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Writing system

A writing system, also called a script, is used to visually record a language with symbols. The oldest kind of writing was pictographic or ideographical. Later developments brought logographic systems, syllabaries and alphabets. 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.

Table of contents

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

See also

Reference

  • Smalley, W.A. (ed.) 1964. Orthography studies: articles on new writing systems, United Bibe Society, London.

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