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Lettris is a curious tetris-clone game where all the bricks have the same square shape but different content. Each square carries a letter. To make squares disappear and save space for other squares you have to assemble English words (left, right, up, down) from the falling squares.
Boggle gives you 3 minutes to find as many words (3 letters or more) as you can in a grid of 16 letters. You can also try the grid of 16 letters. Letters must be adjacent and longer words score better. See if you can get into the grid Hall of Fame !
Change the target language to find translations.
Tips: browse the semantic fields (see From ideas to words) in two languages to learn more.
1.communicate or express by writing"Please write to me every week"
2.record data on a computer"boot-up instructions are written on the hard disk"
3.communicate (with) in writing"Write her soon, please!"
4.communicate by letter"He wrote that he would be coming soon"
5.mark or trace on a surface"The artist wrote Chinese characters on a big piece of white paper" "Russian is written with the Cyrillic alphabet"
6.produce a literary work"She composed a poem" "He wrote four novels"
7.write or name the letters that comprise the conventionally accepted form of (a word or part of a word)"He spelled the word wrong in this letter"
8.write music"Beethoven composed nine symphonies"
9.have (one's written work) issued for publication"How many books did Georges Simenon write?" "She published 25 books during her long career"
10.create code, write a computer program"She writes code faster than anybody else"
1.something written by hand"she recognized his handwriting" "his hand was illegible"
2.the activity of putting something in written form"she did the thinking while he did the writing"
3.the act of creating written works"writing was a form of therapy for him" "it was a matter of disputed authorship"
4.letters or symbols that are written or imprinted on a surface to represent the sounds or words of a language"he turned the paper over so the writing wouldn't show" "the doctor's writing was illegible"
5.the work of a writer; anything expressed in letters of the alphabet (especially when considered from the point of view of style and effect)"the writing in her novels is excellent" "that editorial was a fine piece of writing"
6.(usually plural) the collected work of an author"the idea occurs with increasing frequency in Hemingway's writings"
7.the total output of a writer or artist (or a substantial part of it)"he studied the entire Wagnerian oeuvre" "Picasso's work can be divided into periods"
1.(MeSH)The act or practice of literary composition, the occupation of writer, or producing or engaging in literary work as a profession.
WriteWrite (?), v. t. [imp. Wrote (?); p. p. Written (?); Archaic imp. & p. p. Writ (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Writing.] [OE. writen, AS. wrītan; originally, to scratch, to score; akin to OS. wrītan to write, to tear, to wound, D. rijten to tear, to rend, G. reissen, OHG. rīzan, Icel. rīta to write, Goth. writs a stroke, dash, letter. Cf. Race tribe, lineage.]
1. To set down, as legible characters; to form the conveyance of meaning; to inscribe on any material by a suitable instrument; as, to write the characters called letters; to write figures.
2. To set down for reading; to express in legible or intelligible characters; to inscribe; as, to write a deed; to write a bill of divorcement; hence, specifically, to set down in an epistle; to communicate by letter.
Last night she enjoined me to write some lines to one she loves. Shak.
I chose to write the thing I durst not speak
To her I loved. Prior.
3. Hence, to compose or produce, as an author.
I purpose to write the history of England from the accession of King James the Second down to a time within the memory of men still living. Macaulay.
4. To impress durably; to imprint; to engrave; as, truth written on the heart.
5. To make known by writing; to record; to prove by one's own written testimony; -- often used reflexively.
He who writes himself by his own inscription is like an ill painter, who, by writing on a shapeless picture which he hath drawn, is fain to tell passengers what shape it is, which else no man could imagine. Milton.
To write to, to communicate by a written document to. -- Written laws, laws deriving their force from express legislative enactment, as contradistinguished from unwritten, or common, law. See the Note under Law, and Common law, under Common, a.
WriteWrite, v. i.
1. To form characters, letters, or figures, as representative of sounds or ideas; to express words and sentences by written signs. Chaucer.
So it stead you, I will write,
Please you command. Shak.
2. To be regularly employed or occupied in writing, copying, or accounting; to act as clerk or amanuensis; as, he writes in one of the public offices.
3. To frame or combine ideas, and express them in written words; to play the author; to recite or relate in books; to compose.
They can write up to the dignity and character of the authors. Felton.
4. To compose or send letters.
He wrote for all the Jews that went out of his realm up into Jewry concerning their freedom. 1 Esdras iv. 49.
