"The Story of Writing: The Origins and Development of Writing Systems"

7:00 pm on Wednesday, November 20, 2013
9:00 pm on Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Contact Name:
Carol Neidle
An overview of the major types of writing systems, their structure, and their historical evolution. This lecture will focus on the history of writing in the Mediterranean region, also briefly discussing several writing systems used in East Asia. We will survey the Egyptian hieroglyphs, the Sumerian‐Akkadian cuneiform, the Phoenician consonantal script (abjad), and finally the Greek and Roman alphabets. To complement this historical overview, a typology of writing systems will be presented; we will also discuss the feasibility of a writing system completely devoid of any reference to the phonological structure of a language. All those interested in ancient languages and civilizations, historical linguistics, and phonology are invited. Sponsored by the Linguistics Program, Department of Romance Studies. Co-sponsored by the BU undergraduate Linguistics Association (BULA) and the BU undergraduate Classics Association.