Originally Posted by IbnAbdulHakim
For one thing there weren't as many as today. English is probably the newest of the Languages and is still undergoing considerable growth.
Languages are fascinating.
Here is a quick link to the English Language and other languages that came from Indo-European
Here is One history of the Semitic Languages.
Math followed much the same type development. the concept of the number zero and the early development of modern Math is of Arabic origin as are modern numbers.
Oddly the modern European numbers are more like the true Arabic while what is now used in Arabic is of more like the old Farsi.
al-Banna al-Marrakushi's form of the numerals
In math the symbols used today are fairly modern and of German origin. the articles in the opening post appear to be accurate..
The symbols for plus and minus
The symbols of elementary arithmetic are almost wholly algebraic, most of them being transferred to the numerical field only in the 19th century, partly to aid the printer in setting up a page and partly because of the educational fashion then dominant of demanding a written analysis for every problem. When we study the genesis and development of the algebraic symbols of operation, therefore, we include the study of the symbols in arithmetic. Some idea of the status of the latter in this respect may be obtained by looking at almost any of the textbooks of the 17th and 18th centuries. Hodder in 1672 wrote "note that a + (plus) sign doth signifie Addition, and two lines thus = Equality, or Equation, but a X thus, Multiplication," no other symbols being used. His was the first English arithmetic to be reprinted in the American colonies in Boston in 1710. Even Recorde (c1510-1558), who invented the modern sign of equality, did not use it in his arithmetic, the Ground of Artes (c1542), but only in his algebra, the Whetstone of witte (1557). (Smith p395)