Item Code: IDD824
by David DiringerHardcover (Edition: 1996)
Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 9.8" X 6.8"
Pages: 520 (B & W Figures: 255)
Price: $40.00 Shipping Free
Writing is one of the most important means of communication - the only one that can defy time and space. Whenever there has been civilization there has been writing and reading in the remote past as in the present day. Written language has become the vehicle of civilization and so of learning and education. Writing is thus one of the main aspects of culture which clearly distinguish mankind from the animal world.
The purpose of this book is to provide an introduction to this fascinating subject of the history of writing or the alphabet. In the first part a historical sketch of the development of the non-alphabetic scripts is discussed and the second part deals with the origin and development of alphabet. More space is devoted to less-known problems, to those which present more interest from the standpoint of the history of writing, to the origins of some single scripts, to the connection between the various system, and so forth rather than deal with all the alphabets of all the modern nations of the world.
The book is intended for two different type of readers. The general readers will, it is hoped, welcome the information supplied by the notes on the history of some little known people and on the linguistic and ethnic problems presented by others. The student on the other hand, who may use the book as an approach the study of different scripts and alphabets, will undoubtedly find the bibliographies a valuable aid to further study.
The name. Beginnings. Development of system. The peoples who employed cuneiform writing: Sumerians; Babylonians and Assyrians; other peoples Elamites; Early Elamite script; Neo-Elamite writing. End of the cuneiform writing. Decipherment. Bibliography.
The name. Origins. History of hieroglyphic writing. Hieratic writing. Demotic writing. Decipherment of Egyptian scripts. Bibliography.
Minoan civilization. Undeciphered scripts of Crete: Pictographic scripts ; Linear scripts. Origin of Cretan scripts. Attempted decipherments. The Phaistos disc. Bibliography.
General sketch. Exploration, excavation and studies. Cultural and chronological relationships with other civilizations. The Indus Valley script. Origin. Attempted decipherments. Supposed influences on other scripts. Bibliography.
Hittites. The peoples: their language and civilization. Main historical events. Hittite hieroglyphic writing. Origin of Hittite hieroglyphic writing. Bibliography.
Chinese. Origin of Chinese culture. Origin of Chinese writing. Earliest inscriptions. Story of Chinese characters: External form of Chinese symbols; main varieties of Chinese writing; systematization of Chinese characters; Phonetic dictionaries. Classification of Chinese characters. Modern Chinese writing; representation of Chinese by Latin alphabet. Bibliography
General sketch. "Mystery" of ancient Mexico. Study of ancient Mexico and Central America. Cultures of ancient Mexico and Central America. Main peoples who developed ancient Mexican and Central American cultures: Mayas; Zapotecs; Toltecs; Aztecs. Indigenous scripts of pre-Columbian America: Aztec character; Aztec codices, Aztec script. Maya script; Maya system of writing. Bibliography.
"Mysterious" problem. Facts. The script. Origin. Connection with other scripts. Bibliography.
General sketch. "Ideographic" scripts of non-Chinese people of China: Lo-lo-Mo-so group;Lo-lo script; Mo-so scripts; Man group: Central and northern China; Tangut script; bibliography. West African "ideographic" scripts; Nsibidi; the name; origin; the script; bibliography. Bamun scripts; bibliography. Recent ideographic scripts of American Indians; bibliography. Minahassa script. Chukcha script; bibliography.
Syllabaries. Pseudo-hieroglyphic script of Byblos: the inscription; the script; decipherment. Cypriote syllabary; bibliography. Japanese scripts: prehistoric Japanese "writings"; origin of Japanese scripts; Japanese ideograms; Japanese syllabic scripts; bibliography; suggested introduction of Latin alphabet. Cherokee syllabary: the script; origin. Morice's and Eubanks' Cherokee scripts; bibliography. Vai syllabary: bibliography. Artificial scripts of native Canadian tribes: Cree syllabary; bibliography. Southwestern China: the pollard and allied systems.
The scripts. Early Persian cuneiform script: the script; origin and end; inscriptions; decipherment; bibliography. Meroitic scripts: Meroe; the scripts; orgin; influences; bibliography.
