Questions which apply solely or mostly to the written forms of languages as opposed to their spoken forms.

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2
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1answer
63 views

Do native speakers of languages using logographic writing internally vocalize while reading?

I study Chinese as a second language. Listening is my strong point. When I read, I go through this process: see character  imagine myself speaking the pronunciation  think of meaning (from the ...
2
votes
3answers
95 views

Are capital and lowercase letters considered allographs?

I got into a debate the other day with somebody over whether the capitalized and decapitalized forms of certain written words (say, Polish and polish, or China and china) could be considered ...
0
votes
1answer
84 views

Unknown language on back of paintings

Can you clarify what language these writings are in and what they say?
1
vote
1answer
49 views

How can I improve my writing fluency in English? [closed]

So this is a problem I've been struggling with for quite some time now. English is a second language for me despite the fact that I've spend a lot of my childhood years in Australia (grades 1 through ...
3
votes
1answer
49 views

Possible methods of input for languages with a lot of diacritic characters

I'm afraid this question may be closed as off topic, but I am struggling to find a more applicable stack to ask this in. I am in the very early stages of studying Babylonian, and I am struggling with ...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

Writing influences speech and viceversa?

For example, language changes over time, but in languages that exist without writing, it changes naturally just influenced by itself. So when writing was introduced, did that start to influence speech ...
3
votes
1answer
524 views

Please help me identify this language (image)

I found this inscription on something I recently purchased, not sure what it is. Can you please help identify it? Thanks for the assistance.
1
vote
1answer
79 views

Use of Arabic script for Farsi

Some of the letters of the Arabic script do not represent any native Persian sounds and thus are used only for Arabic loans. Therefore, e.g., there are four "z"-sounds in the Farsi script, ز ض ظ ذ. ...
2
votes
2answers
98 views

Do written languages evolve along the lines of the script?

The medieval sound changes of New Persian are suggestive of tracing back ultimately to the script, so as if to normalize the writting by adjusting the underlying spoken language. Thus the majhul and ...
4
votes
1answer
81 views

Boustrophedonism effects

From the looks of it Boustrophedon texts should be more efficient to read. However, I can't find any modern day research regarding its effects and reasons why it would have fallen out of use in ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

What are the main factors that define the difference between spoken and written language acquisition?

I am writing an essay and could really do with some help. I am only interested in native language acquisition at this time, there seems to be many sources available on spoken language acquisition but ...
0
votes
1answer
128 views

The manifestation of creativity in written language

I am working on a project where the aim is to create a dictionary of creativity terms. I am a scholar of social psychology and marketing, and the aim the project is to be able to track ideas and ...
3
votes
2answers
125 views

To what extent is a language's morphology tied to orthography, and why do we not consider orthography when doing morphological analysis?

Linguistics classes seem to be mostly concerned with analyzing language in its spoken form. Written language is seen as almost "parasitic" to spoken language. A language's orthography generally gives ...
4
votes
3answers
378 views

Most succinct written language

I am wondering what the most succinct written language is. I would call one language more succinct than another if that language could communicate the same idea as another with fewer characters. I ...
5
votes
4answers
368 views

Is there a long list of languages whose writing systems don't use spaces?

Some languages like Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Khmer use writing systems that don't use spaces. What are other such languages? Is there a list of these languages?
2
votes
3answers
314 views

Are apostrophes and hyphens punctuation marks?

The question is: Would you classify apostrophes and hyphens as punctuation marks? Now, Webster and a lot of other sources define them as punctuation marks. I know for sure that in Russian linguistics ...
4
votes
6answers
292 views

Is it possible to become fluent in any language simply by reading books in that language?

I know the best way to learn a language is to go to a country which speaks that language, but what if you don't have that convenience. Is it possible to become fluent simply through reading books in ...
4
votes
1answer
292 views

Is there an Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol meaning “interpreter”?

