Writing Systems of the World / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $7.51
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 88%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (17) from $7.51   
  • New (6) from $49.14   
  • Used (11) from $7.51   

Overview

This book is an account of the writing systems of the world from earliest times to the present. Its aim is to explore the complex ways in which writing systems relate to the language they depict. Writing, Coulmas contends, is not only the guide or garment of spoken language, but has a deep and lasting effect on the development of language itself.

His study takes in Egyptian hieroglyphics and the cuneiform system of the ancient Near East; he describes Chinese writing, discussing why an apparently cumbersome system has been used continuously for more than 3,000 years; he ranges across the writing systems of western Asia and the Middle East, the Indian families and the various alphabetic traditions which had its origins in the multifarious world of Semitic writing and came to full bloom in pre-Classical Greece.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Coulmas argues that contrary to the views of some linguists, writing has an important place in the study of language. Though specialists will be most comfortable with the intricacies of this dispute, nonspecialists can still enjoy this book for the fascinating picture it paints of the world's major writing systems: Egyptian hieroglyphics, cuneiform, and Chinese characters; Semitic and Indian writing systems; and our own alphabet. Many illustrations are provided to clarify this material. Other subjects discussed include spelling reform and creating new writing systems. A full panoply of notes and an extensive bibliography are supplied. Recommended for all libraries.-- Catherine V. von Schon, SUNY at Stony Brook
Booknews
An account of the writing systems of the world from earliest times to the present, the evolution from the icon through increasingly more stylized and abstract pictograms to purely arbitrary phonetic symbols. An exploration of the ways in which writing systems relate to the development of the language itself. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631180289
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/16/1991
  • Series: Language Library Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 316
  • Product dimensions: 6.11 (w) x 9.09 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Florian Coulmas is Professor of Linguistics at Chuo University, Tokyo. He has written and edited several books in Linguistics and Sociolinguistics and is associate editor of the International Journal of the Sociology of Language.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface.

Part I: Theoretical Perspectives:.

1. What Writing Is All About.

2. From Icon to Symbol: The General Trend of Evolution.

3. Units of Speech and Units of Writing.

Part II: Writing Systems:.

4. Sacred Characters: The Theocratic Script of Egypt.

5. From Word to Syllable I: Cuneiform Writing.

6. An Alternative to the Alphabet: The Chinese Writing System.

7. From Word to Syllable II: Chinese Characters for other Languages.

8. Semitic Writing: Syllables or Consonants?.

9. The Alphabet.

10. Writing in India.

Part III: Practical Problems:.

11. From Letter to Sound: Deciphering Written Languages.

12. From Sound to Letter: Creating Alphabets.

13. Writing Reform: Conditions and Implications.

Part IV: Conclusion:.

14. What Writing Means for Linguistics.

References.

Appendix I: Ancient Near Eastern Chronology.

Appendix II: Far Eastern Chronology.

Index.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)