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LIN100Y1 Study Guide - Syllabary, Norway House

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-The symbolic representation of language by graphic signs or symbols
Development of writing systems
-Writing originated in multiple places, including Mesopotamia, China, and various
Mayan civilizations
Types of writing
-Logographic writing
oSymbols represent morphemes or words
oOldest type of writing
Ex. Sumerian before it evolved into phonographic writing
oPresent in all writing systems
Ex. %, &, $, 15
-Phonographic writing
oSymbols represent syllables or sounds
Occurred once pictures began to be read as words
oSyllabic writing
Signs represent syllables
Well-suited for languages with simple CV and CVC syllabic
Ex. Cree, Japanese
oAlphabetic writing
Symbols represent consonants and vowels
Alphabets ignore non-phonemic phenomena (i.e. consonant
aspiration, vowel nasalization)
Ex. English
-Image of the object or concept represented
-Pictures are precursors of written word, but not writing per se
oEarliest pictographic writing in Sumeria around 5000 years ago
-No presentation of linguistic element (i.e. segments, syllables, morphemes, or
word order)
-Ex. present-day symbols on bathrooms, highways
oIndependent of specific language
Semantic extension
-Meaning extended to abstract concepts
-Ex. Egyptian hieroglyphic for water meaning fresh, cool; Sumerian logogram for
foot meaning to go
oSumerian combined logogram of a head on fire meant anger
Phonetic extension
Syllabary: set of
syllabic signs
Ideas associated
with object
(sem. ext.)
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