Jump to content


Page protected with pending changes
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Rosetta Stone (196 BC) bears writing using three different scripts: hieroglyphs and Demotic script record the same text in the Egyptian language, while an equivalent passage in Greek uses the Greek alphabet. These correspondences proved instrumental in the decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphs during the early 19th century.

Writing is the act of creating a persistent representation of human language. A writing system uses a set of symbols and rules to encode aspects of spoken language, such as its lexicon and syntax. However, written language may take on characteristics distinct from those of any spoken language.[1]

Writing is a cognitive and social activity involving neuropsychological and physical processes. The outcome of this activity, also called "writing", and sometimes a "text", is a series of physically inscribed, mechanically transferred, or digitally represented symbols. The interpreter or activator of a text is called a "reader".[2]

In general, writing systems do not constitute languages in and of themselves, but rather a means of encoding language such that it can be read by others across time and space.[3][4] While not all languages use a writing system, those that do can complement and extend the capacities of spoken language by creating durable forms of language that can be transmitted across space (e.g. written correspondence) and stored over time (e.g. libraries or other public records).[5] Writing can also have knowledge-transforming effects, since it allows humans to externalize their thinking in forms that are easier to reflect on, elaborate on, reconsider, and revise.[6][7][8]

Tools, materials, and motivations to write[edit]

Any instance of writing involves a complex interaction among available tools, intentions, cultural customs, cognitive routines, genres, tacit and explicit knowledge, and the constraints and limitations of the writing system(s) deployed.[9] Inscriptions have been made with fingers, styluses, quills, ink brushes, pencils, pens, and many styles of lithography; surfaces used for these inscriptions include stone tablets, clay tablets, bamboo slats, papyrus, wax tablets, vellum, parchment, paper, copperplate, slate, porcelain, and other enameled surfaces. The Incas used knotted cords known as quipu (or khipu) for keeping records.[10] Countless writing tools and surfaces have been improvised throughout history (as the cases of graffiti, tattooing, and impromptu aides-memoire illustrate).

The typewriter and subsequently various digital word processors have recently become widespread writing tools, and studies have compared the ways in which writers have framed the experience of writing with such tools as compared with the pen or pencil.[11] Word processors include, often multi-document, text editors or note-taking apps, Web systems (search engines, Wikis, etc.), messaging software (chat apps, e-mail UIs, etc.), or their underlying operating systems' code supporting the text input device(s).

Advancements in natural language processing and natural language generation allow certain tools (in the form of software) to produce certain kinds of highly formulaic writing (e.g., weather forecasts and brief sports reporting) without the direct involvement of humans[12] after initial configuration or, more commonly, to be used to support writing processes such as generating initial drafts, producing feedback with the help of a rubric, copy-editing, and helping translation.[13][14][15][16]

Olin Levi Warner, tympanum representing Writing, above exterior of main entrance doors, Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington DC, 1896

Writing technologies from different eras coexist easily in many homes and workplaces. During the course of a day or even a single episode of writing, for example, a writer might instinctively switch among a pencil, a touchscreen, a text-editor, a whiteboard, a legal pad, and adhesive notes as different purposes arise.[17]

Motivations and purposes[edit]

As human societies emerged, collective motivations for the development of writing were driven by pragmatic exigencies like keeping track of produce and other wealth, recording history, maintaining culture, codifying knowledge through curricula and lists of texts deemed to contain foundational knowledge (e.g. The Canon of Medicine) or artistic value (e.g. the literary canon), organizing and governing societies through texts including legal codes, census records, contracts, deeds of ownership, taxation, trade agreements, and p[treaties]].[18] As Charles Bazerman explains, the "marking of signs on stones, clay, paper, and now digital memories—each more portable and rapidly traveling than the previous—provided means for increasingly coordinated and extended action as well as memory across larger groups of people over time and space."[19] For example, around the 4th millennium BC, the complexity of trade and administration in Mesopotamia outgrew human memory, and writing became a more dependable method for creating permanent records of transactions.[20] On the other hand, writing in both ancient Egypt and Mesoamerica may have evolved through the political necessity to manage the calendar for recording historical and environmental events.[21][22] Further innovations included more uniform, predictable, and widely dispersed legal systems, the distribution of accessible versions of sacred texts, and furthering practices of scientific inquiry and knowledge management, all of which were largely reliant on portable and easily reproducible forms of inscribed language. The history of writing is co-extensive with uses of writing and the elaboration of activity systems that give rise to and circulate writing.

Individual motivations for writing include improvised additional capacity for the limitations of human memory[23] (e.g. to-do lists, recipes, reminders, logbooks, maps, the proper sequence for a complicated task or important ritual), dissemination of ideas and coordination (e.g. essays, monographs, broadsides, plans, petitions, or manifestos), creativity and storytelling, maintaining kinship and other social networks,[24] business correspondence regarding goods and services, and life writing (e.g. a diary or journal).

The global spread of digital communication systems such as e-mail and social media has made writing an increasingly important feature of daily life, where these systems mix with older technologies like paper, pencils, whiteboards, printers, and copiers.[25] Substantial amounts of everyday writing characterize most workplaces in developed countries.[26] In many occupations (e.g. law, accounting, software design, human resources), written documentation is not only the main deliverable but also the mode of work itself.[27] Even in occupations not typically associated with writing, routine records management has most employees writing at least some of the time.[28]

Contemporary uses[edit]

Some professions are typically associated with writing, such as literary authors, journalists, and technical writers, but writing is pervasive in most modern forms of work, civic participation, household management, and leisure activities.[29] The following are examples of this pervasiveness, but they are far from encompassing all the uses of writing.

Business and finance[edit]

Writing permeates everyday commerce. For example, in the course of an afternoon, a wholesaler might receive a written inquiry about the availability of a product line, then communicate with suppliers and fabricators through work orders and purchase agreements, correspond via email to affirm shipping availability with a drayage company, write an invoice, and request proof of receipt in the form of a written signature. At a much larger scale, modern systems of finances, banking, and business rest on many forms of written documents—including written regulations, policies, and procedures; the creation of reports and other monitoring documents to make, evaluate, and provide accountability for decisions and operations; the creation and maintenance of records; internal written communications within departments to coordinate work; written communications that comprise work products presented to other departments and to clients; and external communications to clients and the public.[30][31] Business and financial organizations also rely on many written legal documents, such as contracts, reports to government agencies, tax records, and accounting reports.[32] Financial institutions and markets that hold, transmit, trade, insure, or regulate holdings for clients or other institutions are particularly dependent on written records (though now often in digital form) to maintain the integrity of their roles.[33]

Governance and law[edit]

Many modern systems of government are organized and sanctified through written constitutions at the national and sometimes state or other organizational levels. Written rules and procedures typically guide the operations of the various branches, departments, and other bodies of government, which regularly produce reports and other documents as work products and to account for their actions. In addition to legislative branches that draft and pass laws, these laws are administered by an executive branch, which can present further written regulations specifying the laws and how they are carried out.[34] Governments at different levels also typically maintain written records on citizens concerning identities, life events such as births, deaths, marriages, and divorces, the granting of licenses for controlled activities, criminal charges, traffic offenses, and other penalties small and large, and tax liability and payments.[35]

Governance systems also produce policies to shape society's activities, sometimes also at the international level,[36] e.g., allocating budgets and regulating or actuating economic mechanisms, ideally towards collective goals and values such as safety and health or addressing identified problems.[37][38][39] These also include systems at subnational levels, such as cities and multinational corporations (e.g., corporate governance and Web platform governance).

