The Development of Writing
When we consider the development of writing one thing should kept in
mind that there are large number of language in the world toady that exist
only in speech and do not have written from for those languages which
have not writing system yet the process of development of writing is a
relatively recent phenomenon an account of the early history of writing
has gradually emerged, but it contains many gaps and ambiguities. The
matter is problematic by the fact that in this early period, it is not easy to
decide whether a piece of graphic expression should be counted as an
optimistic image or as a symbol of primitive writing. In principle, the
difference, the difference is clear; the former convey personal and
subjective meanings and do not combined into a system with accepted
values in contrast with later is conventional and institutionalized, capable
of being understood in the same way by all who are using the system.
Problematic area: in Egyptian and Greek the same word was used for
both write and draw.
Although, one point is dear that the writing systems evolved
independently of each other at different times in several parts of the
world in Mesopotamia, China, Meso-America etc. Much of the evidence
used in the reconstruction of ancient writing systems comes from
inscriptions on stones on tablets found in the rubble do ruined cities.
The earliest examples of a conventional use of written symbols are
on clay tablets discovered in various parts of the Middle East and South
east Europe from around 3500 B.C. Large numbers of tablets made by
the Sumerians have been found in sites around the rives figures and
Euphrates in presently Iraq and Iran but those Symbols have been listed,
most of them abstract in characters. That tablet seems to have recorded
matters such as business transactions, tax account, land sales etc.
These taken of several distinctive shapes, seem to have been used as
system of accounting from at least the 9th millenumium B.C. there are no
clear borders between picture/ symbol and what is already a sign in a
writing system (specific phonetic content which would be radium the
name way by any reader in a group of redoes.
Scribes were very important people and trained to write confirm and
record many of the languages spoken in Mesopotamia. Without scribes,
letters would not have been written or real, Royal monuments would not
have been carved or stories would have been told and forgotten. Scribes
wrote those things on different shaped objects depending on the type of
information they wanted to record.
Changing in Signs
Although the signs had changed over the centuries. There were
more changes to come. Nobody can explain why the changes happened.
In the most ancient times tablets have signs drawn in bones. Later,
a change came and the signs were written in rows, and arranged them in
order in which they were real. After that a change was came that the
tablets were written in the manner so that all of the signs appeared to be
lying on their side.
Changing in Usage
In the serve ear, not only the change came in the shape, but also the
use of the sign had been changing. The barley sign could now be used in
Firstly; It could represent barley, as on the tablet, which tells us that
Uranium (name of person) was given barley
Secondly; It could also be used to represent a sound the Sumerian word
for barley was she. So the barely sign was used to represent the sound she
in a word.
Stages in development of writing
Stage 1:- Signs are only used as symbols.
Stage 2:- The beginning of writing: limited standardization:
The surviving sources indicate that the hieroglyphics writing
system followed the systems and rules which were used thourout
Egyptian history. Early development include the emergence of rooms in
writing direction, forms of individual signs, orthography of single words,
and the gradual tendency towards writing longer inscription.
Stage 3: Developing Standardization:-
It seems that at the beginning only very few people could write but
It seems that at the beginning only very few people could write but
standardization was not needed so much. At that point were the writing
was used for more people a fixed system was needed, and soon
developed. The signs and the writing of many words are already those
found in the old Kingdom.
Types of Writing
Pictogram when some of eh pictures came to represent particular
images in a consistent way, we can be to describe the product as a from
of picture writing or pictograms. In this system, the graphemes provide a
recognizable picture of entities as they exist in eh world. Cave drawings
may serves to record some events but they are not usually thought of as
any type of usually thought of as any type of specifically linguistic
message. They are normally considered as part of a tradition do pectoral
art pictograms constitute the earliest system of writing and are found in
many parts of the world where the remains of easily people have been
Thus, a form such as might come to be used fro the suncomes to
represent particular image or recognizable picture of entities in a certain
way, it can be described as a form of picture writing or pictograms. This
problem can be illustrated with modern pictograms, such as road sign
(right/ left). Without knowing the context the sign could be real in all
kinds of ways such as some other modern pictograms leads you to the
phone booth, bus stop, coffee shop and to the restrooms at the airport
even if you don’t speak and real the particular language but there is must
be a conventional relationship between the symbol and its representation
when a pictogram takes a more fixed symbolic from and comes to be
used for instance not only to represent sum but also heat and daytime, it
is considered as part of a system of idea writing or ideogram. There is no
intension to draw the reality artistically or exactly, but the symbols must
be efficiently clear and simple to enable then to be immediately
recognized and reproduced as occasion demands as part of a narrative.
Ideographic writing is usually distinguished as a later development of
pictographic. Ideographic can be defined as “Ideograms have on abstract
or conventional meaning, no longer displaying a clear pectoral link with
external link. Ideograms or ideographic display no clear pictorial link
with external reality. In olden days, two factors account for this, the
shape of an ideogram may so alter that is no longer recognizable as a
pectoral representation of an object; and its original meaning may extend
to include notions that lack any clear pectoral form. It is rare to fined a
pure ideographic symbols refers directly to the notions or things. Most
systems that have been called ideographic infect contain linguistic
Distinction b/w ideogram and pictogram
The difference between ideogram and pictogram is essentially a
difference in the relationship between the symbol and its representation.
