From Library Journal
Coulmas argues that contrary to the views of some linguists, writing has an important place in the study of language. Though specialists will be most comfortable with the intricacies of this dispute, nonspecialists can still enjoy this book for the fascinating picture it paints of the world's major writing systems: Egyptian hieroglyphics, cuneiform, and Chinese characters; Semitic and Indian writing systems; and our own alphabet. Many illustrations are provided to clarify this material. Other subjects discussed include spelling reform and creating new writing systems. A full panoply of notes and an extensive bibliography are supplied. Recommended for all libraries.- Catherine V. von Schon, SUNY at Stony Brook
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
This book is an account of the writing systems of the world from earliest times to the present. Its aim is to explore the complex ways in which writing systems relate to the language they depict. Writing, Coulmas contends, is not only the guide or garment of spoken language, but has a deep and lasting effect on the development of language itself.
His study takes in Egyptian hieroglyphics and the cuneiform system of the ancient Near East; he describes Chinese writing, discussing why an apparently cumbersome system has been used continuously for more than 3,000 years; he ranges across the writing systems of western Asia and the Middle East, the Indian families and the various alphabetic traditions which had its origins in the multifarious world of Semitic writing and came to full bloom in pre-Classical Greece.