Written legal codes in modern governments are typically produced by legislative branches and provide standardized rules for commercial, civil, and lawful activity.[40]  The legal codes also provide remedies and penalties for violations of the rules, as well as procedures for their enforcement. In the United States, legal proceedings in courts produce written records, which can be appealed based on the written records to higher courts. Written records carry particular evidentiary weight in court proceedings. Lawyers also offer written briefs for initial proceedings, subsequent appeals, and other points at issue; maintain files on the cases they are engaged with; and negotiate written agreements that might resolve cases. Judges produce written opinions that may then be treated as precedent for subsequent cases.[41][42][43]

Police departments and other bodies charged with the enforcement of laws and maintenance of civil, commercial, or criminal order regularly must produce reports of the interactions with community members, actions taken, the process and results of inquiries, and the disposition of cases.[44] Such cases are often initiated by written complaints by those alleging injury, thereby opening a file on the case, which then aggregates all the related documents and reports to follow. These files serve as the basis for processing the case, as potential evidence in legal proceedings, and for monitoring and making accountable the working of these departments.[45][46]

Scientific and scholarly knowledge production[edit]

Layout of a typical modern scientific study with a summarizing abstract near the top, below (multiple lines of) metadata

Knowledge produced in research disciplines of the sciences, social sciences, and humanities arises primarily in the form of journal articles and book monographs. Experiments, observational data, archival documents, and other evidence collected as part of research inquiries are then represented within the written contribution and serve as the basis for arguments for new claims intended to be published in specialized academic journals and university presses.

Such data collection and drafting of manuscripts may be supported by grants, which usually require proposals establishing the value of such work and the need for funding.[47] The data and procedures are also typically collected in lab notebooks or other preliminary files.[48] Early versions of the possible publications may also be presented at academic or disciplinary conferences or on publicly accessible web servers to gain peer feedback and build interest in the work. Prior to official publication, these documents are typically read and evaluated by referees from the appropriate research specialties, who, in their written evaluations, determine whether the work is of sufficient value and quality to be published.[49] Referees may also recommend certain improvements be made or that the work not be published.

Publication in such a disciplinary forum does not establish the claims or findings of such work as authoritatively true, only that they are worth the attention of other specialists. Only over time, as others may cite the work (see intertextuality) and use it to advance further claims and the work appears in review articles, handbooks, textbooks, or other aggregations, does it become codified as contingently reliable knowledge.[50]

Scientific or scholarly work written for more popular audiences relies on the published work of the scientific literature for its authority but does not in itself directly contribute to the scientific literature.[citation needed]


News and news reporting are central to citizen engagement and knowledge of many spheres of activity people may be interested in about the state of their community, including the actions and integrity of their governments and government officials, economic trends, natural disasters and responses to them, international geopolitical events, including conflicts, but also sports, entertainment, books, and other leisure activities. While news and newspapers have grown rapidly from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, the changing economics and ability to produce and distribute news have brought about radical and rapid challenges to journalism and the consequent organization of citizen knowledge and engagement.[51][52] These changes have also created challenges for journalism ethics that have been developed over the past century.[53]

Technical and medical writing[edit]

Technical and medical writing are recognized writing specialties that, address the needs of scientifically and technologically based professions for precise, accurate, and timely communications, internally and externally, for the audiences the professions serve. Internally, these specialized writers ensure that communications present the necessary information in clear and precise terms to people in various roles. Both in the writing they do, and with the support they provide other professionals within their organizations, they make sure that each person within the organization has the information they need and that the work of the organization is coordinated by making sure all necessary tasks are assigned, and carried out, in a timely and accurate way. Through various media and genres, technical and medical writers elicit the goodwill and cooperation of the public served, while informing the public of the services and products offered, instructions needed for best outcomes, and other information. Technical and medical writers make sure appropriate and accurate records are kept for internal and external accountability and regulation. An important part of their roles is to prepare reports for government approval and monitoring.[citation needed]

Literature and the leisure book market[edit]

Works of literature encompass written fiction, poetry, autobiography and memoir, non-fiction, and scripts of dramatic, cinematic or video performance, and hybridized forms of some or all of those previously listed. Works of literature sell widely and encompass a wide substantial market provided by large corporate publishers, self-published writers, and everything in-between. A certain subset of these works gain scholarly attention and are taught in literature classes at schools at all levels, including children's literature, young adult literature, and canonical literature taught at universities; these works typically become the subject of another form of writing: academic scholarship. Other forms of literature that are widely circulated but have only limited scholarly attention include historical fiction, science fiction, romance, fan fiction, western fiction, dystopic and apocalyptic fiction, mystery fiction, fantasy and myth. Other segments of the book market include non-fictional works that some may not characterize as literature but exist within the same marketing space, such as popular history, biography and autobiography, political and celebrity memoirs, self-help and educational books, popular science and technology, accounts of social problems, and futuristic projections.[citation needed]

Authors and publishers' agents produce considerable documentation preparatory and subsequent to the successful publication of literature: prospectuses, developmental editing notes, contracts, correspondence with potential reviewers, press-releases, marketing plans, etc.[citation needed]

Writing within education and educational institutions[edit]

Formal education is the social context most strongly associated with the learning of writing, and students may carry these particular associations long after leaving school.[54] Alongside the writing that students read (in the forms of textbooks, assigned books, and other instructional materials as well as self-selected books) students do much writing within schools at all levels, on subject exams, in essays, in taking notes, in doing homework, and in formative and summative assessments.  Some of this is explicitly directed toward the learning of writing, but much is focused more on subject learning.[55][56] Students receive much writing from their teachers as well in the forms of assignments and syllabi, directions for activities, worksheets, corrections on work, or information about subjects or exams. Students also receive institutional notices and regulations, sometimes to be shared with families. Students also may write teacher evaluations for use by teachers to improve instruction or by others reviewing quality of teacher instruction, particularly within higher education.[citation needed]