The other difference is that picture like forms are called pictograms and
the abstract and derived forms are called ideograms.
But at the same time, there is a quality which qualifies both
ideograms and pictograms that they do not represent words or sounds in a
The cuneiform method of writing dates from the 4th millennium B.C
Cuneiforms were used to express both non-phonological and
phonological writing system in several languages.
The word cuneiform derived from Latin and its meaning is “Wedge-
Shaped”. Cuneiform referred to the techniques that are used to make
symbols. In early period, a stylus was pressed into a tablet of soft clay in
order to makes a sequence of short straight strokes. But in later period,
other materials were also used for made cuneiform. In the very start when
the cuneiform. were start to use in different things they were written top
to bottom and reflecting the direction of writing, later, they were turned
onto their sides, written from left to right. The earliest cuneiform was a
development of pictographic symbols. Subsequently, the script was used
to write words and syllable, and to mark phonetic elements. It ws used to
record variety of information such as temple activities, business and
trade. Cuneiform was also used to write stories, myths and personal
letters. The cuneiform script was used to write other languages also. In
Mesopotamia, it was use to write both Sumerian and Akkadian. It was
also used to write other languages like Elamite, Hittite and as carved here
in stone, Urartian. Cuneiform script was used by other people because
they needed to be able to record information but they did not have their
own system for writing down their languages.
In Egypt, a form of pictography developed around 3000 B.C., which
came to be called hierslyphic. In Greek hieroglyphics means “The Scared
Craving”, because it was prominently used in temple, tombs and other
special places. The units of writing system are known as hieroglyphs.
This term was also coined to be used for scripts of a similar character
from other cultures, such as Hittite, Mayan and Indus valley but the most
developed form of hieroglyphic script was used by Egyptian, the Script
of hieroglyphic tends to write from right to left, with the symbols
generally facing the beginning of a row, but the vertical rows are found,
following the line of the building. Some symbols are used to ideograms,
representing real word entities or notion.
Determination symbols are signs that have no phonetic value but are
place next to other symbols to tell the reader what kind of meaning a
world has Egyptian symbols that were commonly used as a
determinatives in clouded the following.
Sun, Sun god, day time
Star, hour, time to pray
Pray, adore, Praise
Logographic writing system are those when the symbols come to
represent words in a language, they are described as example of word
writing or logograms where the graphiensces or characters represent
words. A good example of logographic writing is that used by the
Sumerians, in the southern part of modern Iraq between 5,000 and 6,000
years ago. Because of the symbols, these insertions are most generally
described as currfom writing. In Egyptian hierghphcis means house and
derives from a diagram representing the floor plan of a house.
In Chinese writing it means saver and derives from the pectoral
description of a stream flowing between two banks.
Several thousand graphics are involved in a logographic system. The
great Chinese dictionary of K, ang Hsi (1662-1722) contains nearly
50,000 characters; most of them are highly specialized or archaic.
A modern writing system based to a certain extent on the use of
logograms can be found in China. Many written chinses symbols or
characters, are used as representations of the meaning of words and not
of the sounds of spoken language. One of the advantages of such a
system is that two speakers of different dialects of Chinese, who might
have great difficulty in understanding each other’s spoken forms, can
read the same written text. These symbols are widely used in modern
written language. Their spoken equivalents, of course, vary from
language to language. The most developed logoraphic systems are found
in scientific notations, such as logic and mathematics.
One way of using exiting symbols to represent the sounds of
language is via a process known as “Rebus Writing”. In this process, the
symbol of one entity is taken over as the symbol for the sound of the
spoken word used to refer to that entity. That symbol then comes to be
used whenever that sound occurs in any words. For example, working
with the found of the English word. Eye we can imagine how the
pictogram could have developed into logoram This logogram
is pronounced as eye, and with the Rebus principle at work, you should
be able to yourself as (I) to one of your friend as ( cross eye).
Take another non English example, the ideogram becomes the
logograms for the word pronounced ba (meaning boat). We can then
produce a symbol for the world pronounced baba (meaning father) which
would be .One symbol can thus be used in many different ways,
with a range of meanings. What this process accomplishes is a sizeable
reduction in the number of symbols needed in writing system.
When a writing system employs a set of symbols which represent
the pronunciation of syllables, it is described as syllabic writing. In a
syllabic writing, each grapheme corresponds to a spoken syllable usually
a consonant vowel pair. They do not seem to be any purely syllabic
writing systems in use today, but Japanese can be described as having an
at learn partly syllabic writing system. In the 19th century, an American
Indian named Sequoyah invented a syllabic writing system which was
used by the Cherokee Indians to produce written messages from the
spoken language. In this Cherokee example, and (ho), (as) (get),
these symbols do not correspond to single consonants or vowels, but to
syllables. The Egyptian form meaning ‘house’, was adopted, in a
slightly reoriented form, as . After being used logographically for the
word pronounced beth (house), it came to represent syllables beginning
with a /b/ sound. By about 1000 B.C, the Phoenicians had stopped using
logograms and had a fully developed syllabic writing system.
