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Questions tagged [writing-systems]

A writing system is a system to record spoken language visible on a permanent medium.

6
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1answer
170 views

Which alphabetic writing system first had spaces between words?

Just recently, I believed that spaces between words were first invented with the Carolingian minuscule, invented by the English scholar Alcuin of York. As I just discovered, spacing wasn't first ever ...
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2answers
87 views

Looking for a character like the greek theta, θ, but with two middle lines

I'm looking for a character in any writing system or even a known symbol (more common is better) that would roughly look like the Greek theta θ, but with two lines in the middle. If there is none, it ...
5
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3answers
511 views

Is a vowel only writing system possible?

An abjad is a writing system in which only consonants are normally written, is the opposite possible? I've recently discovered that English actually has far more vowel-sounds than we have vowel ...
3
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1answer
43 views

Is there distinct jargon for syllabaries depending on their inventory?

The dictionary definition of a syllabary is "a set of written characters representing syllables and (in some languages or stages of writing) serving the purpose of an alphabet." I would personally ...
0
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2answers
51 views

If the Romanization of Logographic (and other) Languages is Fully Accurate

Wondering if the translation of languages such as Chinese and Japanese into Romanized versions is accurate. That is, it doesn't lose information. For example, in Romanization of Chinese, they say ...
2
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3answers
69 views

“Character sets” for top 100 languages (as opposed to Unicode)

Searching "the number of languages" shows about ~7,000. However, Google Translate only has ~100 languages listed. That makes me wonder if the languages have a lot of overlapping/duplicated elements. ...
4
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2answers
126 views

Is it possible to read the narrow IPA transcription of one's native/fluent language as effortlessly and quickly as its conventional orthography?

it seems there's no neurolinguistic limit on how many letters can a language's alphabet have (it varies a lot between languages), the IPA is a huge phonetic alphabet, As of the most recent change in ...
2
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0answers
35 views

How to quantify and compare different ways of segmenting and transliterating (reading) a text in terms of uncertainty/leeway?

I. Let us say we have a syllabary of n symbols. II. Let us have three ways or methods of transliterating a text written using the symbols of the syllabary: The first method considers the syllabary ...
4
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0answers
80 views

Why are the scripts of Crete known as “Linear”?

Two famous, apparently related scripts now known as Linear A (which encoded an as-yet undeciphered language) and Linear B (used to write Greek) were discovered on the island of Crete. Why are these ...
6
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1answer
139 views

Are the characters in some writing systems more or less visually distinctive than in others?

I'm curious about how writing systems like Burmese or Thai - the characters of which look to my untrained eye far more similar than Latin or Japanese characters - are distinguished by native readers, ...
6
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0answers
95 views

When did countries other than Russia adopt new Latin-letterform-style Cyrillic?

Russian Emperor Peter I famously reformed the Cyrillic script in Russia, where, among other changes, he redesigned the letterforms to more closely resemble the look of the modern Latin script. Here ...
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2answers
77 views

Zellig Harris and the alphabet

I would be very interested if someone could provide me with a useful link to read Zellig Harris's text on the origin of the alphabet. The reference is: Harris, Zellig S. 1933. “Acrophony and ...
4
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1answer
332 views

Why is Hangul (Korean script) not considered an Abugida

Abugida is a language where consonant and vowels form a unit of some form, and are typical in South Asia. Now, the Korean language isn't related to those languages, of course. But the Korean language ...
1
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1answer
103 views

'u' as a substition for 'v'

In Shakespeare's First Folio (please see the picture), I found that a letter 'u' is used instead of 'v'. For example, "seuen" means "seven". To know this reason, I visited many websites, but what I've ...
2
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2answers
122 views

Is capitalization a recurring feature across writing systems?

Is it a common feature for a writing system to include a capitalized variant of itself? What is the purpose of capitalization in itself? Is it ever truly necessary for comprehension?
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2answers
347 views

Julius Caesar original name spelling?

