latin and runic characters from an isolated area in Sweden.
Mainly used in conjunction with Elfdalian (North Germanic language.)


A/N: This is to get my thoughts in order. From this I learnt the difference entre Younger and Elder futhark but also between Elder and Anglo-Saxon. It was interesting to read that it’s mostly phoneme based and the reasoning behind the character shapes to be determined by the materials and usage of the characters. And the amount of letters per alphabet and how it changes as the language does.