students-handout-writing - 02/02/2011 History of writing 1....

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1 02/02/2011 History of writing 1. Importance of Writing for Historical Linguistics a) Preservation of texts/language of earlier periods. b) Difficulties: Interpreting/deciphering new(ly discovered) scripts. E.g. decipherment of cuneiform script by 19 th Century scholars. 2. Scripts and Language Relationships a) There is no direct relation between script and language relation. 3. Orality a) One function of writing is to preserve records, i.e. religious texts. b) But writing is not the only way for preserving texts. E.g. memorization of Vedic (Sanskrit) tradition in India. E.g.
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2 4. Integrity of Oral texts In the Vedic tradition, various methods were employed in ensure the accurate transmission of these oral texts. a) Memorize the text in two ways: Samhitaa and paada versions. Samhitaa = the way words sound when put together in normal speech, eg. – dijja see ‘im ? Paada = separate out the words: did – you – see – him ? b) Employ additional modes of recitation, e.g. A B B A B C C B C D D C etc. E.g.
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3 5. Forerunners of Writing Oral traditions often employ non-oral “props” to increase their accuracy, or for contexts in which oral communication is not possible. A) Mnemonic counting devices
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This note was uploaded on 09/11/2011 for the course LING 210 taught by Professor Adrianamolina-munoz during the Spring '11 term at University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

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students-handout-writing - 02/02/2011 History of writing 1....

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