The world's writing systems / edited by Peter T. Daniels and William Bright.

Published
  • New York : Oxford University Press 1996
Physical description
xlv, 920 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
ISBN
  • 0195079930
Notes
  • Includes bibliographical references and index.
  • Text in English, featuring many other languages.
Contents
  • Contributors -- Preface -- Abbreviations, conventions, and definitions -- Part 1: Grammatology -- Introduction / Peter T Daniels -- Section 1: Study of writing systems / Peter T Daniels -- Grammatology -- History of the study of writing -- typology of writing systems -- Study of writing -- Related topics -- Part 2: Ancient Near Eastern Writing Systems -- Introduction / Peter T Daniels -- Section 2: First civilizations / Peter T Daniels -- Forerunners of writing -- Interconnections -- Significance of the alphabet -- Undeciphered scripts -- Section 3: Mesopotamian cuneiform -- Origin / Piotr Michalowski -- Sumerian and Akkadian / Jerrold S. Cooper -- Basic cuneiform syllabary -- Other languages / Gene B Graff -- Section 4: Egyptian writing / Robert K Ritner -- Hieroglyphic -- Hieratic -- Demotic -- Meroitic script / NB Millet -- Section 5: Epigraphic Semitic scripts / M O'Connor -- Scripts in the Bronze Age (2000-1200 BCE) -- Scripts in the Iron Age and later times (from1200 BCE) -- Salient features of carious groups of texts -- Iberian scripts / Pierre Swiggers -- Berber scripts / M O'Connor -- Section 6: Anatolian hieroglyphs / H Craig Melchert -- Usage and history -- General characteristics -- Signs -- Section 7: Aegean scripts / Emmett K Bennett -- Linear B -- Scripts of Cyprus -- Minoan Linear A -- Pictographic or Cretan Hieroglyphic script -- Phaistos disk -- Section 8: Old Persian cuneiform / David D Testen -- Part 3: Decipherment -- Introduction / Peter T Daniels -- Section 9: Methods of decipherment / Peter T Daniels -- Types of decipherment -- Processes in decipherment -- Accounts of decipherment -- Section 10: Proto-Elamite script / Robert K Englund -- History of decipherment -- Basic characteristics of Proto-Elamite script and texts -- Section 11: Indus script / Asko Parpola -- Historical background and development -- Obstacles to decipherment -- Characteristics -- Section 12: Maya and other Mesoamerican scripts / Martha J Marcri -- Logographic/syllabic scripts -- Codified pictorial systems -- Section 13: Rongorongo of Easter Island / Martha J Macri -- Progress in decipherment -- Linguistic approach to decipherment -- Part 4: East Asian Writing Systems -- Introduction / William G Boltz -- Section 14: Early Chinese writing / William G Boltz -- Unit characters -- Compound characters -- Section 15: Modern Chinese writing / Victor H Mair -- Relationship to the Chinese languages -- Reform -- Section 16: Japanese writing / Janet S (Shibamoto) Smith -- Kanji -- Hiragana and katakana -- Romaji -- Other script elements -- Direction, punctuation, and organization of texts -- Conclusion -- Section 17: Korean writing / Ross King -- Chinese writing in Korea -- Hankul: general characteristics -- Symbols -- Orthography and letter shapes -- Relationship of Hankul to other scripts -- Section 18: Siniform scripts of inner Asia --Tangut / E I Kychanov -- Kitan and Jurchin / Gyorgy Kara -- Section 19: Yi script / Dingxu Shi -- Classic Yi -- Modern Yi -- Section 20: Asian calligraphy / John Stevens -- Comparative table of Sinitic characters -- Comparative table of Sinitic characters -- Part 5: European Writing Systems -- Introduction / Peter T Daniels -- Section 21: Transmission of the Phoenician script to the West / Pierre Swiggers -- Geographical and chronological aspects -- Linguistic aspects -- Problems -- Observations -- Section 22: Greek alphabet / Leslie Threatte -- Symbols -- Diacritical marks and punctuation -- Numerals -- Anatolian alphabets / Pierre Swiggers and Wolfgang Jenniges -- Phrygian -- Pamphylian and Sidetic --Lycian -- Lydian -- Carian -- Other languages -- Coptic alphabet / Robert K Ritner -- Gothic alphabet / Ernest Ebbinghaus -- Special features -- Section 23: Scripts of Italy / Larissa Bonfante -- Etruscan -- Other languages and scripts of Italy -- Section 24: Roman alphabet / Stan Knight -- Ancient Roman scripts -- Regional hands -- Insular scripts -- Carolingian Minuscule -- Gothic scripts -- Humanist scripts -- Cursive writing from the sixteenth century -- Printed word -- Section 25: Runic script / Ralph W V Elliott -- Later developments -- Section 26: Ogham / Damian McManus -- Script -- Section 27: Slavic alphabets / Paul Cubberley -- Historical background -- Forms of letters and phonological fit in old alphabets -- Glagolitic: later history -- Cyrillic: later history -- Orthography and phonotactics in Russian -- Section 28: Armenian alphabet / Avedis K Sanjian -- Symbols -- Symbol-sound correspondences -- Orthographic change and script reform -- Section 29: Georgian alphabet / Dee Ann Holisky -- Sound-symbol correspondance -- Development of mxedruli.
