Wikipedia:Naming conventions (writing systems)

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Names of articles on writing systems typically consist of a proper or other identifying name combined with a broad typological specification of the script, such as 'script', 'alphabet', or 'syllabary', or of the element of the writing system, such as 'letter' or 'type'. The specifying element is not always necessary. Magical alphabets, ciphers, and other special purpose writing systems may deviate from these guidelines.


The term 'script' is used with four meanings:

  1. A general segmental writing system, as opposed to the alphabets based on it:
  2. In the plural for a family or geographic group of such scripts. 'Writing systems' conveys the same idea:
  3. A calligraphic style. In many cases 'hand' may be used instead, and may this avoid confusion with other uses of the term 'script':
  4. A non-segmental writing system, especially one which is logographic, mixed, or of unknown character:


'Alphabet' is used for language-specific adaptations of a segmental script, usually with a defined sorting order and sometimes with not all of the letters, or with additional letters:

The terms abjad and abugida, though often used in the text, are considered jargon and inappropriate for a title.


For true syllabaries:


Where an unambiguous conventional name exists, 'script', 'alphabet', or 'syllabary' may not be necessary:

Note: "hieroglyphics" is deprecated.

Exceptions may also occur where a different technical term is widely used:


Modifiers may be used for subtypes or other cases of disambiguation:

Glyphs and other elements[edit]

Names should include some indication that the article concerns a glyph and not a word.

See also[edit]