Anthropology 250Issues in Anthropology Writing Systems
The Beginning of History When: Writing began about 3,400 years ago. Where: The earliest evidence for writing has been found in Mesopotamia, located in what is now Iraq. Who: The Sumerians Why: The earliest evidence for writing appears to be for recording quantities and concepts, not for representing speech.
Types of Writing Non-Phonetic Pictographs Ideographs Logographs • Phonetic • Syllabic • Consonantal • Alphabetic
Pictographic Writing Pictographic writing tells stories through pictures Each picture represents a phrase , sentence or part of a story
Pictographs Minoan culture developed on the island of Crete in the Aegean Sea south of Greece and south west of Turkey at about 2000 BC.
Ideogramsare symbols that represent ideas – a less literal representation than pictographs, but still a logical connection between the representation and the thing it represents.Examples:1.Hittite Culture that ruled Anatolia (what is now Turkey) between 2000 and 1700 BC 2. Nigeria in the early 20th Century3. Indus Valley
Logographs and Ideographs • Logographs are graphics that represent a word. • Ideographs are graphics that represent an idea, sometimes more than a word. • Many symbols can be said to be both ideographic and logographic
Easter Island Writing The writing from Easter Island has not been decyphered. It appears to be at least partially pictographic but may be ideographic or logographic in nature.
Mixtec Logographic Script • http://www.ancientscripts.com/mixtec.html • Arabic Consonantal Alphabetic • http://www.ancientscripts.com/arabic.html
Japanese Writing Systems • Kanji = characters of Chinese origin (combine logographs and syllabary symbols) used for nouns and verb stems • Hirigana=a syllabary used for verb ending and grammatical participles (on, to) • Katakana = used for non-Japanese words or loan words
Alphabetic Writing • In Alphabetic writing, each symbol represents a single sound. Words are made up of sounds, and written words are made up of the symbols for those sounds. • Alphabetic writing has symbols for both vowels and consonants. • Consonantal writing has symbols for only consonants, and readers have to fill in the vowels from the context.
The Evolution of Writing • Egyptian Pictographs to Logographs • Logographs combined with alphabetic • Alphabetic evolves to be less pictographic and more symbolic
Egyptian Hieroglyphics are a mixture of alphabetic and logographic writing.
The Transition from Hieroglyphic to Phonological Script as the Phoenicians borrowed and modified the Egyptians’ writing system
AlphabeticWriting is a phonological writing system that has a different symbol for each vowel and consonant sound.
Consonantal Writing The Phoenicians developed a phonological writing system based on consonants only, depending on the reader to fill in the vowels. This characteristic was carried on in Hebrew until diacritic marks were added to consonants to fill in some of the vowel sounds.
Bonobo Chimps and Writing • http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/susan_savage_rumbaugh_on_apes_that_write.html
Study Guide Writing Pictographs Ideographs Logographs Hieroglyphics Glyphs Syllabic writing Alphabetic writing