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 Georgian (Mkhedruli)

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Silver Wind
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PostSubject: Georgian (Mkhedruli)   Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:13 am

The Mkhedruli alphabet developed from an older Georgian alphabet known as Nuskha-khucuri between the 11th and 13th centuries. The name Mkhedruli comes from the word mkhedari which means 'of horseman'. The Nuskha-khucuri alphabet developed from the Asomtavruli alphabet.

At first Mkhedruli was used only for secular writing, while for religious writings a mixture of the two older alphabets was used. Eventually Nuskha-khucuri became the main alphabet for religious texts and Asomtavruli was used only for titles and for the first letters of sentences. This system of mixing the two alphabets was known as khucesi (priest) writing.

Eventually the two older alphabets fell out of use and Mkhedruli became the sole alphabet used to write Georgian. However, in the writings of a linguist called Akaki Shanidze (1887-1987) and in works written in his honour, letters from the Asomtavruli alphabet are used to mark proper names and the beginning of sentences. Shanidze's attempt to popularise such usage met with little success.

The first printed material in the Georgian language, in the Mkhedruli alphabet, was published in 1669. Since then the alphabet has changed very little, though a few letters were added by Anton I in the 18th century, and 5 letters were dropped in the 1860s when Ilia Chavchavadze introduced a number of reforms.


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http://www.ancientscripts.com/images/georgian.gif

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