WritingWrit"ing (?), n.
1. The act or art of forming letters and characters on paper, wood, stone, or other material, for the purpose of recording the ideas which characters and words express, or of communicating them to others by visible signs.
2. Anything written or printed; anything expressed in characters or letters; as: (a) Any legal instrument, as a deed, a receipt, a bond, an agreement, or the like. (b) Any written composition; a pamphlet; a work; a literary production; a book; as, the writings of Addison. (c) An inscription.
And Pilate wrote a title . . . And the writing was, Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews. John xix. 19.
3. Handwriting; chirography.
Writing book, a book for practice in penmanship. -- Writing desk, a desk with a sloping top for writing upon; also, a case containing writing materials, and used in a similar manner. -- Writing lark (Zoöl.), the European yellow-hammer; -- so called from the curious irregular lines on its eggs. [Prov. Eng.] -- Writing machine. Same as Typewriter. -- Writing master, one who teaches the art of penmanship. -- Writing obligatory (Law), a bond. -- Writing paper, paper intended for writing upon with ink, usually finished with a smooth surface, and sized. -- Writing school, a school for instruction in penmanship. -- Writing table, a table fitted or used for writing upon.
write out (American)
article, artwork, authorship, autography, body of work, calligraphy, committal to writing, composition, deed, docket, essay, hand, handwriting, indenture, journalism, legal instrument, literature, longhand, manuscript, oeuvre, opus, paper, paperwork, penmanship, penning, piece of work, piece of writing, poetry, script, statement, text, work, work of art, works, written material
compact disc write-once • nothing to write home about • read/write head • read/write memory • tax debt write-off • tax write-off • teach how to read and write • teach to read and write • teaching how to read and write • write a check • write a cheque • write about • write again • write artistically • write back • write bits of verse • write copy • write down • write in • write in code • write in shorthand • write in stenography • write neatly • write of • write off • write on • write out • write out a check • write out a cheque • write poetry • write poetry of a sort • write to • write up • write-down • write-in • write-in candidate • write-off • write-up
Mirror Writing • alphabetic writing • automatic writing • committal to writing • direct writing • in writing • make a writing error • manner of writing • mirror writing • picture writing • piece of writing • put down in writing • religious writing • sacred writing • secret writing • style of writing • writing arm • writing assignment • writing board • writing case • writing desk • writing error • writing implement • writing ink • writing materials • writing off • writing pad • writing paper • writing skills • writing stand • writing style • writing system • writing table • writing-pad • writing-paper
All I Can Do Is Write About It • Automatically write • Aye Write! • Blind write • Buy-write • Copy-on-write • Direct read after write • Disk read-and-write head • Disk read-write head • Enhanced Write Filter • Everyday I Write the Book • Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot • Guys Write for Guys Read • Honesty (Write Me a List) • How Not to Write a Play • I Could Write a Book • I Write Sins Not Tragedies • I Write What I Like • I Write You a Love Song • I Write the Songs • I'd Rather Write a Symphony • I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter • I. Write • If They Give You Lined Paper, Write Sideways • In His Own Write • It's Hard to Write with a Little Hand • James Write (music producer) • Just Write • Linsear Write • Mama Was a Rock and Roll Singer Papa Used to Write All Her Songs • Music Write • P.S. Don't Write Back • PC-Write • PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award • Play write • Production write-through contract • Read Once Write Many • Read-Write conflict • Read-modify-write • Read-write head • Read-write memory • Read/write • Read/write lock pattern • S.E.A. Write Award • SCSI Write Commands • Sky write • Sky-write • Something to Write Home About • Songs We Didn't Write • Success Will Write Apocalypse Across the Sky • The Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em) • The Write Channel • The Write Environment • The Write Place At the Write Time • The Write Stuff • Thomas write rule • To Write Love on Her Arms • Type write • Type-write • Uncacheable Speculative Write Combining • Under write • When You Write • Why I Write • Why Write a Novel? • Windows Write • Workers Write! • Write (Unix) • Write (disambiguation) • Write Ahead Physical Block Logging • Write Angle • Write Anywhere File Layout • Write Bloody Publishing • Write Brothers • Write It in Stone • Write Me a Murder • Write On • Write On (Hollies album) • Write Once Read Many • Write Protect • Write This Down • Write buffer • Write combining • Write off • Write once • Write once run anywhere • Write once run everywhere • Write once, compile anywhere • Write once, run anywhere • Write once, run everywhere • Write out • Write precompensation • Write protection • Write strategy • Write the Laws Act • Write to Death • Write up • Write-In Vote • Write-Read conflict • Write-Write conflict • Write-ahead logging • Write-combining • Write-in • Write-in ballot • Write-in candidate • Write-in vote • Write-ins • Write-off • Write-once (cache coherence) • Write-only • Write-only documentation • Write-only language • Write-only memory • Write-protection • Write-up
drop a line, write[Domaine]
mathématiques appliquées (fr)[Classe]
high technology; high-tech; hi-tech; high tech[ClasseParExt.]
