The World's Writing Systems

The World's Writing Systems

Book - 1996
Rate this:
1
Blackwell North Amer
Written language is the most neglected aspect of linguistic study, as the majority of research focuses on historical and theoretical aspects of spoken language. Even studies devoted to writing systems generally place little emphasis on the scripts themselves, limiting coverage to the external history of writing systems. The World's Writing Systems is the only available work to explore in depth how scripts are applied to individual languages.
Beginning with the ancient Near East and the earliest known scripts, this unique reference documents the history and typology of writing to the present day, covering scores of scripts from around the world - both those currently in use and those now defunct. In more than eighty articles, it explains and documents in accessible terms how writing systems work - how Egyptian hieroglyphs, Chinese characters, and European alphabets convey meaning in graphic form.
Sections devoted to the scripts of the ancient Near East, East Asia, Europe, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East are introduced with discussion of the social and cultural contexts in which each group of writing systems was developed. Articles on individual scripts within these sections provide a wealth of background information, along with helpful visuals for each writing system: the historical origin of the writing system is detailed, its structure is delineated with tables showing the forms of the written symbols, and its relationship to the phonology of the corresponding spoken language is thoroughly explored. Every major writing system is presented in a passage of text, accompanied by a romanized version, a phonetic transcription, and an English translation. A bibliography concludes each entry.

Oxford University Press
Ranging from cuneiform to shorthand, from archaic Greek to modern Chinese, from Old Persian to modern Cherokee, this is the only available work in English to cover all of the world's writing systems from ancient times to the present. Describing scores of scripts in use now or in the past around the world, this unusually comprehensive reference offers a detailed exploration of the history and typology of writing systems. More than eighty articles by scholars from over a dozen countries explain and document how a vast array of writing systems work--how alphabets, ideograms, pictographs, and hieroglyphics convey meaning in graphic form.
The work is organized in thirteen parts, each dealing with a particular group of writing systems defined historically, geographically, or conceptually. Arranged according to the chronological development of writing systems and their historical relationships within geographical areas, the scripts are divided into the following sections: the ancient Near East, East Asia, Europe, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Additional parts address the ongoing process of decipherment of ancient writing systems; the adaptation of traditional scripts to new languages; new scripts invented in modern times; and graphic symbols for numerical, music, and movement notation.
Each part begins with an introductory article providing the social and cultural context in which the group of writing systems was developed. Articles on individual scripts detail the historical origin of the writing system, its structure (with tables showing the forms of the written symbols), and its relationship to the phonology of the corresponding spoken language. Each writing system is illustrated by a passage of text, and accompanied by a romanized version, a phonetic transcription, and a modern English translation. A bibliography suggesting further reading concludes each entry.
Matched by no other work in English, The World's Writing Systems is the only comprehensive resource covering every major writing system. Unparalleled in its scope and unique in its coverage of the way scripts relate to the languages they represent, this is a resource that anyone with an interest in language will want to own, and one that should be a part of every library's reference collection.

Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 1996
ISBN: 9780195079937
0195079930
Branch Call Number: 411 W893
Characteristics: xlv, 920 p. : ill. ; 24 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment
s
striatus1
Oct 04, 2014

Any way that this book can be sent to the Woodmont library?
Thanks

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at SJCPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top