The problem. Egyptian theory. Other theories. Cretan theory. Prehistoric-geometric signs theory. Ideographic theory. Sinaitic theory. Ugarit cuneiform alphabet. The pseudo-hieroglyphic script of Byblos and the origin of the alphabet according to M. Dunand. Undeciphered inscription found in Egypt. Balu 'a inscription. Other attempts at alphabetic writing. Early Canaanite inscriptions and "missing-link" theory. North Semitic inscriptions. Original alphabetic writing. Where was the alphabet invented? Influence of other systems. Decisive achievement. Absence of vowels. Names of letters. Order of letters. Main branches of early alphabets. Bibliography.
Ancient South Arabia. South Semitic alphabets. South Arabian inscriptions. North Arabian inscriptions. Origin of South Semitic alphabets. Ethiopic script: origin; development of Ethiopic writing. Bibliography.
Cannanites. Early Hebrew alphabet; inscription; the script. Samaritan alphabet and script on Jewish coins. Scripts of Moabites, Ammonites, and Edomites. Phoenician laphabet. Bibliography. Probable offshoots of Phoenician alphabet: Libyan scripts; bibliography. Iberian scripts; bibliography.
Th Aramaeans; Aramaean states; spread of Aramaic speech. Aramaic alphabet; development; "dog-Aramaic"; Armazi Aramaic. Offshoots of Aramaic alphabet; classical Hebrew alphabet: origin; inscriptions and manuscripts; varieties of Hebrew alphabet; modern Hebrew alphabet; vowel marks; other diacritical marks; origin of punctuation marks and their employment; Yiddish and Judezmo. The Nabataeans and their script. Neo-Sinaitic alphabet. Arabic alphabet: Arabic language and script; origin of Arabic alphabet; early development of Arabic alphabet; development of Arabic script: Kufic and Naskhi; modern Arabic alphabet; diacritical points; adaptation of the Arabic character to other languages. Palmyrene alphabet. Syriac scripts: character to other language. Palmyrene alphabet. Syriac scripts: Syrians; their scripts; syriac; Christian Palestinian or Palestinian Syriac; Syriac alphabet; vocalization; punctuation; direction of writing; varieties of Syriac scripts: Estrangela and its descendants; "alphabet follows religion": Nestorians; "Assyrians"; Jacobites; Melkites; development of Nestorian, Jacobite and Melkite scripts; Neo-Syrian character; Garshuni; Greek in Syriac script. Mandaean alphabet. Manichaean alphabet. Bibliography.
APPENDIX TO CHAPTER IV. (Section on Arabic alphabet).
Malagasy script - problems awaiting solution. Yezidi cryptic script. Balti alphabet. Somali alphabet.
"The alphabet follows religion." Kharoshthi scrip and the problem of Indian writings; coins and inscriptions; other documents; the script; bibliography. Persian or Iranian scripts: general sketch; Pahlavi; Aramaic "ideograms"; Pahlavi alphabets; the scripts; the Avesta; bibliography. Sogdian alphabet; bibliography. Kok Turki runes; bibliography. Early Hungarian script; bibliography. Uighur alphabet; Buriat alphabet; bibliography. Probable offshoots of Aramaic branch; Armenian scripts; Armenian alphabet; origin of Armenian writing; bibliography. Georgian alphabets: Georgian; Georgian scripts; origin; bibliography.Alban or Alvan alphabet.