recording, transcription - audiotape, magnetic tape, mag tape, sound recording tape, tape - disc, disk, phonograph record, phonograph recording, platter, record - recorder, recording equipment, recording machine - tape, tape recording, tape-recording, taping[Dérivé]
record, tape, tape-record[Hyper.]
lineation - delineation, depiction, portrayal - tracing - delineation, depiction, limning, line drawing - drawing - tracer - trace, tracing - line - contour, lineation, outline - write - drop a line, write - write - put, write[Dérivé]
man of letters; essayist; litterateur; writer; author[ClasseHyper.]
(longhand; writing; handwriting; script)[termes liés]
orthographe (fr)[termes liés]
orthography, writing system[Hyper.]
compositeur de musique (fr)[Classe]
create, do, make, run up[Hyper.]
man of letters; essayist; litterateur; writer; author[ClasseHyper.]
bring out, issue, publish, put out, release - publish, write - print, publish - compose, indite, pen, write - author - authorship, composition, penning, writing - auctorial, authorial - pen - author, writer[Dérivé]
write (v. intr.)
write (v. intr.)
composition musicale (fr)[DomaineCollocation]
ouvrage et document écrits (fr)[DomaineCollocation]
write (v. tr.)
write (v. tr.)
(contravention; transgression; invasion; offense; penal offence; breach of the law; infraction of the law; infringement of the law; transgression of the law; violation of the law; lapse; misdemeanor; misdemeanour; infraction; violation; infringement; breach; desecration; evildoing), (legal rule; rule of law), (justice)[Thème]
write (v. tr.) [American]
ce qui peut prouver (fr)[Classe]
indenture; docket; statement; document; writing[ClasseHyper.]
case file; document; paper; record[ClasseParExt.]
Histoire (fr)[termes liés]
writing (n.) [jurisprudence]
longhand; writing; handwriting; script[ClasseHyper.]
(grammarian; syntactician), (grammar)[termes liés]
tons; dozens; heaps; lots; piles; scores; stacks; loads; rafts; slews; wads; oodles; gobs; scads; lashings; bags of; host; heap of; heaps of; thousands of; dozens (of); heap; scores (of); mass[Classe]
chose encombrante (fr)[ClasseParExt.]
ensemble des phénomènes (fr)[ClasseParExt.]
drop a line, write[Domaine]
man of letters; essayist; litterateur; writer; author[ClasseHyper.]
nombre d'un mot (fr)[Classe]
singular, singular form[Ant.]
plural, plural form[Domaine]
issue; handing-in; publication; publishing; edition[ClasseParExt.]
œuvre littéraire (fr)[ClasseHyper.]
end product, output[Hyper.]
Writing is the representation of language in a textual medium through the use of a set of signs or symbols (known as a writing system). It is distinguished from illustration, such as cave drawing and painting, and non-symbolic preservation of language via non-textual media, such as magnetic tape audio.
Writing most likely began as a consequence of political expansion in ancient cultures, which needed reliable means for transmitting information, maintaining financial accounts, keeping historical records, and similar activities. Around the 4th millennium BC, the complexity of trade and administration in Mesopotamia outgrew human memory, and writing became a more dependable method of recording and presenting transactions in a permanent form. In both Ancient Egypt and Mesoamerica writing may have evolved through calendrics and a political necessity for recording historical and environmental events. The oldest known use of writing in China was in divination in the royal court.
|This unreferenced section requires citations to ensure verifiability.|
||The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. Please improve this article and discuss the issue on the talk page. (February 2010)|
Writing, more particularly, refers to two things: writing as a noun, the thing that is written; and writing as a verb, which designates the activity of writing. It refers to the inscription of characters on a medium, thereby forming words, and larger units of language, known as texts. It also refers to the creation of meaning and the information thereby generated. In that regard, linguistics (and related sciences) distinguishes between the written language and the spoken language. The significance of the medium by which meaning and information is conveyed is indicated by the distinction made in the arts and sciences. For example, while public speaking and poetry reading are both types of speech, the former is governed by the rules of rhetoric and the latter by poetics.
