Writing and language

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Writing and language

  1. 1. Writing and languageWriting and languageByByAtheer LateefAtheer Lateef
  2. 2. __Writing, the symbolic representation of languageWriting, the symbolic representation of languagein storable graphic form, is comparatively recentin storable graphic form, is comparatively recentcultural developmentcultural development..__While spoken language comes naturally toWhile spoken language comes naturally tohuman beings, writing does nothuman beings, writing does not..__We use language to express inner thoughts andWe use language to express inner thoughts andemotions, make sense of complex and abstractemotions, make sense of complex and abstractthought, to learn to communicate with others, tothought, to learn to communicate with others, tofulfill our wants and needsfulfill our wants and needs..
  3. 3. Types of writingTypes of writingLogographic writingLogographic writing :: The term logographic refers toThe term logographic refers toa type of writing in which symbols represent morphemesa type of writing in which symbols represent morphemesor even entire words.or even entire words.Logograms :Logograms : Logographic writing is the oldest type ofLogographic writing is the oldest type ofgenuine writing. Ancient Mesopotamian cuneiformgenuine writing. Ancient Mesopotamian cuneiforminscriptions, Egyptian hieroglyphics, and primordialinscriptions, Egyptian hieroglyphics, and primordialChinese characters were all highly logographic in theirChinese characters were all highly logographic in theirearly stages. In fact, all writing systems maintain someearly stages. In fact, all writing systems maintain somelogographic. Conventional abbreviation such aslogographic. Conventional abbreviation such as &,, %,, $and like logographic, as are the symbols for numerals.and like logographic, as are the symbols for numerals.
  4. 4. Phonographic writingPhonographic writingThroughout human history, writing systems have alwaysThroughout human history, writing systems have alwaysevolved signs that represent some aspect of pronunciation.evolved signs that represent some aspect of pronunciation.In phonographic writing, the symbols represent syllablesIn phonographic writing, the symbols represent syllablesor segmentsor segments..Types of phonographic writing :Types of phonographic writing :1_ Syllabic writing1_ Syllabic writing2_ Alphabetic writing2_ Alphabetic writing
  5. 5. Syllabic writingSyllabic writingAs the name suggests, syllabic writing employssigns to represent syllables ( a set of syllabic signs iscalled a syllabary ). Language with relatively simplesyllabic structure such as CV or CVC.( Japanese and Cree , for example ) are suited tothis type of writing, since they contain a relativelylimited number of syllable types.
  6. 6. Alphabetic writingAlphabetic writingAlphabetic writing represents phonemicconsonant and vowel segments. Unlike the IPA,which is devised expressly to represent details ofpronunciation, ordinary alphabets generally ignorenon-phonemic phenomena.e.g. words pan and nap represent the phonemes/p/, /n/, and /æ/,
  7. 7. The history of writingThe history of writingPre-writing : Figures and scenes depicted on thecave walls and rock in the America, Africa, andEurope twelve thousand years ago or perhaps evenearlier may have been forerunners of writing. Some ofthese petroglyphs ( scenes painted on the stone ) mayrepresent a type of proto-literate stage that did notevolve into a full-fledged written system.(p.592). Look at figures 15.(1,2)Pictorial records thus link the origin of writing with thehistory of representative art.
