I came to know that there are two primary writing system lineages. Brahmic and Phonecian.

While I know that Indus script is not yet deciphered. I'm wondering if we at least know the lineage of Indus script?


1 Answer 1


The answer seems to be no. Asko Parpola, in his chapter on the Indus script in Daniels and Bright's The World's Writing Systems (1996), says: "it has no obvious genetic affinity with any other known script... There is no connection whatsoever with the earliest scripts of historical South Asia, Brahmi and Kharoshthi, which were created on the basis of Semitic and Greek alphabets".

(Note that the last sentence implies that the "two primary lineages" you mention are really one lineage, though the question of the exact relationship between them, if any, is still debated.)

  • Regarding your last sentence. I was thinking someone would rise that question while I was writing my question. See linguistics.stackexchange.com/a/262/13293 answer. Although you may be correct. Those might have come far that they are considered two separate lineages with different properties. May 30, 2016 at 21:39
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    For your premise in the last sentence. I'm afraid some people might get misinformed taking it as hard fact which I think is yet to be established. See this link:omniglot.com/writing/brahmi.htm. It mentions two theories And en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahmi_script#Origins which states: The current position among most scholars outside of South Asia is that Brahmi was likely derived from or influenced by a Semitic script model, with Aramaic being a leading candidate, but they are usually hesitant to consider the issue completely settled due to the lack of strong evidence. May 30, 2016 at 21:46
  • @pinkpanther Fair enough, I've edited the sentence to reflect the fact that there isn't a full consensus on this question.
    – TKR
    May 30, 2016 at 22:17

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