A person who composes a message or story in the form of text is generally known as a writer or an author. However, more specific designations exist which are dictated by the particular nature of the text such as that of poet, essayist, novelist, playwright, journalist, and more. A translator is a specialized multilingual writer who must fully understand a message written by somebody else in one language; the translator's job is to produce a document of faithfully equivalent message in a completely different language. A person who transcribes or produces text to deliver a message authored by another person is known as a scribe, typist or typesetter. A person who produces text with emphasis on the aesthetics of glyphs is known as a calligrapher or graphic designer.
H.G. Wells argued that writing has the ability to "put agreements, laws, commandments on record. It made the growth of states larger than the old city states possible. It made a continuous historical consciousness possible. The command of the priest or king and his seal could go far beyond his sight and voice and could survive his death".
The major writing systems – methods of inscription – broadly fall into four categories: logographic, syllabic, alphabetic, and featural. Another category, ideographic (symbols for ideas), has never been developed sufficiently to represent language. A sixth category, pictographic, is insufficient to represent language on its own, but often forms the core of logographies.
A logogram is a written character which represents a word or morpheme. The vast number of logograms needed to write a language, and the many years required to learn them, are the major disadvantage of the logographic systems over alphabetic systems. However, the efficiency of reading logographic writing once it is learned is a major advantage. No writing system is wholly logographic: all have phonetic components as well as logograms ("logosyllabic" components in the case of Chinese characters, cuneiform, and Mayan, where a glyph may stand for a morpheme, a syllable, or both; "logoconsonantal" in the case of hieroglyphs), and many have an ideographic component (Chinese "radicals", hieroglyphic "determiners"). For example, in Mayan, the glyph for "fin", pronounced "ka'", was also used to represent the syllable "ka" whenever the pronunciation of a logogram needed to be indicated, or when there was no logogram. In Chinese, about 90% of characters are compounds of a semantic (meaning) element called a radical with an existing character to indicate the pronunciation, called a phonetic. However, such phonetic elements complement the logographic elements, rather than vice versa.
The main logographic system in use today is Chinese characters, used with some modification for various languages of China, Japanese, and, to a lesser extent, Korean in South Korea. Another is the classical Yi script.
A syllabary is a set of written symbols that represent (or approximate) syllables. A glyph in a syllabary typically represents a consonant followed by a vowel, or just a vowel alone, though in some scripts more complex syllables (such as consonant-vowel-consonant, or consonant-consonant-vowel) may have dedicated glyphs. Phonetically related syllables are not so indicated in the script. For instance, the syllable "ka" may look nothing like the syllable "ki", nor will syllables with the same vowels be similar.
Syllabaries are best suited to languages with relatively simple syllable structure, such as Japanese. Other languages that use syllabic writing include the Linear B script for Mycenaean Greek; Cherokee; Ndjuka, an English-based creole language of Surinam; and the Vai script of Liberia. Most logographic systems have a strong syllabic component. Ethiopic, though technically an alphabet, has fused consonants and vowels together to the point that it's learned as if it were a syllabary.
An alphabet is a set of symbols, each of which represents or historically represented a phoneme of the language. In a perfectly phonological alphabet, the phonemes and letters would correspond perfectly in two directions: a writer could predict the spelling of a word given its pronunciation, and a speaker could predict the pronunciation of a word given its spelling.
As languages often evolve independently of their writing systems, and writing systems have been borrowed for languages they were not designed for, the degree to which letters of an alphabet correspond to phonemes of a language varies greatly from one language to another and even within a single language.
In most of the writing systems of the Middle East, it is usually only the consonants of a word that are written, although vowels may be indicated by the addition of various diacritical marks. Writing systems based primarily on marking the consonant phonemes alone date back to the hieroglyphics of ancient Egypt. Such systems are called abjad's, derived from the Arabic word for "alphabet".
In most of the alphabets of India and Southeast Asia, vowels are indicated through diacritics or modification of the shape of the consonant. These are called abugidas. Some abugidas, such as Ethiopic and Cree, are learned by children as syllabaries, and so are often called "syllabics". However, unlike true syllabaries, there is not an independent glyph for each syllable.