Was Julius Caesar originally spelled with and I before "J" was invented? Or was it spelled some other way? If so, how? I'm curious.
0
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2answers
150 views

Are there the languages that have writing systems consisting only numbers? [closed]

When I knew about Major Mnemonic System, I thought: "Are there the languages that have writing systems consisting only numbers?" Do they exist?
5
votes
1answer
372 views

In what way is Japanese related to Sanskrit?

The Wikipedia says that Japanese katakana vowels “The gojūon inherits its vowel and consonant order from Sanskrit practice. “. Could expert explains this in easy language?
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0answers
29 views

Are there any historical runic transcriptions that utilize two runes to represent a sound change? (particularly in the Anglo Saxon rune sets)

Anglo Saxon did not distinguish by voicing usually, particularly with the sounds /s~f~z~v/. After the adoptions of the Latin Alphabet letters "f" and "s" were doubled when representing a voiceless ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Difference between ideogram and logogram?

I'm having a bit of trouble differentiating these, and I'm wondering if it's because these are generally fuzzy concepts and nobody cares much, if I haven't read into it enough, if my innate ...
0
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2answers
73 views

What are some phonetic writing systems where symbols correspond to syllables?

As far as I know, only Japanese has phonetic symbols that correspond to syllables. I wonder if there are any others. I probably have used the wrong jargon but hopefully, you know what I mean.
0
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1answer
113 views

Why was polyphony a failure for the Sumerians, when English functions with heteronymy?

Source: Language at the Speed of Sight (1 ed. 2017), p. 45 Bottom.   Combining graphical elements to create words is an essential property of modern writing systems, but the cuneiform ...
0
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1answer
78 views

Why is a Compound Ideograph disastrous if the meaning of the characters are relevant, but not their pronunciations?

Source: Language at the Speed of Sight (1 ed. 2017), p. 45 Bottom.   Combining graphical elements to create words is an essential property of modern writing systems, but the cuneiform ...
1
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1answer
70 views

How do languages which prefix proper nouns (by case marking, clitic article, etc) do capitalization in Latin Alphabet?

There are languages which put a prefix or a clitic before a noun to mark definiteness or case. How different languages using Latin alphabet which have this declension or marking deals with ...
2
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0answers
77 views

Is there a standard system for transcribing modern Irish in Ogham?

Ogham is historically used to write Old Irish and Primitive Irish, but I have not been able to find any evidence of its use persisting in modern Irish. It does not have a nice correspondence with the ...
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2answers
971 views

Is use of sorting expected and used in East Asian languages (Chinese, Japanese, Korean)?

For an English speaker with 26 characters, the concept of sorting is ubiquitous. If I see a list, I inherently expect it to be sorted by one of the columns, and of course clicking a column to sort is ...
0
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1answer
129 views

Has a optimized universal writing system been proposed based on scientific knowledge?

I'd like to know if there are proposals of writing systems that would be created for a set of specific goals such as : reading/writing speed as high as possible for humans reading/writing learning as ...
5
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4answers
2k views

Is there some relationship between the modern u and μ?

I study Mathematics and Statistics and one of the most common symbols we tend to write is μ which obviously is the lower case 'Mu'. It is one of the easiest symbols to learn when first encountered ...
4
votes
1answer
123 views

Did Brahmī use consonant conjuncts?

In many of the scripts descended from Brahmī, a consonant cluster like /kt/ is written as a ligature; but there happen to be no such combinations in the small samples I've seen of Brahmī itself. Are ...
1
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1answer
107 views

Were the Old Komi Tamgas a writing system?

Inspired by this answer to A good example of a Finnic or Finno-Ugric language that can be confused with Finnish? I want to know more about the Tamga signs. Did they constitute a writing system? Is ...
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1answer
113 views

Can anyone identify this language? [closed]

Can anyone identify the language in the top line of text below?
2
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1answer
107 views

Can Egyptian hieroglyphs (or other hieroglyphs) be construed as having anything like Chinese radicals?

I wonder if any hieroglyph-like orthographies use semantic radicals in a way comparable to how Mandarin Chinese does, or if the radical is unique to Chinese and other similar languages?
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2answers
158 views

Do Urdu Numerals belong to the Persian Script?