  8. 8. PictogramsPictogramsPictogram was an image of the object or objects( concept ), it represented, and, as far as we know,offered no clues to pronunciation. This kind ofcommunication has been found among peoplethroughout the ancient and modern world. (p.594(Types of pictograms- Amerindian pictography . Look at figure 15.3- Contemporary pictograms ( British Sports Councilsigns for sports events ). Look at figure 15.4- Blissymbolics ( semantography ). Look at figure 15.5
  9. 9. The Evolution of writingThe Evolution of writing ::The earliest known pictographic writing came fromThe earliest known pictographic writing came fromSumeria, from where it spread to surrounding areasSumeria, from where it spread to surrounding areasabout thousand years ago. The inherently ambiguousabout thousand years ago. The inherently ambiguouspictograms came to represent abstract notions bypictograms came to represent abstract notions byextending their use to include concepts felt to beextending their use to include concepts felt to beassociated with them.associated with them.(p.595). Look at figure 15.6(p.595). Look at figure 15.6
  10. 10. Rebuses and the emergence of writingRebuses and the emergence of writingThis major development in the history of writing tookplace around 3000 BC with the first use of Sumeriansymbols to represent sound rather than just meaning.Known as the rebus principle, this innovation alloweda sign to be used for any word that was pronouncedlike the word whose meaning it originally represented.(p.596). Look at figure 15.7
  11. 11. Towards syllabic writingTowards syllabic writingOnce the breakthrough towards phonographic writingOnce the breakthrough towards phonographic writinghad been made, it does not take long before syllabichad been made, it does not take long before syllabicwriting began emergence. Within about five hundred towriting began emergence. Within about five hundred tosix hundred years, signs that clearly represent not justsix hundred years, signs that clearly represent not justhomophonous words, but word optionshomophonous words, but word options –– specifically.specifically.(p.597). Look at figure 15.8
  12. 12. CuneiformCuneiform ::Sumerian writing was simplified and eventually produceSumerian writing was simplified and eventually producewith the use of a wedge-shape stylus that was pressedwith the use of a wedge-shape stylus that was pressedinto soft clay table.into soft clay table.(p.597). Look at figure 15.9
  13. 13. HieroglyphicsHieroglyphicsThe hieroglyphic signs at first represented objects, but later theyThe hieroglyphic signs at first represented objects, but later theybecame logographic in that they began to be associated withbecame logographic in that they began to be associated withwordswords..--Egyptian hieroglyphicsEgyptian hieroglyphics developed into a mixed system of thedeveloped into a mixed system of theboth word writing and phonographic writingboth word writing and phonographic writing..Only the consonants of words represented by hieroglyphics areOnly the consonants of words represented by hieroglyphics areknown with certainty. The Egyptians did not represent the vowelknown with certainty. The Egyptians did not represent the vowel..The symbols eventually came to be used to represent theThe symbols eventually came to be used to represent theconsonant phonemes of words by applications ( is calledconsonant phonemes of words by applications ( is calledacrophonic principleacrophonic principle( .( .)p.598). Look at figure 15.10
  14. 14. The emergence of alphabetsThe emergence of alphabetsIn the Middle East, alphabetic writing was slowlyIn the Middle East, alphabetic writing was slowlyemerging from mixed writing systems over a longemerging from mixed writing systems over a longperiod. The Semitic peoples of ancient Phoenicia hadperiod. The Semitic peoples of ancient Phoenicia haddevised a writing system of twenty-two consonantaldevised a writing system of twenty-two consonantalsigns. This systems was written horizontally, right tosigns. This systems was written horizontally, right toleft, without variation in the placement of the letters.left, without variation in the placement of the letters._ The Greek alphabet._ The Greek alphabet._ The Roman alphabet_ The Roman alphabet.(p.599). Look at figure 15.11
  15. 15. The Greek alphabetThe Greek alphabetThe Greeks developed the Phoenician writing systemThe Greeks developed the Phoenician writing systeminto a full alphabet: each sign represented oneinto a full alphabet: each sign represented onephoneme and all phonemes were recorded by a sign.phoneme and all phonemes were recorded by a sign.The Greeks were aware that some of the PhoenicianThe Greeks were aware that some of the Phoeniciansymbols represented consonant sounds that were notsymbols represented consonant sounds that were notfound in Greek. Some of these symbols were adaptedfound in Greek. Some of these symbols were adaptedto represent Greek vowels, and other unneededto represent Greek vowels, and other unneededconsonant signs were dropped.consonant signs were dropped.(pp. 599-600). Look at figure 15.12
  16. 16. The Roman alphabetsThe Roman alphabetsWhen Greek colonies occupied southern Italy in the 7When Greek colonies occupied southern Italy in the 7ththcenturies BC, they took their alphabet with them. It was incenturies BC, they took their alphabet with them. It was inturn taken up and modified by the Etruscan inhabitants ofturn taken up and modified by the Etruscan inhabitants ofcentral Italy, a non-Latin speaking people who were acentral Italy, a non-Latin speaking people who were apolitical and cultural power before the rise of Rome. It ispolitical and cultural power before the rise of Rome. It isbelieved that the Romans grew in power and influencebelieved that the Romans grew in power and influenceduring the following centuries, first as masters of Italy andduring the following centuries, first as masters of Italy andlater of Europe, the Roman alphabet spread throughoutlater of Europe, the Roman alphabet spread throughoutthe Empire.the Empire.