  • Part 6: South Asian Writing Systems -- Introduction / Richard G Salomon -- Section 30: Brahmi and Kharoshthi / Richard G Salomon -- Systemic features -- Linguistic features -- Functions -- Origins -- Development -- Section 31: Devanagari script / William Bright -- Symbols -- Specific features -- Correspondences -- Relations to other scripts -- Section 32: Gujarati writing / PJ Mistry -- Symbols -- Specific features -- Section 33: Gurmukhi script / Harjeet Singh Gill -- Consonants -- Vowels and accessory signs -- Tones -- Section 34: Bengali writing / Tista Bagchi -- Differences in inventory of characters -- Script-to-pronunciation correspondences -- Clusters -- Section 35: Oriya writing / BP Mahapatra -- Symbols -- Conjunct consonants -- Distinctive characteristics -- Section 36: Sinhala writing / James W Gair -- Symbols -- Correspondence of speech to writing -- Section 37: Kannada and Telugu writing / William Bright -- Symbols -- Characteristic features -- Correspondences -- Section 38: Malayalam writing / K P Mohanan -- Section 39: Tamil writing / Sanford B Steever -- Historical background -- Description -- Adequacy in representing Tamil phonology -- Trends -- Section 40: Tibetan script and derivatives / Leonard W J van der Kuijp -- Symbols and specific features -- Additional features -- Lepcha script -- Phags pa script -- Part 7: Southeast Asian Writing Systems -- Introduction / Christopher Court -- Section 41: Spread of Brahmi script into Southeast Asia / Christopher Court -- Beginnings of writing -- Indigenization of Indian scripts -- Section 42: Burmese writing / Julian J Wheatley -- History -- Symbols -- General characteristics -- Pronunciation -- Miscellaneous signs and modifications -- Section 43: Thai and Lao writing / Anthony Diller -- Development -- Consonant symbols -- Vowel symbols -- Tone rules -- Numerals and other symbols -- Section 44: Khmer writing / Eric Schiller -- Symbols -- Correspondences -- Punctuation and numerals -- Section 45: Insular Southeast Asian scripts / Joel C Kuipers and Ray McDermott -- Structure and historical continuity: the Holle charts -- Cultural uses of the writing systems of Insular -- Southeast Asia -- Arresting case: the Hanunoo of Mindoro, Philippines -- Part 8: Middle Eastern Writing Systems -- Introduction / Peter T Daniels -- Section 46: Jewish scripts / Richard L Goerwitz -- From Phoenician to Aramaic to Jewish script -- From consonants to vowels -- Codification of the medieval script -- Section 47: Aramaic scripts for Aramaic languages / Peter T Daniels -- Classical Syriac -- Modern Aramaic / Robert D Hoberman -- Mandaic / Peter T Daniels -- Section 48: Aramaic scripts for Iranian languages / P Oktor Skjaerovo -- Orthographic principles -- Developments from Imperial Aramaic -- Developments from Estrangelo Syriac -- Developments from Nestorian Syriac -- Section 49: Aramaic scripts for Altaic languages / Gyorgy Kara -- Runiform alphabet of the ancient Turks -- Uyghur alphabet -- Manichean script of the Uyghurs -- Mongolian script -- Clear script -- Manchu alphabet -- Buryat alphabet -- Cyrillic script -- Section 50: Arabic writing / Thomas Bauer -- Basic characters -- Morphophonemic representation -- Optional signs -- Effects of defectiveness -- Dhivehi writing / James W Gair and Bruce D Cain -- Symbols -- Section 51: Ethiopic writing / Getatchew Haile -- Consonants -- Vowels -- Characters or diagrams -- Numerals -- Writing Ethiopic -- Part 9: Scripts Invented In Modern Times -- Introduction / Peter T Daniels -- Section 52: Invention of writing / Peter T Daniels -- Sophisticated grammatogenies -- Unsophisticated grammatogenies -- Origin of writing -- Section 53: Cherokee writing / Janine Scancarelli -- Characters of the Cherokee syllabary and their arrangement -- Appearance of written Cherokee -- Sound and spelling of Cherokee -- Uses of the syllabary -- Section 54: Scripts of West Africa / John Victor Singler -- N'Ko alphabet -- Vai script -- Section 55: Cree syllabary / John D Nichols -- Algonquian syllabaries -- Scripts for Inuit (Eskimo) languages -- Syllabics for Sub-Arctic Athabaskan languages -- Section 56: Scripts for Munda languages / Norman Zide -- Sorang Sompeng -- Ol Cemet' -- Ho -- Section 57: Pahawh Hmong script / Martha Ratliff -- Features of the system -- Symbols -- Use -- Part 10: Use And Adaptation Of Scripts -- Introduction / Peter T Daniels -- Section 58: Functional classification / John Mountford -- Functional kinds of writing system -- General-purpose versus special-purpose writing systems -- Terminology -- Composition of writing systems in relation to function -- Multiplicity of writing systems -- More functional kinds? -- Conclusion -- Section 59: Adaptations of the Roman alphabet -- Romance languages / Edward Tuttle -- Germanic languages / Wayne <Senner -- Celtic languages / Damian McManus -- Languages of Eastern and Southern Europe / Bernard Comrie -- African languages / John Bendor-Samuel -- Vietnamese / Nguyen Dinh-Hoa -- Section 60: Adaptations of the Cyrillic alphabet / Bernard Comrie -- Slavic languages -- Non-Slavic languages -- Section 61: Adaptations of Hebrew script / Benjamin Hary -- Jewish "languages" or etholects -- Judeo-Arabic -- Judeo-Spanish (Ladino) -- Yiddish / Howard I Aronson -- Section 62: Adaptations of Arabic script / Alan S Kaye -- Spread of Arabic script -- Minor adaptations of the Arabic script -- General characteristics of Arabic-based writing systems -- Scripts of Islamic literary languages -- Part 11: Sociolinguistics And Scripts -- Introduction / William Bright -- Section 63: Germany: script and politics / Gerhard Augst -- Section 64: Serbo-Croatian: a biscriptal language / Laurie Beth Feldman and Dragana Barac-Cikoja -- Section 65: South Asia: coexistence of scripts / Colin P Masica -- Section 66: Christian missionary activities / Allan Gleason -- Section 67: Script reform in and after the Soviet Union / Bernard Comrie -- Script replacement -- Intra-script reform -- Post-Soviet developments -- Part 12: Secondary Notation Systems -- Introduction / Peter T Daniels -- Section 68: Alphabet as a technology / M O'Connor -- How do people learn how to write? -- Order of the alphabet -- Letter names -- Elements of writing systems used for various purposes -- Section 69: Numerical notation / John Soren Pettersson -- Forerunners of numerical notation -- Ancient Near East -- South and East Asia -- Classical Greece and Rome -- 0 -- 9 -- Further reading -- Section 70: Shorthand / Peter T Daniels -- Historical survey -- typology -- Section 71: Phonetic notation / Michael K C MacMahon -- International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) -- Other alphabetic notations -- Iconic notation -- Linear and parametric notations -- Analphabetic notation -- Summary -- Section 72: Music notation / James D McCawley -- Pitch -- Duration -- Dynamics and articulation -- Structure -- Modifications -- Section 73: Movement notation systems / Brenda Farnell -- Historical developments in Europe -- Emergence of general movement scripts -- Problems in the transcription of human movement -- Part 13: Imprinting And Printing -- Introduction / Peter T Daniels -- Section 74: Analog and digital writing / Peter T Daniels -- Dichotomy -- History -- People -- Machines -- Consequences -- Index.
Other names
Related item
  • Online version:: World's writing systems. New York : Oxford University Press, 1996
  • http://catdir.loc.gov/catdir/enhancements/fy0604/95002247-d.html
  • http://www.loc.gov/catdir/enhancements/fy0604/95002247-d.html
Genre
  • Bibliography
  • Illustrated
  • text
Language
  • English
  • Multiple languages

Summary

  • 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.
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University of Aberdeen Libraries: Sir Duncan Rice Library: Floor 5 411 Dan
Aberystwyth University Library: Hugh Owen: Level F Z40.W9
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University of Essex: Albert Sloman Library P 211.W6
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University of Hull: BJL 6th Floor P 211 W9
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Institute of Classical Studies Library: Institute of Classical Studies, Main Library 98B
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University of Liverpool Library: Sydney Jones Library P211.D18 19
The London Library: London Library Philology, Writing
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