The Five-Minute Linguist - Bite-sized Essays on Language and Languages Third Edition - Caroline Myrick

The Five-Minute Linguist - Bite-sized Essays on Language and Languages Third Edition - Caroline Myrick

16. How Many Kinds of Writing Systems are there?

The Five-Minute Linguist - Bite-sized Essays on Language and Languages Third Edition - Caroline Myrick

Peter T. Daniels [+-]
Independent Scholar
Peter T. Daniels, the world’s leading expert on writing systems, holds degrees in linguistics from Cornell University and the University of Chicago. His first interests were in Comparative Semitic linguistics, which built to the study of writing and decipherment. His challenge to his teacher I. J. Gelb’s influential theories of the evolution of scripts has led to a persistent search for legitimate principles of the nature and development of writing. He is co-editor (with William Bright) of and principal contributor to The World’s Writing Systems (1996) and is hte author of An Exploration of Writing (Equinox, 2018).

Description

People used to say that there are three kinds of writing systems—the Chinese kind, the Indian kind, and the Hebrew and English kind (logographies, syllabaries, and alphabets). But when we look more closely, we find that we need to name five kinds, recognizing that Hebrew and English writing, and Indian and Japanese writing, use quite different kinds of writing system. Different kinds work better for different languages.

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Citation

Daniels, Peter . 16. How Many Kinds of Writing Systems are there?. The Five-Minute Linguist - Bite-sized Essays on Language and Languages Third Edition. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 78-82 Jul 2019. ISBN 9781781798553. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=38135. Date accessed: 14 Oct 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.38135. Jul 2019

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