Writing also pervades schools and educational institutions in less visible and memorable ways.[57][58] Since schools are typically hierarchically arranged bureaucracies, writing also circulates in the forms of notices and regulations that teachers receive from their supervisors and arrange their instruction according to district and state syllabi and regulations.  Teachers often must produce and submit lesson plans or other information about their teaching. In primary and secondary education teachers may need to write notices or letters to parents about matters relating to their children's learning, school activities, or regulations. Within school hierarchies many memos, notices, or other documents may flow. National policies and regulations as elaborated by ministries or departments of education may also be of consequence. Additionally, research in the various subject areas and in educational studies may be attended to by educators in the classroom and higher bureaucratic levels.  And of course, subject learning draws on the knowledge produced and authorized by disciplines.[citation needed]

Software code[edit]

A sample code in the C programming language that displays 'Hello, World!' when executed

Software development is the process used to create software. Programming and maintaining the source code is the central step of this process, but it also includes conceiving the project, evaluating its feasibility, analyzing the business requirements, software design, testing, to release. Software engineering, in addition to development, also includes project management, employee management, and other overhead functions.[59] Software development may be sequential, in which each step is complete before the next begins, but iterative development methods where multiple steps can be executed at once and earlier steps can be revisited have also been devised to improve flexibility, efficiency, and scheduling.

Software development involves professionals from various fields, not just software programmers but also individuals specialized in testing, documentation writing, graphic design, user support, marketing, and fundraising. A number of tools and models are commonly used in software development, such as integrated development environment (IDE), version control, computer-aided software engineering, and software documentation.


Documents that are connected by hyperlinks
Hypertext is text displayed on a computer display or other electronic devices with references (hyperlinks) to other text that the reader can immediately access.[60] Hypertext documents are interconnected by hyperlinks, which are typically activated by a mouse click, keypress set, or screen touch. Apart from text, the term "hypertext" is also sometimes used to describe tables, images, and other presentational content formats with integrated hyperlinks. Hypertext is one of the key underlying concepts of the World Wide Web,[61] where Web pages are often written in the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). As implemented on the Web, hypertext enables the easy-to-use publication of information over the Internet.


Writing systems[edit]

The major writing systems broadly fall into four categories: logographic, syllabic, alphabetic, and featural. As pictograms do not represent a language's sounds, they have been argued not to constitute a writing system.[62]


Comparative evolution from pictograms to abstract shapes, in Mesopotamian cuneiforms, Egyptian hieroglyphs and Chinese characters

A logography (also called a logosyllabary) is written using logograms—written characters which represent individual words, morphemes or certain syllables.[62] For example, in Mayan, the glyph for "fin", pronounced ka, was also used to represent the syllable ka whenever the pronunciation of a logogram needed to be indicated. Many logograms have an ideographic component (Chinese "radicals", hieroglyphic "determiners"). In Chinese, about 90% of characters are compounds of a semantic (meaning) element called a radical with an existing character to indicate the pronunciation, called a phonetic. However, such phonetic elements complement the logographic elements, rather than vice versa.[citation needed]

The main logographic system in use today is Chinese characters, used with some modification for the various languages or dialects of China, Japan, and sometimes in Korean, although in South and North Korea, the phonetic Hangul system is mainly used. Older logographic systems include cuneiform and Mayan.[citation needed]


A syllabary is a set of written symbols that represent syllables,[62] typically a consonant followed by a vowel, or just a vowel alone. In some scripts more complex syllables (such as consonant-vowel-consonant, or consonant-consonant-vowel) may have dedicated glyphs. Phonetically similar syllables are not written similarly.[62] For instance, the syllable "ka" may look nothing like the syllable "ki", nor will syllables with the same vowels be similar.[citation needed]

Syllabaries are best suited to languages with a relatively simple syllable structure, such as Japanese. Other languages that use syllabic writing include the Linear B script for Mycenaean Greek; Cherokee,[63] Ndjuka, an English-based creole language of Suriname; and the Vai script of Liberia.


An alphabet is a set of written symbols that represent consonants and vowels.[62] In a perfectly phonological alphabet, the letters would correspond perfectly to the language's phonemes. Thus, a writer could predict the spelling of a word given its pronunciation, and a speaker could predict the pronunciation of a word given its spelling. However, as languages often evolve independently of their writing systems, and writing systems have been borrowed for languages they were not designed for, the degree to which letters of an alphabet correspond to phonemes of a language varies greatly from one language to another and even within a single language.[citation needed]

Sometimes the term "alphabet" is restricted to systems with separate letters for consonants and vowels, such as the Latin alphabet, although abugidas and abjads may also be accepted as alphabets. Because of this use, Greek is often considered to be the first alphabet.[citation needed]


In most of the alphabets of the Middle East, it is usually only the consonants of a word that are written, although vowels may be indicated by the addition of various diacritical marks. Writing systems based primarily on writing just consonants phonemes date back to the hieroglyphs of ancient Egypt. Such systems are called abjads, derived from the Arabic word for "alphabet", or consonantaries.[62]


In most of the alphabets of India and Southeast Asia, vowels are indicated through diacritics or modification of the shape of the consonant. These are called abugidas.[62] Some abugidas, such as Ethiopic and Cree, are learned by children as syllabaries, and so are often called "syllabics". However, unlike true syllabaries, there is not an independent glyph for each syllable.[citation needed]

Featural scripts[edit]

A featural script represents the features of the phonemes of the language in consistent ways. An example of such a system is Korean hangul.[62] For instance, all labial sounds (pronounced with the lips) may have some element in common. In the Latin alphabet, this is accidentally the case with the letters "b" and "p"; however, labial "m" is completely dissimilar, and the similar-looking "q" and "d" are not labial. In Korean hangul, however, all four labial consonants are based on the same basic element, but in practice, Korean is learned by children as an ordinary alphabet, and the featural elements tend to pass unnoticed.[citation needed]

Another featural script is SignWriting, the most popular writing system for many sign languages, where the shapes and movements of the hands and face are represented iconically. Featural scripts are also common in fictional or invented systems, such as J. R. R. Tolkien's Tengwar.[citation needed]

History and origins[edit]


While research into the development of writing during the Neolithic is ongoing, the current consensus is that it first evolved from economic necessity in the ancient Near East. Writing most likely began as a consequence of political expansion in ancient cultures, which needed reliable means for transmitting information, maintaining financial accounts, keeping historical records, and similar activities. Around the 4th millennium BC, the complexity of trade and administration outgrew the power of memory, and writing became a more dependable method of recording and presenting transactions in a permanent form.[64]

The invention of the first writing systems is roughly contemporary with the emergence of civilisations and the beginning of the Bronze Age during the late 4th millennium BC. Cuneiform used to write the Sumerian language and Egyptian hieroglyphs are generally considered the earliest writing systems, both emerging out of ancestral proto-writing systems between 3400 and 3300 BC,[65] with earliest coherent texts from c. 2600 BC. It is generally agreed that Sumerian writing was an independent invention; however, it is debated whether Egyptian writing was developed completely independently of Sumerian, or was a case of cultural diffusion.

