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  2. Writing • The word writing has three related but distinct meanings : 1. system or characters 2. penmanship or handwriting 3. composition

  3. Writing • Writing, is the symbolic representation of language in storable graphic form. • It is a comparatively recent cultural development, having occurred over the past five thousand years. • We have no idea where speech began, but we know that writing originated only in certain areas of the world.

  4. Speech and Writing As different as they are, speech and writing share one major characteristic: just as spoken language shows an arbitrary link between sound and meaning, the various symbols and techniques used in written language show an arbitrary link between symbol and sound

  5. Writing Systems • People wrongly assume that Latin or Roman characters are the only writing system • Many written languages not only do not use the Roman alphabet; they use no alphabet at all

  6. Writing All writing can be grouped into two basic types, called logographic and phonographic (depending n the technique of linguistic representation they use)

  7. Logographic Writing • The term logographic refers to a type of writing in which symbols represent morphemes or entire words • Logographic writing is the oldest type of genuine writing • Ancient Mesopotamian cuneiform inscriptions, Egyptian hieroglyphics, and primordial Chinese characters were all highly logographic in their early stages

  8. Logographic Writing • In fact, all writing systems maintain some logographic symbols • Conventional abbreviations such as &, %, $, and the like are logographic, as are the symbols for numerals • To a certain extent, logographic writing can be read independently of its language of origin • For example, the Arabic numbers 1, 2, 7, 10 and so on can be read in any language

  9. Logographs • The word logograph comes etymologically from two Greek words : logos word / sign graph write • Logographs are also known as ideographs

  10. Logographic Writing • It must be noted that a logographic writing system, like a pictographic one is nonarbitrary in that there is nearly a one- to-one correlation between signifier (character) and signified (object, attitude or idea)

  11. Phonographic Writing • No writing system is purely logographic • Nor can it be, since using a separate symbol to write each word in a language is simply to cumbersome • Throughout human history, writing systems have always evolved signs that represent some aspect of pronunciation • In phonographic writing (from Greek phonos ‘sound’), the symbols represent syllables or segments

  12. Syllabic Writing • As the name suggests, syllabic writing employs symbols to represent syllables • A set of syllabic symbols is called a syllabary • A syllabaric system is more arbitrary and more economical than a pictographic or logographic system • The only major language in use today, that is written as a syllabary is Japanese

  13. Alphabetic Writing • Alphabetic writing represents consonant and vowel segments • Unlike the International Phonetic Alphabet, which is devised to represent details of pronunciation, ordinary alphabets generally ignore non-phonemic phenomena • Thus the spelling of English wordslike pan and nap represents the phonemes /p/, / n/, and /ae/, but ignores consonant aspiration, vowel nasalization, stress etc

  14. Alphabetic Writing • The word alphabet is a shortened form of the names of the first two letters in the Greek system, alpha and beta • An alphabet system, unlike the others, is based on the sounds that comprise morphemes -- and not on the shapes of objects, nor on the morphemes, nor on the syllables, but on sounds that make up syllables and morphemes

  15. The History of Writing • Writing systems emerged and spread around the earth over a long period of time • Though we can trace the spread of some systems over a wide area, writing may have emerged independently in several different places • It is surprising that we cannot say with certainty how a comparatively recent cultural phenomenon like writing originated

  16. The History of Writing • We do know that writing developed in historically recorded stages, the earliest of which involves direct representation of objects and which is sometimes called prewriting

  17. Prewriting • Figures and scenes depicted on cave walls and rock faces in the Americas, Africa, and Europe, twelve thousand years ago or perhaps even earlier may have been forerunners of writing • Some of these petroglyphs (scenes painted on stone) may represent a type of proto-literate stage that did not evolve into a full-fledged writing system. These drawings depict a wide range of human and animal activity, and may even have been intended for purposes of linguistic communication

  18. Pictographs • Whatever their purpose, there is little doubt that pictures were among the precursors of the written word • Early writing systems evolved from pictorial representations called pictograms/pictographs or picture writing • Pictographs contain characters which are essentially pictorial rather than graphic • advantage ?? (one need not know the language to interpret the characters )

  19. Pictographs • Each pictograph was an image of the object or objects (and in some cases, concepts) it represented, and, as far as we know, offerred no clues to pronunciation • Pictograms are still used today, and they reflect the memory-aid nature of this form of prewriting. Signs indicating roadside services are pictographic in nature. The Canadian Olympic Association has developed a standard set of pictograms to indicate sporting events

  20. Rebuses and the Emergence of Writing • This major development in the history of writing took place around 3000BC with the first use of Sumerian symbols to represent sound rather than just meaning • Known as the REBUS principle, this innovation allowed a sign to be used for any word that was pronounced like the word whose meaning it originally represented ( Rebuses are puzzles whose solutions depend partly on recognising pictures, partly on recognising letters and partly on recognising sound) + T N + - C

  21. Towards Syllabic Writing • Thanks to the rebus principle, concepts that could not be directly depicted by a picture/pictogram could be represented in writing • Once the breakthrough towards phonographic writing had been made, it did not take long (in historical terms) before syllabic writing began to emerge

  22. Syllabic Writing • Within about five to six hundred years, signs that clearly represent not just homophonous words, but parts of words--specifically syllables--had become well established in Sumerian writing • Sumerian writing, however, never developed in to a pure syllabary • Logographic elements were interpersed with syllabic ones

  23. Hieroglyphics • At about the same time Sumerian pictography was flourishing, a similar system of pictorial communication was in use in Egypt • The Egyptian signs have become known as hieroglyphics (meaning ‘sacred inscriptions, in Greek)

  24. The Emergence of Alphabets • In the Middle east, alphabetic writing was slowly emerging from mixed writing systems • The Semitc people of ancient Phoenicia (modern Lebanon) had devised a writing system of twenty-two consonantal signs as early as 1000BC • This system was written horizontally, right to left • This ultimately lead to the development of many alphabetic writing systems, including both the Greek and Latin alphabets

  25. Alphabets • A great number of alphabetic systems evolved and flourished in addition to the Greek and Latin alphabets • Some of these are Runic writing, Cyrillic script, the Roman alphabet

  26. Some Non-European Writing Systems • Chinese writing - the Chinese system of writing developed out of pictograms that eventually came to represent morphemes (most of which are also words) • Japanese writing- the writing system of modern japanese is arguably the most complicated in the entire world. Its use requires knowledge of three distinct scripts, including a pair of syllabaries-- katakana and hiragana (which were created by modifying Chinese characters)

  27. Summary • The development of writing has been one of humanity’s greatest intellectual achievements • From pictograms, and logograms, the graphic representation of language has developed through syllabic writing to the alphabet • This was achieved through the creation of a relationship between graphic symbols and sounds