This chapter addresses some of the most important issues in the development and nature of Romance writing systems. It covers evidence for Romance phonology in subliterary and/or late Latin orthography (cf. also Wright’s work on reading Latin as Romance); emergence of major area-specific innovations, along the diachronic and synchronic axes, in adapting Latinate orthography to represent the expanded segmental inventories of Romance; rise and fall of diacritic conventions; phonemic, allophonic and diasystemic representations; competing orthographic traditions, and alphabets; stability, spelling reforms, and the role of academies; emergent and unstable systems. Specific topics dealt with include: Latin alphabet; late Latin and early Romance; two-norm hypotheses; single-norm hypothesis; logographic Latin; textual zones for developing Romance; selecting representational conventions; Romance diacritic conventions; Romance writing in other scripts; Judaeo-Spanish; aljamía; Romanian and Moldovan; Romance written with the Greek alphabet; levels of written representation; developing written traditions; stability, reform and regulation; regulatory bodies; spelling reform.
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