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LINA02 Writing Systems

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Narayan, Chandan

idiolect: the unique characteristics of the language of an individual regional dialects: changes to language in one specific area social dialects: changes to a language to a specific sociolingustic group accents: phonetic distinctions lexical differences: different words use to describe the same concept When systematic differences between groups appear, dialects are formed Isogloss: a line in a map enclosing an area sharing some feature - Logographic: oldest type of writing using symbols; to represent morphemes or entire words - Pictograms: symbols used to represent objects or concepts - Cuneiform: symbols’ resemblance to original pictogram decreased over the years o some cuneiform symbols represented morphemes: morphographic o some cuneiform symbols represented sounds (usually syllables): phonographic - Egyptian: mixture of phonographic and morphographic pictograms - Semitic: abjad - main symbols represent consonants o Completely phonographic; symbols represent sounds o Similarities with hieroglyphics but west semitic pronounciation o In Semitic abjads vowels were ignored initially – Later diacritics were used to represent vowels o Writing spread throughout the area as Aramaic (Northwest Semitic) become the lingua franca across the Middle East o Modern Hebrew and Arabic continue to be abjads o Other syllabic syste
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