The Kirumb alphabet as used today has 27[confirmation needed] letters. It originally developed from Semitic scripts, and has borrowed several letters from Greek. It is written from left to right.
It was used to write Kirumb and Âdlantki, and is still used to write Atlantic. The descendants of Kirumb that developed in central Europe abandoned the native script, and their modern representatives now use the Latin alphabet instead.
There are two forms of each letter, though the script is not written in mixed case; the newer forms[name?] are used to write ordinary text, while the older forms[name?] are used in restricted contexts[which?].
The inventory of signs has changed over time, and in the early period varied from author to author. The most usual Kirumb alphabet is given below, with the Kirumb names of the letters and their transliterations.
|The Kirumb Alphabet|
Some non-standard letters of the Kirumb period:
- The Greek eta Η (transliterated é), used in Greek loanwords. This was normally spelled and pronounced with iód. This later became a standard sign in Âdlantki, and is thus sometimes given as a usual sign in Kirumb, named éta and sorted between vá and jaiŋ.
- The Greek xi Ξ (transliterated ks).
- The Greek tau Τ, used for /t/ by writers who preferred to use tit for the Greek theta (with which it was identical). In these cases, tit is to be transliterated th.
- The Greek psi Ψ (transliterated ps).
- The Greek digamma Ϝ (transliterated v).
- A jaiŋ-šiŋ ligature[name?] (transliterated ž) which probably represented a dialectal /ʒ/.
The letter śádí does not correspond to any phoneme in standard Kirumb. Dialects that used śádí consistently used it for the sound resulting from Proto-Indo-European *ḱ, *s before *w, and sometimes *s before *y; the former two became s in standard Kirumb, and the latter š. Outside of these dialects, śádí was understood and sometimes used as a random variant of simkat and šín. In later times śádí came to represent the palatal /ç/ borrowed from Drake, and tit-śádí is used to represent the Spanish ch.