Syllabus

Discuss class goals, objectives and expectations on the Syllabus.

Submitting Work

Class Blog

Most of your assignments will require that you post to a class blog. Begin this week by creating a class blog for yourself.

D2L

Some assignments for this class may require an upload to the Desire2Learn website. Please watch the following video.

How to Use D2L Dropbox

Additional D2L Resources

D2L Student Orientation Videos

D2L Student Reference Site

Using the Cornell Notes Method

notebook

Origins of Writing

Notes from the slideshow during class.

Verbal Language Versus Written

Writing is the visual counterpart to speech. Marks, symbols, pictures, or letters written upon a surface become a graphic counterpart of spoken words or unspoken thoughts.

Cave Drawings

Early human markings found in Africa are 200,000 years old. Visual communications are images created to communicate an idea. These pictures were made for survival, utilitarian, or ritualistic purposes.

African_cave_paintings Altamira Bison

Pictographs

Pictographs are elementary pictures or sketches to represent something. Pictographs are usually drawings or paintings on the surface of a rock.

Agawa_Rock,_panel_VIII

Petroglyphs

PEH-truh-glif

Like pictographs, petroglyphs are simple representations inscribed on rock. Petroglyphs are pictographs that are carved into to face of the rock.

Petroglyph_at_Bir_Hima_in_Saudi_Arabia

Tablets

Tablets made use of the grid to structure stories.

Ebla_clay_tablet

Cuneiform

KYOO-neh-i-form

Cuneiform is Latin for wedge-shaped. It was a difficult writing system to master, as it had hundreds of signs. It gradually became simpler and had fewer signs.

1533196998_5104b68bb8

Hieroglyphs

HAHY-ruh-glif

Pictographic drawing evolved into hieroglyphs. They continued to be comprised of hundreds of signs. Gradually, these became more simplified as well.

Hieroglyphs

Rosetta Stone

roe-ZET-uh

The Rosetta Stone was discovered in 1799. It allowed us to finally decipher hieroglyphic Egyptian, because it was transcribed in three languages (the others being classical Greek and Demotic.)

Rosetta_Stone

Hieratic

hahy-RAT-ic

Hieratic is an early form of cursive, used to write more quickly in ink on papyrus. It evolved alongside cursive hieroglyphics.

Edwin_Smith_Papyrus_v2

Demotic

dih-MOT-ik

Demotic is an ancient Egyptian script derived from hieratic. Along with hieroglyphic Egyptian and classical Greek, it was one of the languages inscribed on the Rosetta Stone.

DemoticScriptsRosettaStoneReplica

Phoenicians

fi-NEE-shuhn

The Phoenicians were barters and traders, who developed their own alphabet for business. They left behind no literature. Instead, the alphabet was used to keep records. Almost every alphabet in use today is derived from this system of writing.

FenickePismo_transBG

Alphabets

1024px-NAMA_Alphabet_grec
  • Aramaic
  • Hebrew
  • Arabic
  • Kufic
  • Maghribi
  • Indian Sanskrit
  • Classical Greek

Roman Letterforms

Inscription_displaying_apices_(from_the_shrine_of_the_Augustales_at_Herculaneum)

Writing Systems

The Rebus Principle

The idea that symbols can be used to represent the sounds of a language. This is an advancement over the use of symbols as representative of the objects themselves.

rebus sealayodhangar

Alphabets

An alphabet is a standard set of letters which is used to write one or more languages.

Letters are basic written symbols, or graphemes. The letters represent phonemes of the spoken language.

Graphemes are the smallest units used in describing the writing system of a language. They include alphabetic letters, typographic ligatures, Chinese characters, and numerical digits, along with punctuation marks.

Phonemes are basic significant sounds made by humans. These are represented in writing by alphabetic letters. The alphabetic letters may have slightly different pronunciation depending upon the context, however. Think about the difference in how the k is pronounced in kit versus skill. However, the k sound in both is still considered the same phoneme.

But alphabets are not the only writing systems…here come 50 minutes of cool videos.

Origins of Written Language [Khan Academy, 7:19]

Young explorers: a brief history of writing [British Museum, 6:08]

History of the Alphabet [Khan Academy, 9:22]

Types of Writing Systems [8:59]

World’s Easiest Writing System: Origin of Hangul [7:25]

Awesome Writing Systems — LIST #4 [10:26]

Those Other Types of Writing Systems

Abjad

Abjads, or consonant alphabets, have independent letters for consonants and may indicate vowels using some of the consonant letters and/or with diacritics.

Examples: Arabic and Hebrew

arabic-alphabet
Syllabic Alphabet/ Abugida

Syllabic alphabets or abugidas are writing systems in which the main element is the syllable. Syllables are built up of consonants, each of which has an inherent vowel, e.g. ka, kha, ga, gha.

Example: Devanagari (used for Hindi, Nepali and others)

Devanagari-New-Normal0
Syllabary

A syllabary is a phonetic writing system consisting of symbols representing syllables. A syllable is often made up of a consonant plus a vowel or a single vowel.

Example: Japanese Hiragana

2000px-Table_hiragana.svg
Pictograms and Logograms

Pictograms or pictographs resemble the things they represent. Logograms are symbols that represent parts of words or whole words.

Examples: Egyptian Hieroglyphics and Ancient Chinese

hieroglyphics-at-karnak-tem
Ideograms

Ideograms or ideographs are symbols which graphically represent abstract ideas.

Example: Modern Chinese (on right below)

chinese_stages