Have you ever wondered how writing began? The words, alphabets, numbers? Most epigraphers and paleographers agree that the historical evolution of writing occurred in basically four stages 1. Ideographic 2. Logographic 3. Syllabic 4. Alphabetic. The development of writing is unidirectional. Meaning that it will pass through the above four stages in that order and no other. No system of writing can begin naturally with the syllabic stage or alphabet stage. No writing system ever studied has skipped through a stage. The ideographic stage is basically composed of pictures and readily symbols, designed so that the message will be obvious. This state says there is no relationship between what is written and how actually speech sounds. In
…show more content…
They are looked at being the first system of writing on the planet. Originally, each symbol represented an object or person, and was made to be a graphical representation of that thing. Cuneiform writing began as a system of pictographs. Over time, the pictorial representations became simplified and more abstract. Clay tablets were where cuneiforms were written on which symbols could be drawn with a blunt reed for a stylus. The name cuneiform came from the impressions left by the stylus, which were wedge shaped.
(The Origins of Writing) Another pictographic writing system was found in ancient Egypt, the Hieroglyphic language. Like the Sumerians cuneiform, the Hieroglyphic language, used pictures to represent things or people. However, the Egyptian characters were much more clearly representational. The cuneiform characters only resembled what which they symbolized and were abstracted further; the Hieroglyphic characters originated, and maintained, more naturalism. An important practice we see between both the Mesopotamians and the Egyptians was the use of what is called the “Rebus Principle”. This is the process by which the phonetic value, or sound, of the sign becomes independent from its original meaning. Similar to the way cuneiform characters were combined to form complex words, these phonetic objects could be combined to make and relate to new words. By example, in English we can combine