  17. 17. Runic writingRunic writingGermanic tribes occupying the north of ItalyGermanic tribes occupying the north of Italydeveloped an early offshoot of the Greek/Etruscandeveloped an early offshoot of the Greek/Etruscantradition of writing into a script known as Runic writing .tradition of writing into a script known as Runic writing .This system emerged shortly after the beginning of theThis system emerged shortly after the beginning of theChristian era, and its developments were eventuallyChristian era, and its developments were eventuallyfound as far as Scandinavia. Runic writing persisted untilfound as far as Scandinavia. Runic writing persisted untilthe 16the 16ththcentury in some areas before giving way to thecentury in some areas before giving way to theLatin alphabet.Latin alphabet.(p. 601). Look at figure 15.13
  18. 18. Cyrillic scriptCyrillic scriptAnother offshoot of the Greek script was created for theAnother offshoot of the Greek script was created for theSlavicSlavic people in the 9people in the 9ththcentury AD. The Greek missionarycentury AD. The Greek missionarybrothersbrothers ConstantineConstantine (Cyril) and(Cyril) and MethodiusMethodius introduced aintroduced awriting system for the translation of the Bible that is nowwriting system for the translation of the Bible that is nowknown asknown as GlagoliticGlagolitic script.script.A later development, which combined adaptions ofA later development, which combined adaptions ofGlagolitic letters with Greek and Hebrew characters, hasGlagolitic letters with Greek and Hebrew characters, hascome to be known as thecome to be known as the CyrillicCyrillic alphabet.alphabet.The currentThe current RussianRussian,, ByelorussianByelorussian,, UkrainianUkrainian,, SerbianSerbian,,MacedonianMacedonian, and, and BulgarianBulgarian alphabets, as well as thosealphabets, as well as thoseused to represent many non-Slavic language spoken inused to represent many non-Slavic language spoken inthe former Soviet Union, have evolved from this earlythe former Soviet Union, have evolved from this earlyCyrillic script.Cyrillic script.
  19. 19. Two Semitic alphabetsTwo Semitic alphabetsBothBoth ArabicArabic andand HebrewHebrew are written with alphabetsare written with alphabetsthat descend from or are closely related to Phoenicianthat descend from or are closely related to Phoenicianscript. Both are essentially consonant-writing systemsscript. Both are essentially consonant-writing systems( vowels are indicated with diacritic dots), and both( vowels are indicated with diacritic dots), and bothare written from right to left.are written from right to left.(pp. 602-603). Look at figures 15.(15,16)
  20. 20. Other descendants of Middle Eastern systemsOther descendants of Middle Eastern systemsEarly Middle Eastern scripts gave rise toEarly Middle Eastern scripts gave rise to AramaicAramaic,,Old HebrewOld Hebrew, and, and South ArabicSouth Arabic syllabaries, which, insyllabaries, which, inturn, led to a host of further writing systems eventuallyturn, led to a host of further writing systems eventuallystretching across the Near East and North Africa fromstretching across the Near East and North Africa fromIndia to Morocco.India to Morocco.(p. 604). Look at figure 15.17
  21. 21. Chinese writingChinese writingThe Chinese systemThe Chinese system of writing developed out ofof writing developed out ofpictograms that eventually came to representpictograms that eventually came to representmorphemes. The oldest inscriptions are themorphemes. The oldest inscriptions are the oracleoracle texts,texts,written on animal bones and tortoise shells and dating.written on animal bones and tortoise shells and dating.CalligraphyCalligraphy is an ancient and respected art in China,is an ancient and respected art in China,and Chinese writing exists in a number of styles. Theand Chinese writing exists in a number of styles. Thescript is usually written from left to write along ascript is usually written from left to write along ahorizontal axis.horizontal axis.Phonetic determinativePhonetic determinative provides information about theprovides information about thepronunciation of the corresponding morpheme.pronunciation of the corresponding morpheme.Radical or keyRadical or key provides clues about the morpheme’sprovides clues about the morpheme’smeaning.meaning.(pp.604-606). Look at figure 15.18, and table 15.1
  22. 22. Japanese writingJapanese writingThe writing system of modern Japanese isThe writing system of modern Japanese isarguable the most complicated in the entire world.arguable the most complicated in the entire world.Its use requires knowledge of three distinct script,Its use requires knowledge of three distinct script,including a pair of syllabaries _ katakana andincluding a pair of syllabaries _ katakana andhiragana _ which were created by modifyinghiragana _ which were created by modifyingChinese characters.Chinese characters.Types of Japanese writingTypes of Japanese writing( katakana, hiragana, kanji, and romaji )( katakana, hiragana, kanji, and romaji )(pp. 607-609). Look at figures 15. (19,20,21)