I'm doing my dissertation on interpreting and while I've been trying to find out the history behind it, I've come across a few websites which say that interpreting dated back as far as the Ancient ...
1
vote
0answers
75 views

Weird bump in lower-case country names on Google Ngram

I was entering random names in Google Ngram when I noticed that in the late 80s to early 90s, there is a bump in the occurrence of lower-case European country names. See for example: united kingdom: ...
3
votes
2answers
75 views

Symbols that compose a word

Words contain letters (A to Z and a to z), but also apostrophes, such as in the case: don't and even: 'em and even hyphens in the case of: ice-cream or: long wind- ed sentence With regard ...
1
vote
0answers
37 views

Automatic evaluation of written English - e.g. item descriptions

I'm looking for S/W that evaluates the quality of short English texts, e.g. in terms of grammar, syntax, maybe style or ethnicity. My interest is, for example, in descriptions of items offered for ...
1
vote
1answer
164 views

Looking for Thai letter-frequency resource

I'm currently in Thailand and a bit frustrated with the difficult writing system here. Normally after a week in a country I can learn the writing system to a functional degree (except Han characters ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

English an Oral, German a Written Culture?

From my perception (native German, lived in UK) German culture is more focused on the written word and values precision and perfection when expressing yourself. English culture on the contrary ...
1
vote
1answer
505 views

What are those languages with no one-to-one correspondence between sound and written symbol?

English is not one of those, while German should be. Italian is one of those and French is not. So it seems that this feature does not depend on the linguistic similarity and historical relation among ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

Why was korea able to remove kanji but japan wasn't when both languages use homophones?

I am strictly interested in the question of homophones and kanji. Korean has homophones yet they removed the Chinese characters and are getting by just fine? Or are they? Japanese kanji lovers say ...
5
votes
2answers
563 views

Sumerian cuneiform dictionary?

Is there a single, unified place where one can look up cuneiform signs for Sumerian words? Unicode now supports cuneiform, but every source I've found has only transliterations, not actual cuneiform. ...
3
votes
2answers
197 views

In which script(s) is the Kazakh language actually written in Kazakhstan?

According to the Wikipedia article on the Kazakh language it can be written in Cyrillic, Latin and Perso-Arabic scripts as it's a language that does not have its own native script like Armenian or ...
2
votes
1answer
133 views

Is phonics still considered a strong teaching tool for teaching reading skills?

A number of years ago there was a company called "Hooked on Phonics", which made a name for itself with a successful ad campaign, and whose aim was to emphasize connecting different phonemes of words ...
-1
votes
1answer
153 views

Mostly Arabic text with some English

I was asked to help proofread an Arabic language (right-to-left) flyer with some English (left-to-right) text: Right now it reads: بطاقة المساعدة الغذائية مقبولة من Local Farm Market اسواق المزارعين ...
1
vote
1answer
234 views

Are there any other examples of words being borrowed via their written forms only (or written forms causing reevaluations of spoken forms)?

Chinese dialects, Korean, and Japanese all use Chinese characters in their writing systems, at least in some capacity. Chinese trivially so, Japanese through Kanji, and Korean through Hanja. As to be ...
8
votes
3answers
390 views

Should emoticons be considered punctuation?

Folowing on from my previous question Are "txt-speak" and "emoticons" examples of normal language evolution? I would like to propose that emoticons are simply now symbols of punctuation, rather than ...
2
votes
1answer
204 views

Where to find examples of unique/uncommon syntax?

I've been immersed in the magic of languages since childhood (LOTR, Myst, Eragon) - and now that I'm dreaming up a world of my own, I'm interested in developing a unique and interesting language for ...
9
votes
3answers
192 views

How are line breaks handled in bidirectional messages containing both English and Hebrew?

I have some Hebrew (right-to-left) text within an English (left-to-right) text as such: The Hebrew text (right-to-left) by itself looks like this: When the paper does not have enough width, the ...
-2
votes
1answer
74 views

Is it *incorrect* to use single digit numerals? [closed]

I had an argument with someone recently and figured I should find out, so I went on a research spree and could not find any authoritative answers on the subject. I am sure there are many disputes ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

Deciphering a handwritten script

There are many studies on calligraphy, and in some cultures (Chinese, Indic, Arabic) it became a really significant part of culture. However, there are not only examples of good handwriting. Often we ...
5
votes
1answer
80 views

Is there a digital corpus somewhere of pre-Latin Vietnamese text?

