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Writing Systems: A Linguistic Introduction
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Writing Systems: A Linguistic Introduction

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  40 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
To say that writing has as much claim as speech to be treated as language may strike the reader as a statement of the obvious. But the fact is that, although the tide is beginning to turn now, for most of the twentieth century linguistics has almost wholly ignored writing. It is not necessary to accept all the theories of the French critic Jacques Derrida in order to agree ...more
Paperback, 236 pages
Published January 1st 1990 by Stanford University Press (first published December 12th 1985)
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Jennifer Ball
Aug 18, 2011 Jennifer Ball rated it it was amazing
The most important sentence in this book is the one regarding Chinese on pages 164-165: "(Women's liberators might point out the number of cases where words for unpleasant character-traits such as jealousy are written with the 'woman' signific [the word he uses for 'radical']; but the incidence of this sort of thing is no greater than that of comparable sexist assumptions in the spoken English language — cf. bitch vs. dog, for instance.)"

Sampson is trying to suggest that Chinese is not inferior
...more
Walrus
Jun 30, 2010 Walrus rated it really liked it
Decent overview of some of the more notable writing systems. Particularly liked the argument made against English spelling reform.
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“This ‘archaic’ stage of Sumerian script is not wholly understood by modern scholarship; and Sumerology is a tightly-knit, somewhat secretive academic discipline, which does not make it easy for the outsider to form a clear view of the current state of knowledge in the field.” 0 likes
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