Sometimes the term "alphabet" is restricted to systems with separate letters for consonants and vowels, such as the Latin alphabet, although abugidas and abjads may also be accepted as alphabets. Because of this use, Greek is often considered to be the first alphabet.
A featural script notates the building blocks of the phonemes that make up a language. For instance, all sounds pronounced with the lips ("labial" sounds) may have some element in common. In the Latin alphabet, this is accidentally the case with the letters "b" and "p"; however, labial "m" is completely dissimilar, and the similar-looking "q" and "d" are not labial. In Korean hangul, however, all four labial consonants are based on the same basic element. However, in practice, Korean is learned by children as an ordinary alphabet, and the featural elements tend to pass unnoticed.
Another featural script is SignWriting, the most popular writing system for many sign languages, where the shapes and movements of the hands and face are represented iconically. Featural scripts are also common in fictional or invented systems, such as Tolkien's Tengwar.
Historians draw a distinction between prehistory and history, with history defined by the advent of writing. The cave paintings and petroglyphs of prehistoric peoples can be considered precursors of writing, but are not considered writing because they did not represent language directly.
Writing systems develop and change based on the needs of the people who use them. Sometimes the shape, orientation and meaning of individual signs also changes over time. By tracing the development of a script it is possible to learn about the needs of the people who used the script as well as how it changed over time.
The many tools and writing materials used throughout history include stone tablets, clay tablets, wax tablets, vellum, parchment, paper, copperplate, styluses, quills, ink brushes, pencils, pens, and many styles of lithography. It is speculated that the Incas might have employed knotted threads known as quipu (or khipu) as a writing system.
The typewriter and various forms of word processors have subsequently become widespread writing tools, and various studies have compared the ways in which writers have framed the experience of writing with such tools as compared with the pen or pencil.     
The writing process first evolved from economic necessity in the ancient near east. Writing most likely began as a consequence of political expansion in ancient cultures, which needed reliable means for transmitting information, maintaining financial accounts, keeping historical records, and similar activities. Around the 4th millennium BC, the complexity of trade and administration outgrew the power of memory, and writing became a more dependable method of recording and presenting transactions in a permanent form. The Dispilio Tablet, which was carbon dated to the 6th millennium BC, may be evidence that writing was used even earlier than that.
Archaeologist Denise Schmandt-Besserat determined the link between previously uncategorized clay "tokens" and the first known writing, Mesopotamian cuneiform. The clay tokens were used to represent commodities, and perhaps even units of time spent in labour, and their number and type became more complex as civilization advanced. A degree of complexity was reached when over a hundred different kinds of tokens had to be accounted for, and tokens were wrapped and fired in clay, with markings to indicate the kind of tokens inside. These markings soon replaced the tokens themselves, and the clay envelopes were demonstrably the prototype for clay writing tablets. In both Mesoamerica and Ancient Egypt writing may have evolved through calendrics and a political necessity for recording historical and environmental events.
In approximately 8000 BC, the Mesopotamians began using clay tokens to count their agricultural and manufactured goods. Later they began placing the tokens in large, hollow, clay containers (bulla) which were sealed; the quantity of tokens in each container came to be expressed by impressing, on the container's surface, one picture for each instance of the token inside. They next dispensed with the tokens, relying solely on symbols for the tokens, drawn on clay surfaces. To avoid making a picture for each instance of the same object (for example: 100 pictures of a hat to represent 100 hats), they 'counted' the objects by using various small marks. In this way the Sumerians added "a system for enumerating objects to their incipient system of symbols". The original Mesopotamian writing system (believed to be the worlds oldest) was derived from this method of keeping accounts circa 3600 BC, and by the end of the 4th millennium BC, this had evolved into using a triangular-shaped stylus pressed into soft clay for recording numbers. This was gradually augmented with using a sharp stylus, indicating what was being counted by means of pictographs. Round-stylus and sharp-stylus writing was gradually replaced by writing using a wedge-shaped stylus (hence the term cuneiform), at first only for logograms, but evolved to include phonetic elements by the 29th century BC. Around the 2700 BC, cuneiform began to represent syllables of spoken Sumerian. Also in that period, cuneiform writing became a general purpose writing system for logograms, syllables, and numbers, and this script was adapted to another Mesopotamian language, the East Semitic Akkadian (Assyrian and Babylonian) in around 2600 BC, and from there to others such as Elamite, Hattian, Hurrian and Hittite. Scripts similar in appearance to this writing system include those for Ugaritic and Old Persian. With the adoption of Aramaic as the 'lingua franca' of the Neo Assyrian Empire, Old Aramaic was also adapted to Mesopotamian Cuneiform. The last Cuneiform scripts in Akkadian discovered thus far date from the 1st Century AD.
