Start at the beginning
- developed by illiterate(s)
- Evolved slowly from parent
- first in its area
- inventor known
- language unknown
- mercantile script
- National pride
- now ceremonial
- previous script didn't quite work
- private or secret
- probably developed by illiterate(s)
- probably first in its area
- Rating: 1 "Dull, only here for completeness"
- Rating: 2 "Not all that interesting"
- Rating: 3 "I did not know that"
- Rating: 4 "Huh, interesting!"
- Rating: 5 "Whoa!!"
- revealed in a dream
- significant female influence
- spiritual or supernatural
- technology influenced
Category Archives: Logograms
As in Japan, Koreans first started writing with Chinese script, but Chinese script didn’t work well to write Korean for similar reasons that it didn’t work well for Japanese. (Japanese and Korean are syntactically very similar.) One thing the Koreans … Continue reading
Kanji — the Japanese adaption of Chinese script — was the first script used to write Japanese. Kanji is very very similar to Chinese script, but unsurprisingly, the two scripts have diverged over the course of fourteen hundred years (or … Continue reading
The Khitan (AKA Liao) Empire was in charge in Manchuria (northeastern China) for a while, and the local Jurchen people used the Khitan script and Chinese script for their writing. They rebelled and overthrew their Khitan overlords in 1115, and … Continue reading
Emperor Taizu of the Khitan (AKA Liao) people introduced a script in 920 AD for his nomadic Mongolian nation. They had been using Chinese script, but the Chinese script was a poor fit for the Khitan language. Spoken Khitan had … Continue reading
Demotic was significant in the history of language understanding, as it was one of the three scripts on the Rosetta Stone (along with Greek script and Egyptian hieroglyphics). However, it is really only a font difference from hieratic (or hieroglyphics). … Continue reading
Shorthands — forms of writing that sacrifices accuracy and/or shared orthography for speed — are very old. The earliest example of shorthand comes from Greece, and was sort of an inverse abugida: the vowels were primary, and consonants were noted … Continue reading
Luwian hieroglyphics — also called Anatolian hieroglyphics or (incorrectly) Hittite hieroglyphics — do not seem to be stylistically related to any other language, so it is likely this writing system was invented by the Luwians, although they pretty certainly knew … Continue reading
Ancient Crete had not one but three writing systems at roughly the same time: the Cretan hieroglyphics, Linear A, and Linear B. Linear A and the Cretan hieroglyphics have not been deciphered, but Linear B has. Linear B has about … Continue reading
In around 1700BC, the Hittites adapted Assyrian cuneiform (which was basically just Akkadian cuneiform which had been around long enough to evolve slightly) to their language. They only took about half of the symbols from Assyrian cuneiform, of which roughly … Continue reading
Linear Elamite petered out after a few hundred years, ignored in favour of more prestigious languages/writing systems like Babylonian (which was an organic descendant of Akkadian in both language and script). When the Elamite language reappeared after a few hundred … Continue reading