The Sogdian alphabet is derived from Syriac, the descendant script of Aramaic alphabet.
It is occasionally known as the sutra script, was similar to the script of the Ancient Letters used in writing on papyri. Many Buddhist, Manichee, Nestorian, and Zoroastrian texts as well as all secular material such as letters, legal documents, coin legends, and inscriptions were written in this script. Sogdian was written either in horizontal and sometimes in vertical direction, the latter probably under chinese influence, but with first vertical line starting from the left side, not from the right one as in Chinese, most probably because right-to-left direction was used in horizontal writing. Mongolian alphabet proper still uses this kind of vertical writing, introduced by Sogdians.
Last updated: 09-12-2005 02:39:13