Naxi Geba — 1200 AD? S. China

Naxi Geba character

Like its sibling (parent?) script, Naxi Dongba, Naxi Geba is highly idiosyncratic and used mostly for religious writings.  Unlike Naxi Dongba, Naxi Geba is a syllabary, but different people used different symbols for the same syllable. This makes it less than ideal as an interpersonal communications medium.

This raises another aspect of the question: “What is a writing system?”  Does a writing system need to be shared to be a writing system?  If I create a language and only make notes to myself, is it a writing system?  What if I then forget what it meant — is it still a writing system?  What if I make marks on paper that might be meaningful to someone somewhere in the universe?  I do not know the answer to that, and indeed that question might not have a universal answer.  Its answer might be as idiosyncratic as the Naxi Geba syllabary.

Links: Naxi Pictographic and Syllabographic Scripts, Omniglot, Sinoglot, Wikipedia

About ducky

I'm a computer programmer professionally, currently working on mapping applications. I have been interested non-professionally for a long time in the effect on society on advances in communications technology -- things like writing, vowels, spaces between words, paper, etc.
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2 Responses to Naxi Geba — 1200 AD? S. China

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