Lycian alphabet

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Languages Lycian language
Time period
500-330 BC
Parent systems
Sister systems
Lydian, Phrygian
Direction Left-to-right
ISO 15924 Lyci, 202
Unicode alias

The Lycian alphabet was used to write the Lycian language. It was an extension of the Greek alphabet, with half a dozen additional letters for sounds not found in Greek. It was largely similar to the Lydian and the Phrygian alphabets.

The alphabet

The Lycian alphabet[1][2] contains letters for 29 sounds. Some sounds are represented by more than one symbol, which is considered one "letter". There are six vowel letters, one for each of the four oral vowels of Lycian, and separate letters for two of the four nasal vowels. Nine of the Lycian letters do not appear to derive from the Greek alphabet.

The Lycian alphabet
Lycian letter Transliteration Sound Notes
𐊀 a [a]
𐊂 b [β]
𐊄 g [ɣ]
𐊅 d [ð]
𐊆 i [i], [ĩ]
𐊇 w [w]
𐊈 z [ts]
𐊛 h [h]
𐊉 θ [θ]
𐊊 j or y [j]
𐊋 k [kʲ] [ɡʲ] after nasals
𐊍 l [l] and [l̩]~[əl]
𐊎 m [m]
𐊏 n [n]
𐊒 u [u], [ũ]
𐊓 p [p] [b] after nasals
𐊔 κ [k]? [kʲ]? [h(e)]
𐊕 r [r] and [r̩]~[ər]
𐊖 s [s]
𐊗 t [t] [d] after nasals. ñt is [d] as in Ñtemuχlida for Greek Dēmokleidēs.[3]
𐊁 e [e]
𐊙 ã [ã] Lusãtra for Greek Lusandros.[4]
𐊚 [ẽ]
𐊐 [m̩], [əm], [m.] originally perhaps syllabic [m], later coda [m]
𐊑 ñ [n̩], [ən], [n.] originally perhaps syllabic [n], later coda [n]
𐊘 τ [tʷ]? [tʃ]?
𐊌 q [k] [ɡ] after nasals
𐊃 β [k]? [kʷ]? voiced after nasals
𐊜 χ [q] [ɢ] after nasals


The Lycian alphabet was added to the Unicode Standard in April, 2008 with the release of version 5.1. It is encoded in Plane 1 (Supplementary Multilingual Plane).

The Unicode block for Lycian is U+10280–U+1029F:

Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+1028x 𐊀 𐊁 𐊂 𐊃 𐊄 𐊅 𐊆 𐊇 𐊈 𐊉 𐊊 𐊋 𐊌 𐊍 𐊎 𐊏
U+1029x 𐊐 𐊑 𐊒 𐊓 𐊔 𐊕 𐊖 𐊗 𐊘 𐊙 𐊚 𐊛 𐊜
1.^ As of Unicode version 8.0
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points

See also

An inscription in Lycian in example


  1. Adiego (2007) page 764.
  2. Bryce (1986) pages 56-57.
  3. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value). First page displayable no charge.
  4. Bryce (1986) page 58.


  • Adiego, I. J. (2007). "Greek and Lycian". In Christidis, A. F.; Arapopoulou, Maria; Chriti, Maria. A History of Ancient Greek From the Beginning to Late Antiquity. Chris Markham (trans.). Cambridge University press. ISBN 0-521-83307-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>. Translator Chris Markham.
  • Bryce, Trevor R. (1986). The Lycians - Volume I: The Lycians in Literary and Epigraphic Sources. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press. ISBN 87-7289-023-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Roger D. Woodard, 2007, The Ancient Languages of Asia Minor.

External links