Writing Systems: A Linguistic Introduction
To say that writing has as much claim as speech to be treated as language may strike the reader as a statement of the obvious. But the fact is that, although the tide is beginning to turn now, for most of the twentieth century linguistics has almost wholly ignored writing. It is not necessary to accept all the theories of the French critic Jacques Derrida in order to agree with him when he describes writing as "the wandering outcast of linguistics."
This book is offered in the belief that written language is a form of language. As such, it deserves to be treated with the methods of modern, scientific linguistic study, which have been increasing our understanding of the spoken form of language for many decades.
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The earliest writing
The GraecoRoman alphabet
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allographs allophones alternative ambiguous Arabic script articulation borrowed Chapter Chinese graphs Chinese language Chinese morphemes Chinese script Chinese writing complex consonant contrast conventions cultural derived developed diphthongs discussed distinction elements English orthography English spelling European languages example fact Figure French given glottographic grammatical graphemes graphic Greek Greek alphabet Han'gul Hebrew script hiragana homophones ignored instance invented Japanese kanji Korean kun reading Latin letter-shapes letters lexical Linear linguistics logographic script man'yogana meaning Modern Face morphemes morphophonemic Mycenaean names normally obstruent occur okurigana on-readings original phonemic phonographic script phonological principle printed pronounced pronunciation reader reading relatively represent respect Roman alphabet root rules scribes seems segmental semasiographic Semitic alphabet Semitic languages sequence shape signific single sounds speakers spoken language stand stop suffix suggests Sumerian script Sumerian writing syllables symbols tokens underlying velar visual vocabulary vowels word-final words writing system writing-system written language