  23. 23. Korean writingKorean writingKorean was once written with Chinese characters.Korean was once written with Chinese characters.Korean suffixes could not be easily represented byKorean suffixes could not be easily represented byChinese writing.Chinese writing.HangulHangul, consisting of eleven vowels and seventeen, consisting of eleven vowels and seventeenconsonants that became the standard Korean writingconsonants that became the standard Korean writingsystem. An especially interesting features ofsystem. An especially interesting features of HangulHangul isisthat symbols are grouped together into syllable-sizedthat symbols are grouped together into syllable-sizedclusters rather than being arranged in a completelyclusters rather than being arranged in a completelylinear fashion.linear fashion.(p. 609). Look at figure 15.22
  24. 24. American scriptsAmerican scriptsA number of major civilizations developed on the AmericanA number of major civilizations developed on the Americancontinents. In Mesoamerica alone more than eighteen writingcontinents. In Mesoamerica alone more than eighteen writingsystems have been discovered, among them those of thesystems have been discovered, among them those of theMayans of the Yucatan and the Aztecs of Mexico.Mayans of the Yucatan and the Aztecs of Mexico.In both systems, the evolution of pictograms that leaned towardsIn both systems, the evolution of pictograms that leaned towardsphonetic word signs.phonetic word signs.Mayan symbols are calledMayan symbols are called glypheglyphe.. GlypheGlyphe that mix syllabicthat mix syllabicwriting with logographic representation are also found.writing with logographic representation are also found.(p. 610). Look at figure 15.23_ Cherokee_ Cherokee_ Cree_ Cree
  25. 25. CreeCreeThe syllabic script of the Cree Indian was theThe syllabic script of the Cree Indian was thecreation of a missionary, J. Evans, in the 19creation of a missionary, J. Evans, in the 19ththcentury. Itcentury. Itwas employed for religious literature, and by 1861 thewas employed for religious literature, and by 1861 theentire Bible appeared in the Cree syllabary. This scriptentire Bible appeared in the Cree syllabary. This scriptis used by Cree speakers across Canadais used by Cree speakers across Canada.(p. 611). Look at figures 15.(25,26)
  26. 26. CherokeeCherokeeSome American writing systems do not date back to aSome American writing systems do not date back to adistant ancestor. After the colonization of North Americadistant ancestor. After the colonization of North Americaby Europeans, a number of scripts were developed toby Europeans, a number of scripts were developed toprovide native peoples with a form of writtenprovide native peoples with a form of writtencommunication. In one well-known case, the Cherokeecommunication. In one well-known case, the Cherokeeleader Sikwayi devised a syllabic script of more thanleader Sikwayi devised a syllabic script of more thaneighty symbols, some based on the shapes of Englisheighty symbols, some based on the shapes of Englishletters and others newly invented.letters and others newly invented.(p. 610). Look at figure 15.24
  27. 27. AfricanAfrican scriptsscriptsIn the past several centuries, societies in Central Africa haveIn the past several centuries, societies in Central Africa havealso produced syllabic scripts, which have either developedalso produced syllabic scripts, which have either developedthrough stages from pictograms to refined syllabaries.through stages from pictograms to refined syllabaries.Although the idea of writing appears to have been imported intoAlthough the idea of writing appears to have been imported intothese societies, the development of the various systems wasthese societies, the development of the various systems wasindigenous.indigenous.The first sub-Saharan African writing seems to have been that ofThe first sub-Saharan African writing seems to have been that ofthethe VaiVai peoples in the region of Sierra Leone and Liberia.peoples in the region of Sierra Leone and Liberia.The writing of the Bamum people in the Cameroons wasThe writing of the Bamum people in the Cameroons wasinvented at the end of the 19invented at the end of the 19ththcentury by Njoya the Great, sultancentury by Njoya the Great, sultanof Foumban.of Foumban.The only sure example of alphabetic writing developed inThe only sure example of alphabetic writing developed inmodern times among African peoples is themodern times among African peoples is the Somali alphabetSomali alphabet..(pp. 612-613).