Do Urdu Numerals belong to the Persian Script and does Urdu use the same Unicode characters as Persian Language apart from Western Arabic numerals?
6
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0answers
76 views

Are there literate speech communities for Sign Languages?

I am aware of some systems of sign writing (e.g. Sutton SignWriting). They are used in dictionaries, teaching materials, or scientific documentation. But did some Sign Language speech communities ...
0
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1answer
135 views

Languages with alphabets sharing the same basic shapes as Arabic

I would like to know, besides Arabic itself, how many other separate languages (not including dialects) have alphabets sharing same basic shapes as Arabic? I would like to have a complete list of all ...
2
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1answer
416 views

Creating Unicode Characters for new language

I recently developed a new language with a perfect script, grammar and vocabulary. I even prepared a dictionary for it. Now, I would like to type my language on my laptop in its native script. For ...
1
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1answer
63 views

Transcriptions of Mandarin Chinese into writing systems other than Latin, Arabic and Cyrillic?

I was wondering if Standard Chinese has been transliterated (either officially or unofficially) into writing systems other than the Latin (Pinyin, Wade-Giles), Arabic (Xiao'erjing) or Cyrillic (Dungan ...
0
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1answer
165 views

How many established writing systems existed through history?

Approximately how many writing systems do we know, that succeeded in being systematically used? In order to qualify as such, an established writing system should have some basic properties: 1) It ...
5
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2answers
198 views

Musical notation in languages with right-to-left writing

How does musical notation in languages that use right-to-left writing direction (such as Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Urdu, Yiddish) look like? Is it right-to-left too? If not (i.e. if they use the same ...
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2answers
105 views

To what extent can Japanese Kana be adapted to the Spanish language and be intelligible?

I have noticed that Spanish phonology is quite similar to that of Japanese and that their syllable structures are both relatively simple. Say--for instance, that one were to write a Spanish passage ...
2
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2answers
2k views

How to identify a foreign language from handwriting?

As asking language-ID-questions on this site seems off-topic I'd like to know whether there is a resource on the internet which can help me. I found a the curious snippet attached to a balloon which ...
3
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1answer
75 views

Is the writing system lineage of Indus script known?

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 ...
0
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2answers
134 views

Is it harder for a student to express himself/herself originally in a logographic language?

I do not speak any logographic language, contemporary or otherwise, but I have students whose original languages are written logographically. I was trying to imagine summarizing, rewriting and ...
3
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5answers
400 views

Do any other languages have an equivalent to the hiragana and katakana alphabets?

Hiragana and katakana contain the same sounds (morae I think), but are typically used in different words. In particular, most European loan words use katakana (a few don't), and a large proportion of ...
2
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2answers
749 views

Are Tajik and Persian mutually intelligible?

I know that the Persian language family has three branches: Persian, Dari and Tajik-Persian. Is the Persian of Iran mutually intelligible with Tajik? And how does the Tajik Cyrillic alphabet differ ...
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0answers
101 views

What are some languages that have largest set of characters?

What are some languages that have largest set of letters (like alphabet or kanji) aside from Chinese and Japanese?
2
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1answer
277 views

Wraparound writing system?

I don't know if linguistics is the right place to ask about writing systems (and if not please let me know where to look) but here's the question. When reading something, I often find that when I ...
2
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2answers
140 views

Is there a writing system whose word boundary is a non-space character?

Is there a writing system that mainly uses anything other than space as the word boundary? Except languages with practically no word boundaries (e.g. Japanese) and programming languages. I'd like to ...
0
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1answer
59 views

Is there a word for variety of letters used in a language?

To suggest either/both readability or efficiency in typing? English is less [is there a term to fill in here?] than Japanese: compared to English alphabets, the number of letters in hiragana + ...
6
votes
2answers
393 views

Are there practical reasons why languages developed left to right or right to left writing sytems

Some writing systems go right to left, such as Arabic: Others left to right, for example modern romance languages: Languages like Japanese traditionally used vertical writing systems where the ...