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Comment: EX library issued paperback with the usual marks has a piece of clear tape along the spine just inside the front cover. The pages remain in clean, good reading condition. The book presents with heavy shelf wear at the lower edge. The spine is fully intact. Its been well-viewed and remains functional/useful.
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Picture Writing of the American Indians, Vol. 1 (Native American) Paperback – February 15, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Native American (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (March 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486228428
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486228426
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,807,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A must read for linguists and information scientists. Great food for thought for computer scientists and graphical designers.

Asks the forbidden 'missing link' question about what came after cave paintings and before phonetic writing. It was written 100 years ago shortly after the Egyptian Hieroglyphs were deciphered, Chinese was thought to also be hieroglyphic and the concept of 'ideography' was all the rage. Since the 80s this concept has become somewhat academically verboten, and the pendulum has swung so far the other way that many linguists deny the possibility that any form of meaningful written communications are possible without symbols that map human speech - and they don't even want to discuss it.

I'm somewhat skeptical about the 'pre-columbian-ness' of some of these symbols, but never the less, it's a good treatise on how perhaps communication is possible, and its limitations, using very basic pictographs.

It's also a good survey on the types of discourse that could take place in a world with polities but no formal phonetic or even logographic writing system.

It also provides food for thought with regards to symbolic metaphor, which should interest GUI and graphical designers. This is also interesting in the age of text messaging.

The pluses...
- Lots of glyphs.
- Each glyph has a description (albeit sometimes somewhat cryptic).
- A very exhaustive treatment.
- Geographically diverse.
- Comparison with Eurasian writing systems.
- Examination of evolution from petroglyphs to more symbolic writing.

The minuses...
- Stodgy 100 year old English writing style.
- Based on archeology 100 years old.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have always been fascinated with the pictures on the walls of Indian Caves I have visited over the year. This book explains the meanings of them not only in America but in other parts of the world too. There is a lot packed into this small book. the print is small and I can only read a little at a time as it is hard on my eyes but well worth the time.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The 4 out of 5 star review is for the book itself, not the amazon seller. (5 out of 5 stars for the seller.) The book is kind of a collection of notes, so it's a bit random, but there is plenty of good information in it. Lots of graphics. It's an interesting historical document in of itself as it was written in the 1880s.
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