  28. 28. Some Indian scriptsSome Indian scriptsA pictorial script appears to have had an independentA pictorial script appears to have had an independentorigin in northern India.origin in northern India.The date of the first appearance of Indian Sanskrit symbolsThe date of the first appearance of Indian Sanskrit symbolscannot be ascertained, but they resemble Aramaic andcannot be ascertained, but they resemble Aramaic andappeared as a full system writing in the edicts of Asoka. Theyappeared as a full system writing in the edicts of Asoka. Theywere set down in two types of writing :were set down in two types of writing : KharosthiKharosthi andand BrahmiBrahmi..TheThe BrahmiBrahmi script gave rise to all later varieties of Indianscript gave rise to all later varieties of Indianwriting.writing.One of these varieties, a cursive type called the Gupta script,One of these varieties, a cursive type called the Gupta script,was later employed to write Tocharian, Sake, and Turkish manwas later employed to write Tocharian, Sake, and Turkish manscript discovered in eastern Turkistan.script discovered in eastern Turkistan.In India, it evolved into theIn India, it evolved into the DevanagariDevanagari script which was usedscript which was usedto record the voluminous literature of the Sanskrit language.to record the voluminous literature of the Sanskrit language.Another ancient Indian script calledAnother ancient Indian script called PaliPali, gave rise to a, gave rise to anumber of Southeast Asian writing system.number of Southeast Asian writing system.(p. 613). Look at figure 15.27
  29. 29. Writing and ReadingWriting and ReadingTypes of writing :Types of writing :_ Morphemes and words in the case of logographic systems._ Morphemes and words in the case of logographic systems._ Syllables in the case of syllabaries._ Syllables in the case of syllabaries._ Consonants and vowels in the case of the alphabets._ Consonants and vowels in the case of the alphabets.Because of these differences, each orthography places differentBecause of these differences, each orthography places differentdemands on readers. We know that different between parts ofdemands on readers. We know that different between parts ofthe brain are used for reading logographic and alphabeticthe brain are used for reading logographic and alphabeticwriting systems and phonographic orthographies such aswriting systems and phonographic orthographies such assyllabaries and alphabets.syllabaries and alphabets.Further information about the relationship between languageFurther information about the relationship between languageand writing systems comes from the study of the congenitallyand writing systems comes from the study of the congenitallydeafdeaf. Because such people have never heard speech, they. Because such people have never heard speech, theyhave little or no understanding of the phonological units thathave little or no understanding of the phonological units thatalphabets represent. Significantly, congenitally deaf individualsalphabets represent. Significantly, congenitally deaf individualshave a great deal of difficulty learning to read English. Even afterhave a great deal of difficulty learning to read English. Even aftermany years of instruction, their reading remains poor and fewmany years of instruction, their reading remains poor and fewattain college-level skills in this area.attain college-level skills in this area.
  30. 30. Kurdish writing systemKurdish is a member of the Western Iranian branch of Indo-European languages. Approximately 26 million people speakKurdish in Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Armenia, Georgia,Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and AfghanistanKurdish began to appear in writing in a version of the Persianalphabet during the 7th century AD. However for much of theirhistory, the Kurds have prefered to use Arabic, Persian or Turkish fortheir literary works.In Turkey Kurdish is written with the Latin alphabet and in parts ofthe former Soviet Union it is written with the Cyrillic alphabet.When Kurdish is written with the Arabic script, Arabic loan wordsretain their original spelling, though are often pronounced quitedifferently in Kurdish.Kurdish alphabets (Latin, Cyrillic and Arabic).December 31, 2012 Retrieved from http://www.omniglot.com/writing/kurdish.htm
  31. 31. Electronic writingElectronic writingELECTRONIC WRITING is quite different from theELECTRONIC WRITING is quite different from thetraditional print-on-paper one, it may take visual andtraditional print-on-paper one, it may take visual andauditory information as its assistant devices for betterauditory information as its assistant devices for betterexpression.expression.Electronic writing is non-written and non-spokenElectronic writing is non-written and non-spokenlanguage but something in between. It contains thelanguage but something in between. It contains thespontaneity and informality of spoken language.spontaneity and informality of spoken language.Computer mediated communication as a combinationComputer mediated communication as a combinationof written and oral styles of communication.of written and oral styles of communication.Gye, L. (2005). Electronic writing. December 25, 2012 retrieved fromhttp://www.swinburne.infoxchange.net.au/media/halm316

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