Presentation on theme: "A Short History of Writing: Ouaknin"— Presentation transcript:
1 A Short History of Writing: Ouaknin A presentation by David Tscheschke and Sam Fletcher
2 Basic Definitions“Writing only started when an organized system of signs or symbols was created that could record and fix all that the writer was thinking, feeling, and capable of expressing.”“The alphabet can be defined as a system consisting of a limited number of signs expressing the basic sounds of the language, through which it is possible to record in writing whatever the user wishes to express.”
3 Cuneiform: the oldest form of writing Signs imprinted on clay with wedge shaped stylusDeveloped from pictures (unlike “Tokens, A New Theory”)Invented by Sumerians, then adapted by Akkadians (Assyrian & Babylonian), Elamites, and HittitesEventually, Sumerian died as a common language but remained “the language of scholars”. Babylonian became the international language of the Near East.
4 Egyptian hieroglyphs (third millennium) The Four typesThe formal kind found on stone monumentsA linear form written on wood or papyrusA hieratic form which was less formal and used for everyday writing by priestsA demotic form: more stylized and less figurative
5 Other hieroglyphic scripts (third millennium B. C. to second century A Other hieroglyphic scripts (third millennium B.C. to second century A.D.)Hittite: both ideographic and phonetic, boustrophedon directionProto-Indian: never decipheredCretan: also used stylus/clay tablet, four types have been identifiedChinese: always pictographic & ideographic, never phoneticPre-Columbian American: represent words or symbols
6 Alphabetic Scripts (second millennium B.C.) Unlike hieroglyphs, emerged from a common Semitic originTwo systems: Ugaritic & Proto-SinaiticUgariticIncluded consonants and three vowels: a, e, uObsolete
7 Proto-SinaiticOrigin of western scripts, modern Hebrew, and modern ArabicCame from Hebrews at the time of the ExodusAbandoned pictographs as a result of discovering monotheismUgaritic script & Canaanite people were heavily influenced by Proto- SinaiticProto-Sinaitic developed into Proto-Phoenician, then Phoenician (origin of Greek, Latin, and modern western scripts)Greek introduced vowels, which became a part of all western writingMeanwhile, Phoenician developed into Aramaic (origin of modern “square” Hebrew script & Arabic) which never adopted vowels
8 QuestionsWhy do you think hieroglyphs were eventually replaced by alphabetic scripts?What do you think about Ouknin’s claim that monotheism changed Hebrew writing into a less pictographic and more symbolic script? Is it true?What are some of the drawbacks to alphabetic scripts which don’t include vowels?
9 ActivitiesWrite a brief sentence on a piece of paper without including vowels (like Hebrew or Arabic). Then, trade papers with a partner. How does this vowel omission affect your ability to understand accurately?Look at the chart on pgs of the reading. Do you think that this pictographic evolution of cuneiform is correct? Do you agree with the token theory instead? Explain
11 QuizHave you taken the Plagiarism training that Dr. Adkins has sent to your ?What does Bergmann caution researchers about at the onset of the chapter?Name one web resource for researchers that Bergmann discusses in chapter 5Describe the “flow chart” for keyword searches that Bergman uses (very similar to the process Martin described)