I like as a hobby to do text processing and analysis of CJKV text. Japanese and Chinese is of course available in near infinite quantities. Korean is a bit harder to find, but not impossible. ...
1
vote
0answers
89 views

How much effort can be caused linguistically to reintroduce a writing system to a language?

Are there any experiences of reintroducing a writing system to a language? If so, what may be the challenges since the spoken language and the writing system may have been diverged?
2
votes
1answer
155 views

Gir15 cuneiform is esh2 homograph?

I was unable to find a cuneiform for Sumerian (Akkadian?) ĝir15 (as in ki-en-ĝir15) in the unicode character database (cuneiform namelist) .. however, according to ePSD, it seems that it has the same ...
7
votes
1answer
268 views

Is there a general correlation between the number of homophones in a language and how phonetic its writing system is?

When I think of languages that have a high number of homophones, I think of Japanese, Mandarin, English and French. And when I think of languages with relatively opaque writing systems that are not ...
7
votes
4answers
275 views

Can one's native medium of language be written, rather than spoken or signed?

(This is probably a poorly-formed question, but I'm really just trying to find out if there's any research in this area.) Most children pick up a spoken or signed language at an early age, and this ...
5
votes
5answers
337 views

Would an extended alphabet have been a hindrence to inventing computer technology?

(This question has been almost entirely revised in presentation, though it still seeks the same answer. Apologies for any comments or answers that might be rendered less relevant because of the ...
4
votes
2answers
101 views

Are variations normally less frequent within written forms of a language than spoken versions of the same language?

Wondering if my observation that variations normally are less frequent within written forms of a language than spoken versions of the same language is correct. If this is the case, why? For example, ...
0
votes
0answers
78 views

How do I measure the efficiency of reading and writing in a written language?

How do I standardize a comparison between the efficiency of reading and writing in from one written language to another? An example of what I mean would be words-typed-per-minute in a given language ...
8
votes
7answers
711 views

Which language was regularly written in the most alphabets?

There are a number of languages which have historically been written in more than one alphabet (Hindi/Urdu, Serbo-Croatian, Uzbek and so on). I am wondering which single language has been regularly ...
3
votes
2answers
447 views

How can I distinguish Dutch from Flemish from Afrikaans at a glance?

I don't know Dutch, Flemish, or Afrikaans, but will sometimes, on coming across a writing sample of one of them, wish to know which it is. How do I distinguish them in their written forms?
4
votes
1answer
431 views

Did Hebrew writing evolve from Egyptian hieroglyphs?

I read somewhere that the Hebrew writing system evolved from Egyptian pictographs. If that's the case, have anyone read about records that trace exact evolution from a pictograph to a Hebrew letter, ...
6
votes
6answers
435 views

Which branch of linguistics studies handwriting?

In all 3 of the non-Latin-script languages I have learned to relative degrees of fluency, handwritten and printed forms differed significantly. Of course, this should not come as a surprise. Often, ...
6
votes
2answers
189 views

How are line breaks handled in ideographic scripts?

I'm particularly thinking of a situation where multiple characters form a compound. Can such compounds be broken up over two lines? Examples I can think of as potentially problematic are ...
10
votes
1answer
252 views

How different were the Tangut and Khitan logographic scripts derived from Chinese Hanzi from Hanzi?

Japanese uses a writing system called Kanji, which is a moderated version of Chinese Hanzi. The Kanji characters are similar to or often the same as the corresponding Chinese character, with the same ...
5
votes
8answers
3k views

Why does linguistics focus on spoken languages rather than written ones?

I might be wrong since I'm unable to find any sources supporting this, but it's increasingly my gut feeling that linguistics appears to focus on spoken languages as opposed to written ones. If this is ...