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The World's Writing Systems - Peter T. Daniels - Google Books

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The World's Writing Systems

Peter T. Daniels Oxford University Press, 1996 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 920 pages 1 Review 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.

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The world's writing systems

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Nearly 80 international scholars, the editors among them, have contributed entries in The World's Writing Systems covering all scripts officially used throughout the world as well as their historical ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Absolutely indispensable.
This book is beautiful. An incredibly extensive compilation of information about the writing systems of the world, with illustrations and examples every major system and most minor systems ever used to represent the speech of almost any human language (and even other information, such as music notation). No comparable work exists.


Contributors xxv Preface xxxv Grammatology 1 Copyright
73 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

The World's Writing Systems
Peter T. Daniels
Limited preview - 1996

Common terms and phrases

abjad Akkadian ancient Arabic script Aramaic Armenian Asia Brahmi Cambridge Carolingian Minuscule century b.c.e. characters Chinese Classical consonant consonantal cultural cuneiform cursive Cyrillic decipherment Devanagari developed diacritics dialects digraph diphthongs distinct early Egyptian English Etruscan example figure fricative Gloss Grammar graphic Greek alphabet guage Hankul Hebrew hieroglyphs Hittite Hmong Indian indicated Indus script initial inscriptions Judeo-Arabic KharosthI Korean language Latin letters ligatures Linear Linguistics literacy logograms long vowels manuscripts marks millennium modern names nasal notation original orthography palatal Persian Phoenician phonological pronounced pronunciation Proto-Elamite Repr represent Roman runes Sample Sanskrit scholars Semitic shape shorthand signs Sogdian sound South spelling standard Studies Sumerian syllabary syllables symbols Syriac tablets texts Thai tion tone traditional Transcription Translit Transliteration University Press variants velar voiced voiceless word-final words writing system written

References to this book

Literacy: An Introduction to the Ecology of Written Language
David Barton
No preview available - 2007
History of Writing
Steven Roger Fischer
Limited preview - 2003
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About the author (1996)

William Bright is at University of Colorado.

Bibliographic information

Title The World's Writing Systems Author Peter T. Daniels Editors Peter T. Daniels, William Bright Edition illustrated Publisher Oxford University Press, 1996 Original from the University of Michigan Digitized May 8, 2008 ISBN 0195079930, 9780195079937 Length 920 pages Subjects Language Arts & Disciplines  › Linguistics  › General

Language Arts & Disciplines / Alphabets & Writing Systems
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