Globular envelope with a cluster of accountancy tokens, Uruk period, from Susa – Louvre Museum

Archaeologist Denise Schmandt-Besserat determined the link between previously uncategorized clay "tokens", the oldest of which have been found in the Zagros region of Iran, and cuneiform, the first known writing.[66] Around 8000 BC, Mesopotamians began using clay tokens to count their agricultural and manufactured goods. Later they began placing these tokens inside large, hollow clay containers (bulla, or globular envelopes) which were then sealed. The quantity of tokens in each container came to be expressed by impressing, on the container's surface, one picture for each instance of the token inside. They next dispensed with the tokens, relying solely on symbols for the tokens, drawn on clay surfaces. To avoid making a picture for each instance of the same object (for example: 100 pictures of a hat to represent 100 hats), they counted the objects by using various small marks. In this way the Sumerians added "a system for enumerating objects to their incipient system of symbols".[This quote needs a citation]

The original Mesopotamian writing system was derived c. 3200 BC from this method of keeping accounts. By the end of the 4th millennium BC,[67] the Mesopotamians were using a triangular-shaped stylus pressed into soft clay to record numbers. This system was gradually augmented with using a sharp stylus to indicate what was being counted by means of pictographs. Round-stylus and sharp-stylus writing was gradually replaced by writing using a wedge-shaped stylus (hence the term cuneiform), at first only for logograms, but by the 29th century BC also for phonetic elements. Around 2700 BC, cuneiform began to represent syllables of spoken Sumerian. About that time, Mesopotamian cuneiform became a general purpose writing system for logograms, syllables, and numbers. This script was adapted to another Mesopotamian language, the East Semitic Akkadian (Assyrian and Babylonian) c. 2600 BC, and then to others such as Elamite, Hattian, Hurrian and Hittite. Scripts similar in appearance to this writing system include those for Ugaritic and Old Persian. With the adoption of Aramaic as the lingua franca of the Neo-Assyrian Empire (911–609 BC), Old Aramaic was also adapted to Mesopotamian cuneiform. The last cuneiform scripts in Akkadian discovered thus far date from the 1st century AD.[citation needed]


Narmer Palette, with the two Serpopards representing unification of Upper and Lower Egypt, c. 3100 BC

The earliest known hieroglyphs are about 5,200 years old, such as the clay labels of a Predynastic ruler called "Scorpion I" (Naqada IIIA period, c. 32nd century BC) recovered at Abydos (modern Umm el-Qa'ab) in 1998 or the Narmer Palette, dating to c. 3100 BC, and several recent discoveries that may be slightly older, though these glyphs were based on a much older artistic rather than written tradition. The hieroglyphic script was logographic with phonetic adjuncts that included an effective alphabet. The world's oldest deciphered sentence was found on a seal impression found in the tomb of Seth-Peribsen at Umm el-Qa'ab, which dates from the Second Dynasty (28th or 27th century BC). There are around 800 hieroglyphs dating back to the Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom Eras. By the Greco-Roman period, there are more than 5,000.[citation needed]

Writing was very important in maintaining the Egyptian empire, and literacy was concentrated among an educated elite of scribes.[68] Only people from certain backgrounds were allowed to train to become scribes, in the service of temple, pharaonic, and military authorities. The hieroglyph system was always difficult to learn, but in later centuries was purposely made even more so, as this preserved the scribes' status.[citation needed]

The world's oldest known alphabet appears to have been developed by Canaanite turquoise miners in the Sinai desert around the mid-19th century BC.[69] Around 30 crude inscriptions have been found at a mountainous Egyptian mining site known as Serabit el-Khadem. This site was also home to a temple of Hathor, the "Mistress of turquoise". A later, two line inscription has also been found at Wadi el-Hol in Central Egypt. Based on hieroglyphic prototypes, but also including entirely new symbols, each sign apparently stood for a consonant rather than a word: the basis of an alphabetic system. It was not until the 12th to 9th centuries, however, that the alphabet took hold and became widely used.[citation needed]


The Cascajal Block, a stone slab with 3,000-year-old proto-writing, was discovered in the Mexican state of Veracruz and is an example of the oldest script in the Western Hemisphere, preceding the oldest Zapotec writing by approximately 500 years.[70][71][72] It is thought to be Olmec.

Of several pre-Columbian scripts in Mesoamerica, the one that appears to have been best developed, and the only one to be deciphered, is the Maya script. The earliest inscription identified as Maya dates to the 3rd century BC.[73] Maya writing used logograms complemented by a set of syllabic glyphs, somewhat similar in function to modern Japanese writing.

Central Asia[edit]

In 2001, archaeologists discovered that there was a civilization in Central Asia that used writing c. 2000 BC. An excavation near Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, revealed an inscription on a piece of stone that was used as a stamp seal.[74]


The earliest surviving examples of writing in China—inscriptions on oracle bones, usually tortoise plastrons and ox scapulae which were used for divination—date from around 1200 BC, during the Late Shang period. A small number of bronze inscriptions from the same period have also survived.[75]

In 2003, archaeologists reported discoveries of isolated tortoise-shell carvings dating back to the 7th millennium BC, but whether or not these symbols are related to the characters of the later oracle bone script is disputed.[76][77]

Elamite scripts[edit]

Over the centuries, three distinct Elamite scripts developed. Proto-Elamite is the oldest known writing system from Iran. In use only briefly (c. 3200 – c. 2900 BC), clay tablets with Proto-Elamite writing have been found at different sites across Iran, with the majority having been excavated at Susa, an ancient city located east of the Tigris and between the Karkheh and Dez Rivers.[78] The Proto-Elamite script is thought to have developed from early cuneiform (proto-cuneiform). The Proto-Elamite script consists of more than 1,000 signs and is thought to be partly logographic.

Linear Elamite is a writing system attested in a few monumental inscriptions in Iran. It was used for a very brief period during the last quarter of the 3rd millennium BC. It is often claimed that Linear Elamite is a syllabic writing system derived from Proto-Elamite, although this cannot be proven since Linear-Elamite has not been deciphered. Several scholars have attempted to decipher the script, most notably Walther Hinz [de][79] and Piero Meriggi.

