Signs of Writing

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Psychology Press, 1995 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 185 pages
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In Signs of Writing Roy Harris re-examines basic questions about writing that have long been obscured by the traditional assumption that writing is merely a visual substitute for speech.
By treating writing as an independent mode of communication, based on the use of spatial relations to connect events separated in time, the author shows how musical, mathematical and other forms of writing obey the same principles as verbal writing. These principles, he argues, apply to texts of all kinds: a sonnet, a symphonic score, a signature on a cheque and a supermarket label. Moreover, they apply throughout the history of writing, from hieroglyphics to hypertext.
This is the first book to provide a new general theory of writing in over forty years. Signs of Writing will be essential reading for anyone interested in language and communication.
 

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Contents

A theory of writing
3
Perspectives on writing II
11
Integrational semiology
21
A theory of written communication
33
Writing and temporality
38
H Writing and space
45
A theory of the written sign
51
A theorv of writing systems
56
The signature
80
Sign and signification
85
Topics in the theory of writing systems 13 Writing script and chart
91
Scripts and levels
95
Scripts and notations
102
tiraphic space
121
mathematics
134
Other forms of nonglottic writing
147

Forming processing and interpretation
64
Topics in the theory of the written sign 10 Signs emblems and tokens
71
Writing and thought
164
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About the author (1995)

Harris is Emeritus Professor of General Linguistics at the University of Oxford.

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