Africa Alphabet

The Africa Alphabet (also International African Alphabet or IAI alphabet) was developed by the International Institute of African Languages and Cultures in 1928, with the help of some Africans led by Diedrich Hermann Westermann, who served as director of the organization from 1926 until 1939. Meanwhile, the aim of the International Institute of African Languages and Cultures, later known as International African Institute (IAI), was to enable people to write all the African languages for practical and scientific purposes without the need of diacritics. It is based on the International Phonetic Alphabet with a few differences, such as j and y, which instead have the same (consonant) sound values as in English. This alphabet has influenced development of orthographies of many African languages (serving "as the basis for the transcription" of about 60, by one count), but not all, and discussions of harmonization of systems of transcription that led to, among other things, adoption of the African reference alphabet. The African Alphabet was used, with the International Phonetic Alphabet, as a basis for the World Orthography.


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