Writing Systems: An Introduction to Their Linguistic Analysis (C 

Writing Systems: An Introduction to Their Linguistic Analysis (C
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Writing Systems
An Introduction to their Linguistic Analysis
FLORIAN COULMAS


During its long history the problem of reducing language to writing, and con-
versely that of interpreting written signs as language, has found a variety of
solutions, which still exist in the form of different writing systems. Written by
a leading expert, this new textbook provides an accessible introduction to the
major writing systems of the world, from cuneiform to English spelling. Florian
Coulmas presents detailed descriptions of the world’s writing systems and ex-
plains their structural complexities as well as the intricate relationship between
written and spoken language. The book also provides a clear and engaging ac-
countofthehistoryofwritinganditsconsequencesforhumanthoughtandliterate
society.
This illustrated textbook includes questions for discussion at the end of each
chapter,andanup-to-dateexplanationoftheoreticalissues.Clearlyorganizedand
engagingly written, it is the ideal textbook for use in courses on writing systems.
FLORIAN COULMAS is Professor of Japanese Studies at Gerhard Mercator
University, Duisburg. He has published several works on writing and written lan-
guage including The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Writing Systems (1996) and
The Writing Systems of the World (1989).
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