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abstract According adapted alphabetic writing analysis animals archaic archaic Homo sapiens Aurignacian Bilzingsleben caves century BC clay communication consonantal alphabet consonants context Coulmas cultural cuneiform dated DeFrancis 1989 depicted Diringer Driver earliest Egyptian Egyptian hieroglyphic English evolution of writing evolutionary evolved Friedrich 1966 function Gaur Gelb Gimbutas graphemes graphic Greek alphabet Gunther Haarmann 1990a hieroglyphic Homo erectus Homo sapiens human iconic ideograms inscriptions inter alia ISBN Jensen Koch Kuckenburg 1989 Kuhn kyr ago Latin alphabet Leroi-Gourhan 1964a Linear linguistic logographs Magdalenian Marshack means Mesolithic Mousterian Naveh notation origin pb DM Phoenician phonemes phonographic phonological pictograms pictographic postulated Proto-Canaanite prototypically psychograms represent representation Sampson Schlott Schmandt-Besserat scholars scripts semantic Semitic semographic signs speech spoken language stage structure Sumerian syllabary syllables symbols system of writing texts theory tion tokens Upper Palaeolithic iconography Uruk vowels words writing sensu stricto writing systems written language