The Elamite cuneiform script was used from about 2500 to 331 BC, and was adapted from the Akkadian cuneiform. At any given point within this period, the Elamite cuneiform script consisted of about 130 symbols, and over this entire period only 206 total signs were used. This is far fewer than most other cuneiform scripts.[62]


Crete and Greece[edit]

Cretan hieroglyphs are found on artifacts of Crete (early-to-mid-2nd millennium BC, MM I to MM III, overlapping with Linear A from MM IIA at the earliest). Linear B, the writing system of the Mycenaean Greeks,[80] has been deciphered while Linear A has yet to be deciphered. The sequence and the geographical spread of the three overlapping, but distinct writing systems can be summarized as follows (beginning date refers to first attestations, the assumed origins of all scripts lie further back in the past): Cretan hieroglyphs were used in Crete from c. 1625 to 1500 BC; Linear A was used in the Aegean Islands (Kea, Kythera, Melos, Thera), and the Greek mainland (Laconia) from c. 18th century to 1450 BC; and Linear B was used in Crete (Knossos), and mainland (Pylos, Mycenae, Thebes, Tiryns) from c. 1375 to 1200 BC.[citation needed]

Indus Valley[edit]

Indus script refers to short strings of symbols associated with the Indus Valley Civilization (which spanned modern-day Pakistan and North India) used between 2600 and 1900 BC. Despite attempts at decipherments and claims, it is as yet undeciphered. The term 'Indus script' is mainly applied to that used in the mature Harappan phase, which perhaps evolved from a few signs found in early Harappa after 3500 BC.[81] The script is written from right to left,[82] and sometimes follows a boustrophedonic style. In 2015, the epigrapher Bryan Wells estimated there were around 694 distinct signs.[83] This is above 400, so scholars accept the script to be logo-syllabic[84] (typically syllabic scripts have about 50–100 signs whereas logographic scripts have a very large number of principal signs). Several scholars maintain that structural analysis indicates an agglutinative language underlies the script.[citation needed]

Phoenician writing system and descendants[edit]

The Proto-Sinaitic script, in which Proto-Canaanite is believed to have been first written, is attested as far back as the 19th century BC. The Phoenician writing system was adapted from the Proto-Canaanite script sometime before the 14th century BC, which in turn borrowed principles of representing phonetic information from Egyptian hieroglyphs. This writing system was an odd sort of syllabary in which only consonants are represented. This script was adapted by the Greeks, who adapted certain consonantal signs to represent their vowels. The Cumae alphabet, a variant of the early Greek alphabet, gave rise to the Etruscan alphabet and its own descendants, such as the Latin alphabet and Runes. Other descendants from the Greek alphabet include Cyrillic, used to write Bulgarian, Russian and Serbian, among others. The Phoenician system was also adapted into the Aramaic script, from which the Hebrew and the Arabic scripts are descended.[citation needed]

The Tifinagh script (Berber languages) is descended from the Libyco-Berber script, which is assumed to be of Phoenician origin.[citation needed]

Religious texts[edit]

In the history of writing, religious texts or writing have played a special role. For example, some religious text compilations have been some of the earliest popular texts, or even the only written texts in some languages, and in some cases are still highly popular around the world.[85][86][87] The first books printed widely using the printing press were bibles. Such texts enabled rapid spread and maintenance of societal cohesion, collective identity, motivations, justifications and beliefs that e.g. notably historically supported or enabled large-scale warfare between modern humans.

Contemporary efforts to foster writing acquisition[edit]

A writing center

Multiple programs are in place to aid both children and adults in improving their literacy skills. For example, the emergence of the writing center and community-wide literacy councils aim to help students and community members sharpen their writing skills. These resources, and many more, span across different age groups in order to offer each individual a better understanding of their language and how to express themselves via writing in order to perhaps improve their socioeconomic status. As William J. Farrell puts it: "Did you ever notice that, when people become serious about communication, they want it in writing?"[88]

