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Unformatted text preview: The history and ecology of writing 1. Prewriting: Pictures • Prehistoric picures on the walls of caves Some are 35,000 years old. Painting is not writing: no relation to language. 2. Logographic writing • Earliest writing: Sumeria (3200 BC) • Logographic writing : each character (LOGO- GRAM) stands for a word or morpheme. • PICTOGRAM: picture-like characters at the early stage of logographic writing. • IDEOGRAM: a pictogram that is broad in interpre- tation. Ox (Sumerian) Sky (Hittite) Example: Sumerian character for “mouth” could also mean “tooth”, “speak”, or “word”. • Sumerian pictograms evolved into stylized CUNEIFORM symbolic signs. • Other logographic writing systems: Egyptian, Chinese, Mayan. • Logograms in English? Yes: $, @, 1, 2, & 3. Phonetic extension of logograms • Methods were discovered to extend logographic writing to abstract ideas. • REBUS writing: Characters are combined to form related meaning Example (Sumerian): eat = head + food • The ACROPHONIC principle: A character denotes one of its important phones (normally the first one) water : 3000 BC - 800 BC Example: Semitic ‘ox’: 2200 = • Chinese EXTENDED logograms: Compounded logograms Y+X combine phonology (sounds like X) and semantics (it relates to Y)....
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course ENG 01 taught by Professor Orgun during the Winter '08 term at UC Davis.
- Winter '08