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Rochefaton
2010-05-11, 23:38
First off, let me state that I am very weak in lingustics, so if I make a complete fool of myself in this thread, do not be surprised.

Ok, so I have been researching the origins of writing, and need someone to explain to me the difference between proto-writing and writing.

The Old European Script and Jiahu Script are both considered "proto-writing", but why is that exactly? Is it because these scripts use symbols to represent concepts instead of words from a specific language?

Stygian Cellarius
2010-05-12, 00:25
The way I understand it, is that Pictograms would be considered "proto-writing" and the use of an "alphabet" would be considered writing.

One is a symbol that represents an object/idea/action/description (a concept as you said) and the other uses a symbol to represent a sound in the vocalization spectrum.

• Pictogram as medium (proto-writing): Symbol = concept (X=Bird)

• Alphabet as medium (writing): Symbol = sound + symbol = sound + symbol = sound = word = concept (XOT=Bird)

or maybe this is more fundamental:

• Pictogram as medium (proto-writing): Symbol = Meaning

• Alphabet as medium (writing): Symbol = sound + symbol = sound + symbol = sound = word = Meaning (XOT=Bird)

I basically re-worded what you already said. The rest, the "illustration" above, is for my entertainment.

Magavariko
2010-05-12, 00:57
Writing: direct linguistic information.
Protowriting: previous stage, language (linguistic information) is not strictly reflected.

Geto-Thracian
2010-05-12, 01:29
The way I understand it, is that Pictograms would be considered "proto-writing" and the use of an "alphabet" would be considered writing.

One is a symbol that represents an object/idea/action/description (a concept as you said) and the other uses a symbol to represent a sound in the vocalization spectrum.

• Pictogram as medium (proto-writing): Symbol = concept (X=Bird)

• Alphabet as medium (writing): Symbol = sound + symbol = sound + symbol = sound = word = concept (XOT=Bird)

or maybe this is more fundamental:

• Pictogram as medium (proto-writing): Symbol = Meaning

• Alphabet as medium (writing): Symbol = sound + symbol = sound + symbol = sound = word = Meaning (XOT=Bird)

I basically re-worded what you already said. The rest, the "illustration" above, is for my entertainment.

Except that Chinese characters would still be considered proto-writing, sort of , no? I believe the old european script WAS the proto-writing which preceded Sumerian full-blown writing and that is why it resembles it so much AND predates it by over 1000 years. This is why Assyrians are so close to Europeans because, writing developed in europe along with lots of other things and then spread to the ME and beyond. All thanx to our mixing with neanders and getting our creativity boost from their genes mixed with ours.

pinguin
2010-05-12, 01:40
proto-writing= a collection of symbols that doesn't cover the full expresive power of spoken language.

writing = a collection of symbols that can express graphically every single thought and concept of a spoken language. Therefore, they can record written history.


Simple.

Most human societies, both simple and complex, have some forms of proto-writing. Only civilizations developed true writing.

Graeme
2010-05-12, 01:49
So, what about Egyptian hieroglyphics, Sumerian symbols and common everyday Chinese characters?

In Semitic languages it is common to write it using only symbols representing consonants.

pinguin
2010-05-12, 02:11
In a semitic script you can convey the whole set of ideas and concepts of the semitic spoken language, so it is writing.

Don't confusse writing with the alphabet, which is a particularly technique of writing that can represent "sounds" with characters.