A writing system
, also called a script
, is used to visually record a language with symbols
. The oldest kind of writing was pictographic
. Later developments brought logographic systems
. Among alphabets, one may distinguish the older abjads
that only recorded consonants
, and the newer alphabet of the Greek type called simply alphabet
and the abugida
Also of interest are those systems for recording sign languages, such as SignWriter, where symbols stand for particular features of signs, the symbols often resembling those sign features they stand for.
History of writing systems
The first writing system was cuneiform, which emerged among the Sumerians towards the end of the 4th millennium BC; however it was followed closely by the appearance of writing in Egypt and the Indus valley, and since then writing has appeared independently a number of times, associated with various civilizations.
Writing systems around the world
- Smalley, W.A. (ed.) 1964. Orthography studies: articles on new writing systems, United Bibe Society, London.
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