Other parts of the world have seen an increase in writing abilities as a result of programs such as the World Literacy Foundation and International Literacy Foundation, as well as a general push for increased global communication.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Harris, Roy (2000). Rethinking Writing. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. p. 185. ISBN 978-0-253-33776-4.
  2. ^ Smith, Dorothy E. (2005). Institutional Ethnography: A Sociology for People. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 105–108. ISBN 978-0-759-10502-7.
  3. ^ Ong, Walter (1982). Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word. London: Methuen. ISBN 978-0-415-02796-0.
  4. ^ Haas, Christina (1996). Writing technology: Studies on the Materiality of Literacy. Mahwah, NJ: L. Erlbaum Associates. ISBN 978-0-805-81306-7.
  5. ^ Schmandt-Besserat, Denise; Erard, Erard (2007). "Origins and Forms of Writing". In Bazerman, Charles (ed.). Handbook of Research on Writing: History, Society, School, Individual, Text. New York: L. Erlbaum Associates. p. 21. ISBN 978-1-135-25111-6.
  6. ^ Bazerman, Charles; Russell, David, eds. (1994). "Writing as a mode of learning". Landmark Essays: On Writing Across the Curriculum. Routledge. doi:10.4324/9781003059219. ISBN 978-1-003-05921-9.
  7. ^ Adler-Kassner, Linda; Wardle, Elizabeth A., eds. (2015). Naming What We Know: Threshold Concepts of Writing Studies. Logan: Utah State University Press. pp. 55–56. ISBN 978-0-874-21989-0. JSTOR j.ctt15nmjt7.
  8. ^ Winsor, Dorothy A. (1994). "Invention and Writing in Technical Work: Representing the Object". Written Communication. 11 (2): 227–250. doi:10.1177/0741088394011002003. S2CID 145645219.
  9. ^ Jakobs, Eva-Maria; Perrin, Daniel (2014). "Introduction and research roadmap: Writing and text production". Handbook of writing and text production. De Gruyter / Mouton. p. 8. ISBN 978-3-11-022063-6.
  10. ^ "The Khipu Database Project". Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2008.
  11. ^ Lindgren, E.; Sullivan, K., eds. (2019). Observing Writing: Insights from Keystroke Logging and Handwriting. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-39251-9.
  12. ^ Reiter, Ehud; Dale, Robert (2000). Building Natural Language Generation Systems. Cambridge UP. ISBN 978-0511519857.
  13. ^ Katsnelson, Alla (29 August 2022). "Poor English skills? New AIs help researchers to write better". Nature. 609 (7925): 208–209. Bibcode:2022Natur.609..208K. doi:10.1038/d41586-022-02767-9. PMID 36038730. S2CID 251931306.
  14. ^ Dzieza, Josh (20 July 2022). "Can AI write good novels?". The Verge. Archived from the original on 10 February 2023. Retrieved 16 November 2022.
  15. ^ "AI Writing Assistants: A Cure for Writer's Block or Modern-Day Clippy?". PCMAG. Archived from the original on 23 January 2023. Retrieved 16 November 2022.
  16. ^ Song, Victoria (2 November 2022). "Google's new prototype AI tool does the writing for you". The Verge. Archived from the original on 7 February 2023. Retrieved 16 November 2022.
  17. ^ O'Hara, Kenton P.; Taylor, Alex; Newman, William; Sellen, Abigail J. (2002). "Understanding the materiality of writing from multiple sources". International Journal of Human-Computer Studies. 56 (3): 269–305. doi:10.1006/ijhc.2001.0525.
  18. ^ Anderson, Jack (2008). "The Collection and Organization of Written Knowledge". In Bazerman, Charles (ed.). Handbook of Research on Writing: History, Society, School, Individual, Text. New York: L. Erlbaum Associates. pp. 177–190. ISBN 978-0-805-84870-0.
  19. ^ Bazerman, Charles (2013). "Literacy and the Organization of Society". A Theory of Literate Action (PDF). Vol. 2. Anderson, SC: Parlor. p. 193. ISBN 978-1-602-35477-7.
  20. ^ Green, M. W. (1981). "The Construction and Implementation of the Cuneiform Writing System". Visible Language. 15 (4): 345–372. ISSN 0022-2224.
  21. ^ Ray, John D. (1986). "The Emergence of Writing in Egypt". World Archaeology. 17 (3): 307–316. doi:10.1080/00438243.1986.9979972. ISSN 0043-8243. JSTOR 124697.
  22. ^ Justeson, John S. (1986). "The Origin of Writing Systems: Preclassic Mesoamerica". World Archaeology. 17 (3): 437–458. doi:10.1080/00438243.1986.9979981. ISSN 0043-8243. JSTOR 124706.
  23. ^ Hutchins, Edwin (1995). Cognition in the Wild. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-58146-2.
  24. ^ Christiansen, M. Sidury (2017). "Creating a Unique Transnational Place: Deterritorialized Discourse and the Blending of Time and Space in Online Media". Written Communication. 34 (2): 135–164. doi:10.1177/0741088317693996. S2CID 151827910.
  25. ^ Sterponi, Laura; Zucchermaglio, Cristina; Alby, Francesca; Fatigante, Marilena (October 2017). "Endangered Literacies? Affordances of Paper-Based Literacy in Medical Practice and Its Persistence in the Transition to Digital Technology". Written Communication. 34 (4): 359–386. doi:10.1177/0741088317723304. S2CID 149050969.
  26. ^ Brandt, Deborah (2015). The Rise of Writing. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-107-46211-3.[page needed]
  27. ^ Jakobs, Eva-Marie; Spinuzzi, Clay (2014). "Professional Domains: Writing as Creation of Economic Value". Handbook of Writing and Text Production. De Gruyter Mouton. p. 360. ISBN 978-3-110-22063-6.
  28. ^ Beaufort, Anne (2008). "Writing in the Professions". Handbook of Research on Writing: History, Society, School, Individual, Text. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. pp. 221–237. ISBN 978-0-805-84870-0.
  29. ^ Smith, Dorothy E. (2001). "Texts and the ontology of organizations and institutions". Studies in Cultures, Organizations and Societies. 7 (2): 160. doi:10.1080/10245280108523557. S2CID 146217590.
  30. ^ Yates, JoAnne (1989). Control through Communication: The Rise of System in American Management. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-3757-9.[page needed]
  31. ^ Smart, G. (2006). Writing the economy: Activity, genre and technology in the world of banking. London: Equinox.[page needed]
  32. ^ Devitt, Amy J. (1991). "Intertextuality in Tax Accounting: Generic, Referential, and Functional". Textual Dynamics of the Professions: Historical and Contemporary Studies of Writing in Professional Communities. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. pp. 336–357.
  33. ^ Yates, JoAnne (2005). Structuring the Information Age: Life Insurance and Technology in the Twentieth Century. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8086-5.[page needed]
  34. ^ Kerwin, Cornelius M.; Furlong, Scott R. (2019). Rulemaking: How Government Agencies Write Law and Make Policy (5th ed.). Sage Publishing. ISBN 978-1-48335-281-7.[page needed]
  35. ^ "Vital Records". National Archives. 15 August 2016. Archived from the original on 24 February 2023. Retrieved 24 February 2023.
  36. ^ Hoffman, Steven J.; Baral, Prativa; Rogers Van Katwyk, Susan; Sritharan, Lathika; Hughsam, Matthew; Randhawa, Harkanwal; Lin, Gigi; Campbell, Sophie; Campus, Brooke; Dantas, Maria; Foroughian, Neda; Groux, Gaëlle; Gunn, Elliot; Guyatt, Gordon; Habibi, Roojin; Karabit, Mina; Karir, Aneesh; Kruja, Krista; Lavis, John N.; Lee, Olivia; Li, Binxi; Nagi, Ranjana; Naicker, Kiyuri; Røttingen, John-Arne; Sahar, Nicola; Srivastava, Archita; Tejpar, Ali; Tran, Maxwell; Zhang, Yu-qing; Zhou, Qi; Poirier, Mathieu J. P. (9 August 2022). "International treaties have mostly failed to produce their intended effects". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 119 (32): e2122854119. Bibcode:2022PNAS..11922854H. doi:10.1073/pnas.2122854119. PMC 9372541. PMID 35914153.
  37. ^ Kirlin, J. J. (1 January 1996). "What Government Must Do Well: Creating Value for Society". Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. 6 (1): 161–185. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.jpart.a024298.
  38. ^ Wu, X; Ramesh, M; Howlett, M (1 September 2015). "Policy capacity: A conceptual framework for understanding policy competences and capabilities". Policy and Society. 34 (3–4): 165–171. doi:10.1016/j.polsoc.2015.09.001. S2CID 154823584.
  39. ^ Kerwin, Cornelius M.; Furlong, Scott R. (2018). Rulemaking: How Government Agencies Write Law and Make Policy. CQ Press. ISBN 978-1-4833-5282-4.[page needed]
  40. ^ Gibbons, John, ed. (1994). Language and the law. New York: Longman. ISBN 9780582101456.[page needed]
  41. ^ Tiersma, P. (2008). Writing, Text, and the Law. Handbook of Research on Writing: History, Society, School, Individual, Text, New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc. pp. 125–137.
  42. ^ Tiersma, P. (2010). Parchment, Paper, Pixels: Law and the Technologies of Communication. University of Chicago Press.[page needed]
