Writing Systems

Overview

The cultures of the world have chosen different ways to make spoken language visible and permanent. The original edition of Writing Systems represented the first time that modern linguistic principles were brought to bear on a study of this. Now this new edition brings the story up to date; it incorporates topics which have emerged since the first edition (such as electronic techniques for encoding the world's scripts), together with new findings about established topics, including the ultimate historical origin ...
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Overview

The cultures of the world have chosen different ways to make spoken language visible and permanent. The original edition of Writing Systems represented the first time that modern linguistic principles were brought to bear on a study of this. Now this new edition brings the story up to date; it incorporates topics which have emerged since the first edition (such as electronic techniques for encoding the world's scripts), together with new findings about established topics, including the ultimate historical origin of our alphabet. Featuring a series of detailed case studies of scripts of diverse types, and giving due attention to the psychology of reading and learning to read, the book is written so as to be accessible to those with no prior knowledge of any writing systems other than our own.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for the first edition "This is a splendid book ... of outstanding interest to professional linguists and students of linguistics, and also to the large number of lay readers who are fascinated by facts about human language." British Book News "A refreshing and rigorous contemporary scientific examination of writing ... Linguists on all fronts should welcome this." Choice "An incredible tour de force, covering both Western and East Asian scripts, their historical development and their linguistic features. The treatment of Chinese, Japanese and Korean scripts is particularly fascinating for a Western reader." ASI Newsletter "I have found Sampson's book invaluable as a source of descriptive information ... it is written in a straightforward and approachable manner which makes it very engaging as general reading matter ... shows an acquaintance with recent psychological work that is seldom to be found in linguistic writing." Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology "the best linguistic introduction to the study of writing systems now available." Language
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781781791042
  • Publisher: Equinox Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/31/2015
  • Edition description: updated and revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 256

Meet the Author

Geoffrey Sampson is Professor Emeritus at Sussex University and a Research Fellow in the Linguistics Department at the University of South Africa. His most recent book is Grammar Without Grammaticality (2014, with Anna Babarczy).
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Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Theoretical Preliminaries 3. The Earliest Writing 4. A Syllabic System: Linear B 5. Consonantal Writing 6. European Alphabetic Writing 7. Influences on Graph-shape Evolution 8. A Featural System: Korean Hangul 9. A Logographic System: Chinese Writing 10. Pros and Cons of Logography 11. A Mixed System: Japanese Writing 12. Writing Systems and Information Technology 13. English Spelling 14. Conclusion
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