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published on 28 April 2011
Writing is the representation of language in a textual medium through the use of a set of signs or symbols. Around the 4th millennium BC, the complexity of trade and administration outgrew the power of memory, and writing became a more dependable method of recording and presenting transactions in a permanent form. The original Mesopotamian writing system... [continue reading]
The history of the alphabet started in ancient Egypt. By 2700 BCE Egyptian writing had a set of some 22 hieroglyphs to represent syllables that begin with a single consonant of their language, plus a vowel (or no vowel) to be supplied by the native speaker. These glyphs were used as pronunciation guides for logograms, to write grammatical inflections, and... [continue reading]
Cuneiform is a system of writing first developed by the ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia c. 5000 BCE. The name comes from the Latin word cuneus for `wedge' owing to the wedge-shaped style of writing. In cuneiform, a carefully cut writing implement known as a stylus is pressed into soft clay to produce wedge-like impressions which represent word-signs (pictographs... [continue reading]