  43. ^ Tiersma, P & Solan, L. (Eds.) (2012). The Oxford Handbook of Language and Law. Oxford University Press.[page needed]
  44. ^ Seawright, Leslie (2017). Genre of Power: Police Report Writers and Readers in the Justice System. Studies in Writing and Rhetoric. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English. ISBN 978-0-8141-1842-9.
  45. ^ Yu, Han; Monas, Natalie (January 2020). "Recreating the Scene: An Investigation of Police Report Writing". Journal of Technical Writing and Communication. 50 (1): 35–55. doi:10.1177/0047281618812441. S2CID 69505178.
  46. ^ Carpenter, Michael (October 2000). "Put It in Writing: The Police Policy Manual" (PDF). FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin. 69 (10): 1–5. OCLC 4769477311. NCJ 185444. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 September 2001.
  47. ^ Tardy, Christine M. (January 2003). "A Genre System View of the Funding of Academic Research". Written Communication. 20 (1): 7–36. doi:10.1177/0741088303253569. S2CID 5205721.
  48. ^ Latour, Bruno; Woolgar, Steve (1986). Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts. Princeton UP. ISBN 0-691-02832-X.[page needed]
  49. ^ Hyland, Ken (2004). Disciplinary Discourses: Social Interactions in Academic Writing. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. pp. 1–19. ISBN 0-472-03024-8.
  50. ^ Bazerman, Charles (1988). Shaping written knowledge: The genre and activity of the experimental article in science. Madison WI: University of Wisconsin Press.
  51. ^ Conboy, M. (2008). "Writing and Journalism: Politics, Social Movements, and the Public Sphere". Handbook of Research on Writing: History, Society, School, Individual, Text, New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc. pp. 201–216.[ISBN missing]
  52. ^ Perrin, Daniel (2013). The linguistics of newswriting. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  53. ^ Pavlik, J. V. (2001). Journalism and the new media. New York: Columbia University Press.[ISBN missing][page needed]
  54. ^ Wingate, Ursula (2012). "'Argument!' helping students understand what essay writing is about". Journal of English for Academic Purposes. 11 (2): 145–154. doi:10.1016/j.jeap.2011.11.001. S2CID 73669683.
  55. ^ Klein, Perry D.; Arcon, Nina; Baker, Samanta (2016). "Writing to Learn". Handbook of Writing Research (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press. pp. 245–246. ISBN 978-1-4625-2243-9.
  56. ^ Williams C, Beam S (2019). "Technology and writing: review of research". Computers & Education. 128: 227–242. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2018.09.024. S2CID 53746020.
  57. ^ Kinkead, Joyce A. (2022). A writing studies primer. Peterborough, Ontario. pp. 295–310. ISBN 978-1-55481-531-9. OCLC 1285306363.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  58. ^ Murphy, James (2012). A short history of writing instruction : from ancient Greece to contemporary America (3rd ed.). New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-89746-4. OCLC 744299034.
  59. ^ Dooley 2017, p. 1.
  60. ^ "Hypertext" (definition). Merriam-webster Free Online Dictionary. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  61. ^ Lehman, Jeffrey; Phelps, Shirelle (2005). West's Encyclopedia of American Law, Vol. 9 (2 ed.). Detroit: Thomson/Gale. p. 451. ISBN 9780787663742.
  62. ^ a b c d e f g h i The World's Writing Systems. Peter T. Daniels, William Bright. New York: Oxford University Press. 1996. p. 59. ISBN 0-19-507993-0. OCLC 31969720.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  63. ^ Cushman, Ellen (2011). "The Cherokee Syllabary: A Writing System in its Own Right". Written Communication. 28 (3): 255–281. doi:10.1177/0741088311410172. S2CID 144180867.
  64. ^ Robinson 2003, p. 36.
  65. ^ "Where did writing begin?". British Library. Archived from the original on 11 March 2022. Retrieved 28 February 2022.
  66. ^ Rudgley, Richard (2000). The Lost Civilizations of the Stone Age. New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 48–57.
  67. ^ Kramer, Samuel Noah (1981). "The Origin and Development of the Cuneiform System of Writing". History Begins at Sumer: Thirty-Nine Firsts in Recorded History (3rd ed.). University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 381–383. ISBN 978-0-8122-7812-5.
  68. ^ Lipson, Carol (2004). "Ancient Egyptian Rhetoric: It All Comes Down to Maat". In Lipson, Carol S.; Binkley, Roberta A. (eds.). Rhetoric before and beyond the Greeks. SUNY Press. ISBN 978-0791460993.
  69. ^ Goldwasser, Orly. "How the Alphabet Was Born from Hieroglyphs", Biblical Archaeology Review, Mar/Apr 2010
  70. ^ Wilford, John Noble (15 September 2006). "Writing May Be Oldest in Western Hemisphere". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 27 July 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2008. A stone slab bearing 3,000-year-old writing previously unknown to scholars has been found in the Mexican state of Veracruz, and archaeologists say it is an example of the oldest script ever discovered in the Western Hemisphere.
  71. ^ Briggs, Helen (14 September 2006). "'Oldest' New World writing found". BBC. Archived from the original on 3 April 2008. Retrieved 30 March 2008. Ancient civilisations in Mexico developed a writing system as early as 900 BC, new evidence suggests.
  72. ^ Rodríguez Martínez, Maria del Carmen; Ceballos, Ponciano Ortíz; Coe, Michael D.; Diehl, Richard A.; Houston, Stephen D.; Taube, Karl A.; Calderón, Alfredo Delgado (15 September 2006). "Oldest Writing in the New World". Science. 313 (5793): 1610–1614. Bibcode:2006Sci...313.1610R. doi:10.1126/science.1131492. PMID 16973873. S2CID 35140904. A block with a hitherto unknown system of writing has been found in the Olmec heartland of Veracruz, Mexico. Stylistic and other dating of the block places it in the early first millennium before the common era, the oldest writing in the New World, with features that firmly assign this pivotal development to the Olmec civilization of Mesoamerica.
  73. ^ Saturno, William A.; Stuart, David; Beltrán, Boris (3 March 2006). "Early Maya Writing at San Bartolo, Guatemala". Science. 311 (5765): 1281–1283. Bibcode:2006Sci...311.1281S. doi:10.1126/science.1121745. PMID 16400112. S2CID 46351994.
  74. ^ "Ancient writing found in Turkmenistan". BBC. 15 May 2001. Archived from the original on 7 December 2008. Retrieved 30 March 2008. A previously unknown civilisation was using writing in Central Asia 4,000 years ago, hundreds of years before Chinese writing developed, archaeologists have discovered. An excavation near Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, revealed an inscription on a piece of stone that seems to have been used as a stamp seal.
  75. ^ Boltz, William (1999). "Language and Writing". In Loewe, Michael; Shaughnessy, Edward L. (eds.). The Cambridge History of Ancient China. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 74–123. ISBN 978-0-521-47030-8.
  76. ^ "Archaeologists Rewrite History". China Daily. 12 June 2003. Archived from the original on 26 October 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  77. ^ Rincon, Paul (17 April 2003). "'Earliest writing' found in China". BBC News. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2012. Signs carved into 8,600-year-old tortoise shells found in China may be the earliest written words, say archaeologists
  78. ^ Dahl, Jacob L. (2018). "The proto-Elamite writing system". The Elamite World. pp. 383–396. doi:10.4324/9781315658032-20. ISBN 978-1-315-65803-2.
  79. ^ Hinz, Walther (1975). "Problems of Linear Elamite". The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. 107 (2): 106–115. doi:10.1017/S0035869X00132782. JSTOR 25203649 – via JSTOR.
  80. ^ Olivier, J.-P. (February 1986). "Cretan writing in the second millennium B.C.". World Archaeology. 17 (3): 377–389. doi:10.1080/00438243.1986.9979977. S2CID 163509308.
  81. ^ Whitehouse, David (4 May 1999). "'Earliest writing' found". BBC News.
  82. ^ Mukhopadhyay 2019, p. 2.
  83. ^ Wells 2015, p. 13.
  84. ^ Stiebing & Helft 2018, p. 104–105.
  85. ^ Martin, Henri-Jean (1994). The History and Power of Writing. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-50836-8.[page needed]
  86. ^ Johnston, Sarah Iles (30 September 2007). Ancient Religions. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-26477-9. Archived from the original on 26 April 2023. Retrieved 2 March 2023.
  87. ^ Powell, Barry B. (2009). Writing: Theory and History of the Technology of Civilization. John Wiley & Sons. p. 12. ISBN 978-1-4051-6256-2.
  88. ^ Farrell, William J. (1992). "The Power of Writing". The WAC Journal. 3 (2): 1–3. doi:10.37514/WAC-J.1992.3.2.02.