With alphabetic writing, there is a direct correspondence between
graphemes and phonemes, which makes it the most economic and
adaptable of all the writing system. Phoenicians, who irrigated the orally
alphabetic writing system, is the general source of most other alphabets
to be fund in the world. The early Greeks included symbols in which the
single symbol to single sound correspondence was fully realized. Modern
European alphabet can be traced from Egyptian to Phoenician then to
The Greek writing system was used in Eastern Europe with some
modification Where Slavic language was spoken. After Greeks it finally
reached to the Roman alphabet.
The actual from of a number of the letters in modern European
alphabets can be traced, as in the illustration, from their origin in
Alphabetic writing system were based on a correct correspondence
between single symbol and single sound type but there does seem to bane
a frequent mismatch between the forms of written and the sounds of
spoken English today. The answer to that question there must be
historical influences on the form of written English, may be the influence
of French and Latin in which written representation of words derived
from forms used in writing other languages. Recreation from sixteenth
century speeling reformers to bring their written forms more into line
with what were supposed, sometimes erroneously. Written provides
unreliable clues with reference to spoken English.
Once a writing system devised it can be used to convey wide range
of archeological contrast. These are described from the range of
possibilities available in alphabetic systems.
Correct selection and correct sequences of graphemes shows the identity
of words. This is the main component of any graphological description. It
is the study that includes not only learning of normal rules in order to
read and write but any dialect, stylistic or free variation. The example of
dialect variation can illustrate by American-British differences such as in
‘through and thru’. Stylistic variation is the way in which the author
adapts to suggest the pronunciation of non-standard speech. Free
variations include such alternatives as ‘uudgment/judgement’and in
A large number of symbols are available to express meanings in an
economical way. Most of these are logograms, such as , .but some
logograms do not relate individual words such as it indicates the
place where paper many are cut; indicates the direction and dagger
showing that a person is dead. Special symbols also used to organize
written text or to draw the attention.
Shortened form of words is major features of written language. Some
abbreviations are used commonly such as Ms, Mr., DR, Dept, Capt., Lt
or the use of acronyms such as cod, VIP, C/D and NATO. Some of
abbreviations are spoken as wares such as NATO (neit u) and FATA
Italic, boldface, capitalization, color and other graphic variations are
major expressing semantic contrast. In conveying the part of message,
graphemes play important part such as in advertisement and invitations.
It should be noted that not all language has the same set of possibilities,
for example there is no use of italics or capitalization in Hebrew.
Use of capital letter in the beginning of the sentence marks both
grammatical and lexical units. A single graphic contrast is involved: big
us small. Such as in A Vs a. Rule of capitalization does not apply on
numbers either they appear in the start of the sentence or in the mind or
end of the sentence very remain same e.g. 33 is remain same , it would
not be written as 3 .
The punctuation of a language has two functions. First,
enable the stretches of written language in order to read in coherent way.
Secondly, its purpose is to give an indication of rhythm and color of
Features that separate
It is mainly used to separates the units of grammar such as sentences,
clauses, phrases, from each other these marks are organized in broadly
hierarchical manner. Some of them identify large units such as
paragraph; some of them identify small units such as words and word
parts. The main English conventional punctuations are as follows.
It identifies paragraphs the first sentence begins a new line. It is also used
to mark a break in discourse.
Period (Full Stop)
Full stop identifies they end of a sentence. Sometimes used as a wider
space than is usual between words. Some times, it is used to mark
abbreviations. Indicates that the text is incomplete.
It represents a pure of greater importance.
The colon marks a shill complete pause than that expressed by the
semicolon. It is an explanation of what precedes it- as in the present
The comma represents the shortest pause. Comma has wide range of uses
such as marking a sequence of grammatical units and displays a great
deal of personal variation.
Parentheses ( ) and brackets [ ] used an alternate to commas. It is used in
the middle or end of the sentence.
It indicates an immediate stop or change of thought. In informal writing,
often replaces other punctuation marls.
Inverted commas are used to enclose the exact woods of a speaker, or a
quotation, a caution or the special use of a word. The choice of ringlet
and double quotes is variable: the latter are more common in handwrite
and typed material.
A shorter line than the Dash – is used to minute the part of a compound
word and to rate the parts of the phrase e.g. in washing – machine. British
English during hyper in many context where American English would
Features that convey Meanings
Some features are used to convey meanings, regardless in third
grammatical context in which they occur.
Question mark is usually express Question but sometimes found with
other functions such as marking silence or uncertainty.
It is used to express sudden emotion or wish (e.g. Huma! was there).
Apostrophe show the omission of a letter or letters and grammatical
contractions ( I’m, couldn’t ) found also in certain words (o’clock):
subjed to a great deal of usage variation (St. John’s) .
Yule, G, The History of language. Cambridge university press, U.K,
1996. Chapter. No 2
Crystal, D, Encyclopedia of Language.