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acrophony Aegean Ahiram Akkadian American Indians ancient Arabic Aramaic Aztec Babylonian basic sign borrowed Byblos century B.C. character Chinese writing consonant consonantal Cretan writing cultural cuneiform writing Cypriote syllabary derived discussed drawing earliest Egyptian writing English Ethiopic example forerunners of writing frequently full system Greek alphabet Hebrew history of writing Hittite Hurrian identical important inner structural inscriptions invented Japanese Latin Latin alphabet linguistic logograms logographic Mallery marks matres lectionis Maya means Mesopotamian cuneiform modern names normally number of signs Oriental systems origin period Persian Phoenician phonetic complements Pictographs pictorial plene writing primitive principle Proto-Elamite Proto-Indic represented scholars semasiography Semitic languages Semitic systems sign expresses so-called sound speech spellings stage stand Sumerian Sumerian writing syllabic signs syllabic systems syllabic writing symbols system of writing texts tion transliterated Ugaritic Uruk various vowel vowel indication vowel signs West Semitic word signs word-syllabic writing written