Works cited[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • A History of Writing: From Hieroglyph to Multimedia, edited by Anne-Marie Christin, Flammarion (in French, hardcover: 408 pages, 2002, ISBN 2-08-010887-5)
  • "The Art of Writing" (1974). The Book Collector 23 no 3 (autumn):319–338.
  • In the Beginning: A Short History of the Hebrew Language. By Joel M. Hoffman, 2004. Chapter 3 covers the invention of writing and its various stages.
  • Origins of writing on AncientScripts.com
  • Museum of Writing Archived 24 April 2006 at the Wayback Machine: UK Museum of Writing with information on writing history and implements
  • On ERIC Digests: Writing Instruction: Current Practices in the Classroom Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine; Writing Development Archived 15 April 2004 at the Wayback Machine; Writing Instruction: Changing Views over the Years Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  • Angioni, Giulio, La scrittura, una fabrilità semiotica, in Fare, dire, sentire. L'identico e il diverso nelle culture, il Maestrale, 2011, 149–169. ISBN 978-88-6429-020-1
  • Children of the Code: The Power of Writing – Online Video
  • Powell, Barry B. 2009. Writing: Theory and History of the Technology of Civilization, Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-4051-6256-2
  • Reynolds, Jack 2004. Merleau-Ponty And Derrida: Intertwining Embodiment And Alterity, Ohio University Press
  • Rogers, Henry. 2005. Writing Systems: A Linguistic Approach. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-23463-2 (hardcover); ISBN 0-631-23464-0 (paperback)
  • Ankerl, Guy (2000) [2000]. Global communication without universal civilization. INU societal research. Vol. 1: Coexisting contemporary civilizations: Arabo-Muslim, Bharati, Chinese, and Western. Geneva: INU Press. pp. 59–66, 235s. ISBN 978-2-88155-004-1.
  • Falkenstein, A. 1965 Zu den Tafeln aus Tartaria. Germania 43, 269–273
  • Haarmann, H. 1990 Writing from Old Europe. The Journal of Indo-European Studies 17
  • Lazarovici, Gh., Fl. Drasovean & Z. Maxim 2000 The Eagle – the Bird of death, regeneration resurrection and messenger of Gods. Archaeological and ethnological problems. Tibiscum, 57–68
  • Lazarovici, Gh., Fl. Drasovean & Z. Maxim 2000 The Eye – Symbol, Gesture, Expression. Tibiscum, 115–128
  • Makkay, J. 1969 The Late Neolithic Tordos Group of Signs. Alba Regia 10, 9–50
  • Makkay, J. 1984 Early Stamp Seals in South-East Europe. Budapest
  • Masson, E. 1984 L'écriture dans les civilisations danubiennes néolithiques. Kadmos 23, 2, 89–123. Berlin & New York.
  • Maxim, Z. 1997 Neo-eneoliticul din Transilvania. Bibliotheca Musei Napocensis 19. Cluj-Napoca
  • Milojcic, Vl. 1963 Die Tontafeln von Tartaria (Siebenbürgen), und die Absolute Chronologie des mitteleeuropäischen Neolithikums.Germania 43, 266–268
  • Paul, I. 1990 Mitograma de acum 8 milenii. Atheneum 1, p. 28
  • Paul, I. 1995 Vorgeschichtliche untersuchungen in Siebenburgen. Alba Iulia
  • Vlassa, N. 1962 – (Studia UBB 2), 23–30.
  • Vlassa, N. 1962 – (Dacia 7), 485–494;
  • Vlassa, N. 1965 – (Atti UISPP, Roma 1965), 267–269
  • Vlassa, N. 1976 Contribuții la Problema racordării Neoliticul Transilvaniei, p. 28–43, fig. 7–8
  • Vlassa, N. 1976 Neoliticul Transilvaniei. Studii, articole, note. Bibliotheca Musei Napocensis 3. Cluj-Napoca
  • Winn, Sham M. M. 1973 The Signs of the Vinca Culture
  • Winn, Sham M. M. 1981 Pre-writing in Southeast Europe: The Sign System of the Vinca culture. BAR
  • Merlini, Marco 2004 La scrittura è natta in Europa?, Roma (2004)
  • Merlini, Marco and Gheorghe Lazarovici 2008 Luca, Sabin Adrian ed. "Settling discovery circumstances, dating and utilization of the Tărtăria Tablets"
  • Merlini, Marco and Gheorghe Lazarovici 2005 "New archaeological data referring to Tărtăria tablets", in Documenta Praehistorica XXXII, Department of Archeology Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana. Ljubljana: 2005–2019.

External links[edit]