Origin of Indian writing: theories concerning origin of brahmi script. Indian inscriptions. Development of Indian scripts: Early period (up to fourth century A.D.); main type of early Indian or Brahmi scripts: (1) script written from right to left; (2) Early Maurya type, third century B.C.; (3) Early Kalinga type - the "Dravidi script; (4) Early western Deccan or Andhra script; (5) Late Maurya type; (6) Sunga type; (7) Prototypes of North Indian sub-division; (8) Prototype of South Indian scripts. Further development of Indian scripts: North Indian scripts (fourth century A.D. -fourteenth century): North Indian monumental type known as Gupta; Central Asian Gupta sub varieties: Central Asian slanting Gupta: Agnean and Kuchean; Agnean and Kuchean charactyers; bibliography; Chinese in cursive Gupta character. Western branch of eastern gupta; bibliography. Tibetan scripts and their offshoots: Passepa Character; Lepcha character. Adaptation of the Tibetan character to other language; the Nam language; Chinese in Tibetan writing. Siddhamatrka character; Deva-nagari script; Nandi-nagari; deva-nagari character; Sarada script; Proto-Bengali character; Oriya script; Maithili character; Early Manipuri character; Assamese character; Kaithi character; Gujarati script; Bihari character; eastern Hindi character; Mahajani character; Modi character. Modern north-western script; Takri character and its varieties: Dogri character; Cameali character; Mandeali character; Sirmauri character; Jaunsari character ;Kochi character; Kului character; Kashtawari character. Landa scripts: Multani character; Sindhi Varieties; Subdgu cgaracterl Gurmukhi script. South Indian scripts: Dravidian languages; development of South Indian character: Western variety; Centeral Indian script; Kanarese and Telugu character ;Later Kalinga script; Grantha character: early Grantha; middle Grantha; transitional Grantha modern Grantha; Tulu-Malayalam character. Tamil character. Vatteluttu character. Sinhalese character: Island of Cylon; development of Sinhalese language and script: Pali-Prakrit Sinhalese; proto-Sinhalese; mediaeval sinhalese; modern Sinhalese; bibliography. Maldivian scripts: General sketc; Evela Akuru; Dives Akuru; Gabuli Tana. Syro-Malabarese alphabet; bibliography. Textof specimens of modern Indian scripts. Bibliography.
APPENDIX TO CHAPTER VI
APPENDIX TO CHAPTER VII
Korean character: Un-mun; vowel and consonants; is the Korean alphabet perfect? Origin of Korean alphabet. Woleai syllabary (?): the island; native script; origin; bibliography.
The Greek. Origin of the Greek alphabet. Changes introduced in the Greek alphabet. Varieties of Early Greek alphabet. Greek vowels. Greek sibilants. Additional consonantal signs. Classical Greek alphabet. Development of greek writing. Greek inscription and manuscripts. Conclusion. Bibliography. Asianic alphabet: Lycian alphabet; Phrygian alphabet; Pamphylian alphabet; Lydian alphabet; Carian script; conclusion; bibliography. Coptic alphabet; bibliography. Nubian character; bibliography. Messapian alphabet; bibliography. Gothic alphabet; bibliography. Early Slavonic alphabets: Cyrillie alphabet; adoption of the Cyrillic alphabet for, and its adaptation to, other language; reform of Russian orthography; Bukvitsa; Glagolitic alphabet; origin of Cyrillic and Glagolitic alphabets; bibliography. Local Albanian alphabets; bibliography. Alphabets of western Europe.
The Etruscans. Etruscan inscriptions. Etruscan alphabet. Origin of Etruscan alphabet. Development of Etruscan scritp. Last stage of Etruscan alphabet. Offshoots of the Etruscan alphabet: alphabet of the Piceni; Ventic alphabet; North Etruscan alphabets; Italic scripts: Oscan alphabet; Umbrian alphabet; Siculan alphabet; Latinian alphabets: Faliscan alphabet. Bibliography.
APPENDIX TO CHAPTER IX. - RUNES AND OGHAMS
Runes: the name; inscriptions and written documents; runic manuscripts; inscriptions found in sweden; Denmark and Schleswig; Norway; the British Isles; other countries; earliest inscriptions; origin of runes; the Futhark; development of runic writing: Early or Common Teutonic of Primitive Norse; Slavic runes; Anglo-Saxon or Anglian runes; Nordic or Scandinavian varieties; Haelsinge runes; the Manx runes; the dotted runes; cryptic varieties; end of runic scripts; bibliography. Oghams: the name; oghamic inscriptions; origin of the oghams; oghamic scripts; bibliography. Pictish oghams; the Picts; the script; heraldry (?); bibliography: Teutonic oghams(?); bibliography.
Early Latin inscriptions. Origin of the Latin alphabet. Development of the Latin alphabet. Latin cursive scripts. Varieties of the Latin alphabet. Mediaevel Varieties of the Latin alphabet: Italian semi-cursive minuscule; other continental hands; Insular or Anglo-Irish hands: Irish hand; Anglo-Saxon hand. Caroline or Carolingian hand. "Black letter" or Gothic. "Italic" and "Roman" type. Adaptation of the Latin alphabet to other languages. English alphabet. Problem of a standard international alphabet. Bibliography.
APPENDIX TO CHAPTER X
Specimens of adaptations of Latin script to African languages: Nyanja; Twi; Yoruba; Efik. Oberi Okaime Script.