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1

What exactly is it that you know when you know a language?

Knowledge of a language is knowing how meaning is associated with linguistic form.

2

Writing system definition

a set of VISIBLE or TACTILE signs which REPRESENT Linguistic units.

- NOT necessarily a rep of the SPOKEN LANG

3

Two basic types of writing system

Logographic

Phonographic

4

Logographic definition

symbols represent whole words or morphemes

(morpheme: a meaningful morphological unit of a language that cannot be further divided (e.g. in, come, -ing, forming incoming)

5

Phonographic definition

symbols represent sounds or sound sequences

6

"Sign" definition & 3 types

‘sign’ = relation between SIGNIFIER and what it SIGNIFIES

ISI = 3 types

ICON
SYMBOL
INDEX

7

Icon
(iconic sign) def

'Fit to signify’ by virtue of a PHYSICAL RESEMBLANCE between the sign and what it stands for.

8

Index
(indexical sign) def

directly “POINTS” to what it signifies, as a
PHYSICAL CONSEQUENCE

- animal track = index of animal
- smoke = index of combustion

There is a casual link btwn indexical sign + its source (NOT ARBITRARY)

9

Symbol
(symbolic sign) def

fit to signify ONLY by virtue of some AGREEMENT it doesn't signify
- i.e. ARBITRARY + CONVENTIONAL

Spoken Lang mostly symbolic (arbitrary link btwn Phonetic [dɔg] + what it signifies).
[bɐz] tho, iconic component?

Complex. ISI components.

10

Historical Pre-cursors to writing SUMMARY

iconic:
- PETROGLYPHS carved in rock (40k BP)
- ROCK PAINTING (30k BP)

symbolic:
- ISHANGO BONE (math tool?)
- Le Placard bone markings (13-15k BP)
- MESO CLAY TOKENS (>10k BP)
- abstract symbols for numbers may be crucial aspect

11

Proto-Writing

Early graphic systems - restricted set of symbols (LIMITED FUNCTIONS - i.e. not tru writing system)

- PROPERTY MARKS
- TALLY
- PICTOGRAMS

Not necessarily REP specific words/other ling. expressions

(NOT ALWAYS CLEAR DISTINCTION btwn PROTO- and WRITING)

12

TRUE writing system definition

TRUE WRITING SYSTEM
- can REP graphically ANY utterance which can be PRODUCED by a LANGUAGE

13

Pictograms/Pictographs

ICONIC.
communication, not art

- images that RESEMBLE objects/situations. REP those or related obj/sit
- unsystematic, variable
- MAY be INDEPENDENT of word/Ling expression
- INTERPRETED, not READ

pic of glass = glass

14

Ideograms

Character REPRESENTS IDEA/CONCEPT of a thing rather than LINGUISTIC EXPRESSIONS (words to say it)

a character symbolizing the idea of a thing without indicating the sounds used to say it. Examples include NUMERALS and CHINESE CHARACTERS

pic of glass = beer, glass in general, the glass industry, or intoxication,

15

Where are ideograms in modern writing systems?

Limited places.
- NUMERALS
- MATH SYMBOLS

x, =
not 1 to 1 correspondence w specific words/expressions


eg10x2=20
‘ten times two equals twenty’
‘ten multiplied by two makes twenty’
‘ten twos are twenty’

So ‘x’ REP CONCEPT, NOT SPECIFIC EXPRESSION

16

When was writing invented ?

Invented only about THREE TIMES, INDEPENDENTLY

- Fertile Crescent, Middle east (MESOPOTAMIA,EGYPT) 3200BCE

- China (SHANG DYNASTY) 1500BCE

- Mesoamerica (OLMEC, ZAPOTEC, MAYA)

17

Logograms

Graphic sign, DIRECTLY REPRESENTS a Ling element, esp, WORD or MORPHEME
withOUT REP FORM (sounds)

- ‘&’ REP the word ‘and’ without separately representing the individual phonemes /æ/ /n/ /d/.
- © REP the word copyright

18

DEVELOPMENT OF WRITING (early)

Pictograms --> Logograms

Part of "LINGUISTIC LEAP" which prod. TRUE WRITING

some logograms (eg. abstract numbers) may have been DE NOVO

iconic --> Symbolic

19

Describe Iconic --> Symbolic change

happens in 2 types of changes:

FORM --> highly iconic --> less iconic --> symbolic.
change to ARBITRARY RELATIONSHIP between FORM and LING ELEMENT


MEANING may inc. NON-RESEMBLED OBJECTS + RESEMBLED OBJECTS
- Lips = Mouth, inc, teeth, lips
- legs = walk

20

Phonogram

sign DIRECTLY REPS 1 or more SOUNDS of a lang
- used in COMBO to rep SEQUENCE of SOUNDS in words of that lang

21

Examples of Writing systems using logograms

- Chinese characters
- Egyptian hieroglyphics
(< Greek hiero ‘sacred’ glyph ‘carve’)
- Mesopotamian cuneiform (Sumerian, Akkadian, Hittite)
- Mesoamerican hieroglyphics (Olmec, Zapotec, Maya)

NO SYSTEM EXCLUSIVELY OR PREDOMINANTLY USES LOGOGRAMS

22

The Phonographic Leap

Logograms correspond to word of language but NOT SOUND
Phonograms are symbols which DO REPRESENT SOUND

Phonographic Rep developed from Logographic Rep thru RECOG of PHONOLOGICAL RELATIONSHIPS btwn diff words.

- Homophones (phonologically identical to all or part of a word)
- (systematic) phonological correspondence
- (unsystematic) phonological similarity

23

the REBUS PRINCIPLE definition

A word is represented by the sign used to represent an identical sounding or similar-sounding word.

HAIR symbol, also rep HARE
SUN symbol, also rep SON

24

Rebus Principle in development of writing systems

- 1st developed 3000 BCE in SUmerian
- "Ti" for arrow = "Ti" for Life
- "Mu" for tree = "mu" name + "mu" my suffix
Symbol then rep sequence of sounds rather than word

25

Rebus and Syllables

Syllable = grouping of sounds in word
- Vowel + Surrounding Consonants CVC

Dog = Monosyllabic
Au-to-mo-bile = Polysyllabic

Polysyllabic word can be represented by multiple signs of Monosyllabic words

26

consonant-only Rebus

"leaf" rep consonant sequence /lf/
so, also use for:
- life
- loofah
- loaf
-elf

Egyptian consonantal phonograms:
mono-consonantal
Bi-consonantal
tri-consonantal

27

ACROPHONIC PRINCIPLE

Logogram re-interpreted to represent JUST first sound(s) of a word
-  ‘apple’ could be used to represent /æ/
CONTROVERSIAL BUT WIDELY ACCEPTED

EG
Egyptian: "fVt" for horned viper also used for "fVn" for pleasant
- gave rise to abjad (alphabet representing (mostly) consonant phonemes)

28

COMBINED SYSTEMS:
Phonological and Semantic components?

Some systems combine
- Logogram
- Semantic indicator (determinative)
- phonetic indicator

Chinese writing PHONO-SEMANTIC to a large degree
character for ya - ‘duck’ 鴨 composed of
- 甲 jiaˇ ‘carapace’ as a merely similar phonological indicator
- 鳥 niaˇo ‘bird’ as a semantic indicator