Mesoamerican writing systems A stone slab with 3,year-old writing, the Cascajal Blockwas discovered in the Mexican state of Veracruz, and is an example of the oldest script in the Western Hemisphere, preceding the oldest Zapotec writing dated to about BC.
This can be illustrated with Chinese. Not all Chinese characters represent morphemes: In Archaic Chinese, one can find the reverse: The suffix is preserved in the modern falling tone.
A peculiar system of logograms developed within the Pahlavi scripts developed from the Aramaic abjad used to write Middle Persian during much of the Sassanid period ; the logograms were composed of letters that spelled out the word in Aramaic but were pronounced as in Persian for instance, the combination m-l-k would be pronounced "shah".
Logograms are used in modern shorthand to represent common words. Semantic and phonetic dimensions[ edit ] Further information: Determinative All historical logographic systems include a phonetic dimension, as it is impractical to have a separate basic character for every word or morpheme in a language.
In the case of Chinese, the vast majority of characters are a fixed combination of a radical that indicates its nominal category, plus a phonetic to give an idea of the pronunciation.
The Mayan system used logograms with phonetic complements like the Egyptian, while lacking ideographic components. The first two types are "single-body", meaning that the character was created independently of other characters.
More productive for the Chinese script were the two "compound" methods, i. Despite being called "compounds", these logograms are still single characters, and are written to take up the same amount of space as any other logogram.
The final two types are methods in the usage of characters rather than the formation of characters themselves. Excerpt from a primer on Chinese characters The first type, and the type most often associated with Chinese writing, are pictogramswhich are pictorial representations of the morpheme represented, e.
Radical-radical compounds, in which each element of the character called radical hints at the meaning. Radical-phonetic compounds, in which one component the radical logogram writing a cover the general meaning of the character, and the other the phonetic hints at the pronunciation.
Because of their derivational process, the entire set of Japanese kana can be considered to be of this type of character, hence the name kana.
The most productive method of Chinese writing, the radical-phonetic, was made possible by ignoring certain distinctions in the phonetic system of syllables. Also ignored were differences in aspiration between aspirated vs. In earlier times, greater phonetic freedom was generally allowed.
During Middle Chinese times, newly created characters tended to match pronunciation exactly, other than the tone — often by using as the phonetic component a character that itself is a radical-phonetic compound. Due to the long period of language evolution, such component "hints" within characters as provided by the radical-phonetic compounds are sometimes useless and may be misleading in modern usage.
Baxter and Laurent Sagart  — but sound changes in the intervening 3, years or so including two different dialectal developments, in the case of the last two characters have resulted in radically different pronunciations.
Chinese characters used in Japanese and Korean[ edit ] Within the context of the Chinese language, Chinese characters known as hanzi by and large represent words and morphemes rather than pure ideas; however, the adoption of Chinese characters by the Japanese and Korean languages where they are known as kanji and hanjarespectively have resulted in some complications to this picture.
Many Chinese words, composed of Chinese morphemes, were borrowed into Japanese and Korean together with their character representations; in this case, the morphemes and characters were borrowed together. In other cases, however, characters were borrowed to represent native Japanese and Korean morphemes, on the basis of meaning alone.
As a result, a single character can end up representing multiple morphemes of similar meaning but different origins across several languages.
Because of this, kanji and hanja are sometimes described as morphographic writing systems. Contrasting logographic languages, where a single character is represented phonetically and ideographically, with phonetic languages has yielded insights into how different languages rely on different processing mechanisms.
Studies on the processing of logographic languages have amongst other things looked at neurobiological differences in processing, with one area of particular interest being hemispheric lateralization.
Since logographic languages are more closely associated with images than alphabet languages, several researchers have hypothesized that right-side activation should be more prominent in logographic languages.
Although some studies have yielded results consistent with this hypothesis there are too many contrasting results to make any final conclusions about the role of hemispheric lateralization in orthographic versus phonetic languages.
Both Japanese and Chinese homophones were examined. Whereas word production of alphabetic languages such as English has shown a relatively robust immunity to the effect of context stimuli,  Verdschot et al.
Specifically, reaction times were shorter when participants were presented with a phonologically related picture before being asked to read a target character out loud.
No effect of phonologically related context pictures were found for the reaction times for reading Chinese words. Because both languages are logographic, the difference in latency in reading aloud Japanese and Chinese due to context effects cannot be ascribed to the logographic nature of the languages.
Instead, the authors hypothesize that the difference in latency times is due to additional processing costs in Japanese, where the reader cannot rely solely on a direct orthography-to-phonology route, but information on a lexical-syntactical level must also be accessed in order to choose the correct pronunciation.
This hypothesis is corroborated by studies finding that Japanese Alzheimer's disease patients whose comprehension of characters had deteriorated still could read the words out loud with no particular difficulty.A logogram's weight carries meaning, too: A thicker swirl of ink can indicate a sense of urgency; a thinner one suggests a quiet tone.
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PLS Documents Document Form. A legal Pronunciation Lexicon Specification document MUST have a legal XML Prolog from Section of either XML  or XML .The XML prolog is followed by the root element. See Section for details on this element..
The element MUST designate the PLS namespace. This can be achieved by declaring an xmlns attribute or an. This compilation is dedicated to the memory of our nameless forebears, who were the inventors of the pens and inks, paper and incunabula, glyphs and alphabets.
The history of writing traces the development of expressing language by letters or other marks and also the studies and descriptions of these developments.. In the history of how writing systems have evolved over in different human civilizations, more complete writing systems were preceded by proto-writing, systems of ideographic or early mnemonic symbols.
2: something that stands for or suggests something else by reason of relationship, association, convention, or accidental resemblance especially: a visible sign of something invisible the lion is a symbol of courage.