978-0-8032-4202-9 / 0803242026

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About the book:

Stemming from the 'Sign, Symbol, Script' exhibit sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, this book discusses the genesis of the world's major writing systems, including cuneiform, hieroglyphs, various alphabets, early Germanic runes and Celtic systems, Chinese characters, and ancient American symbols. 'A stimulating collection' - "Language". 'A splendid overview of the state of the art. This lively topic continues to challenge new generations of professionals and amateurs alike' - Gregory Nagy, Harvard University.'This collection of twelve essays, written by experts, outlines what is now known about the origins and development of writing. The topics discussed include such precursors to writing as the tokens used for record-keeping in the Middle East, as well as cuneiform and Egyptian hieroglyphics. The alphabet is treated from its invention to its use in Arabic, Greek, and Latin. Also presented are the writing systems of China and Middle America and two European systems, runes and ogham, that have been superseded by the Latin alphabet. An introduction surveys the subject and explores myths and theories on the invention of writing. The usefulness of this volume is enhanced by its many illustrations and by the bibliographies found at the end of each chapter' - "Library Journal". Wayne M. Senner is a professor of German and Scandinavian at Arizona State University.

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