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Introduction 2-3 pages (General introduction to scripts and family of scripts on south
Asia)

A writing system is an organized, regular method of information storage and transfer for
the communication of messages in a language by visually encoding and decoding with a set
of signs or symbols, both known generally as characters.
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The invention of the first writing systems is roughly contemporary with the beginning of
the Bronze Age in the late Neolithic of the late 4th millennium BC.
The Sumerian archaic cuneiform script and the Egyptian hieroglyphs are generally considered
the earliest writing systems, both emerging out of their ancestral proto-literate symbol systems
from 3400–3200 BC with earliest coherent texts from about 2600 BC. It is generally agreed that
Sumerian writing was an independent invention; however, it is debated whether Egyptian
writing was developed completely independently of Sumerian, or was a case of cultural
diffusion.

Functional classification

pictographic script

ideographic script

analytic transitional script

eins. Most Chinese characters are classified as logograms. ichi. A good example of modern western logograms are the Hindu-Arabic numerals — everyone who uses those symbols understands what 1 means whether he or she calls it one. or jedan. ehad. more precisely. As each character represents a single word (or. many logograms are required to write all the words of language. uno. While most languages do not use wholly logographic writing systems many languages use some logograms. yi. phonetic script ( International Phonetic Alphabet ) The most common type of phonetic transcription uses a phonetic alphabet  alphabetic script Logographic writing systems: A logogram is a single written character which represents a complete grammatical word. a morpheme). Directionality . ena.

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For the same reason. aggregative rather than analytic. oral language is additive rather than subordinative. Limitation of oral communication: oral language is limited by the memory of the individual. cited in Ong. so that people can communicate the same thought in two different media simultaneously — as in reading to one another. permanent quality . redundant. These elements give writing its characteristics of permanence and completeness. but also to communicate across the boundaries of space and time. Increased availability and affordability of printed texts enabled the development of the modern educational system. leading to an emphasis on formulas and mnemonic structures. Finally. 1977. and by recognized conventions of grammar and usage that help the reader understand who is being spoken about. discrete elements (the alphabet) are combined and recombined to help convey new ideas. Writing enabled societies not only to expand. . The lack of presence of the other is compensated for by textual cues like punctuation. people can refer back to written text and are not constrained to organize it in ways that encourage memory (such as setting content to songs or chants). often using new words created to meet the needs of conveying those new ideas. writing has a lasting. and conservative. 1983). 100). for instance. p. In addition. written language must have a fixed relationship with spoken language. where the student can conduct inquiry into a body of knowledge rather than rely solely on the knowledge of one teacher (Eisenstein. Written expression differs from oral expression in that it is dependent entirely on the alphabetic word — and not on the visual and vocal elements that help people communicate in face-to-face speech. As opposed to the transience of spoken language. writing's immobilization of meaning on paper allows re-reading or "backward scanning" (Goody.In written expression. The durability of written language removes the necessity for mnemonic characteristics of oral language. 1982. The reader can review the ideas presented to better understand them in terms of the author's point.

about it. more planned. Meaning and shades of meaning are conveyed by carefully chosen and placed words. Written language is less redundant. .