Over the centuries, three distinct Elamite scripts developed. Proto-Elamite is the oldest known writing system from Iran. It was used during a brief period of time (ca. 3200 – 2900 BC); clay tablets with Proto-Elamite writing have been found at different sites across Iran. The Proto-Elamite script is thought to have developed from early cuneiform (proto-cuneiform). The Proto-Elamite script consists of more than 1,000 signs and is thought to be partly logographic.
Linear Elamite is a writing system from Iran attested in a few monumental inscriptions only. It is often claimed that Linear Elamite is a syllabic writing system derived from Proto-Elamite, although this cannot be proven. Linear-Elamite was used for a very brief period of time during the last quarter of the third millennium BC. Linear-Elamite has not been deciphered. Several scholars have attempted to decipher linear-Elamite, most notably Walther Hinz and Piero Meriggi.
The Elamite Cuneiform script was used from about 2500 to 331 BC, and was adapted from the Akkadian Cuneiform. The Elamite Cuneiform script consisted of about 130 symbols, far fewer than most other cuneiform scripts.
Cretan hieroglyphs are found on artifacts of Crete (early-to-mid-2nd millennium BC, MM I to MM III, overlapping with Linear A from MM IIA at the earliest). Linear B, the writing system of the Mycenaean Greeks, has been deciphered while Linear A has yet to be deciphered. The sequence and the geographical spread of the three overlapping, but distinct writing systems can be summarized as follows:
|Writing system||Geographical area||Time span[A 1]|
|Cretan Hieroglyphic||Crete||ca. 1625−1500 BC|
|Linear A||Aegean islands (Kea, Kythera, Melos, Thera), and Greek mainland (Laconia)||ca. 18th century−1450 BC|
|Linear B||Crete (Knossos), and mainland (Pylos, Mycenae, Thebes, Tiryns)||ca. 1375−1200 BC|
The earlest surviving examples of writing in China are inscriptions on so-called "oracle bones", tortoise plastrons and ox scapulae used for divination, dating from around 1200 BC in the late Shang dynasty. A small number of bronze inscriptions from the same period have also been found. Historians have found that the type of media used had an effect on what the writing was documenting and how it was used.
In 2003, archaeologists reported discoveries of isolated tortoise-shell carvings dating back to the 7th millennium BC, but whether or not these symbols are related to the characters of the later oracle bone script is disputed.
The earliest known hieroglyphic inscriptions are the Narmer Palette, dating to c.3200 BC, and several recent discoveries that may be slightly older, though these glyphs were based on a much older artistic rather than written tradition. The hieroglyphic script was logographic with phonetic adjuncts that included an effective alphabet.
Writing was very important in maintaining the Egyptian empire, and literacy was concentrated among an educated elite of scribes. Only people from certain backgrounds were allowed to train to become scribes, in the service of temple, pharaonic, and military authorities. The hieroglyph system was always difficult to learn, but in later centuries was purposely made even more so, as this preserved the scribes' status.
The world's oldest known alphabet appears to have been developed by Canaanite turquoise miners in the Sinai desert around the mid nineteenth century BC. Around 30 crude inscriptions have been found at a mountainous Egyptian mining site known as Serabit el-Khadem. This site was also home to a temple of Hathor, the "Mistress of turquoise". A later, two line inscription has also been found at Wadi el-Hol in Central Egypt. Based on hieroglyphic prototypes, but also including entirely new symbols, each sign apparently stood for a consonant rather than a word: the basis of an alphabetic system. It was not until the twelfth to the ninth centuries, however, that the alphabet took hold and became widely used.
Indus script refers to short strings of symbols associated with the Indus Valley Civilization (which spanned modern-day Pakistan and North India) used between 2600–1900 BC. In spite of many attempts at decipherments and claims, it is as yet undeciphered. The term 'Indus script' is mainly applied to that used in the mature Harappan phase, which perhaps evolved from a few signs found in early Harappa after 3500 BC, and was followed by the mature Harappan script. The script is written from right to left, and sometimes follows a boustrophedonic style. Since the number of principal signs is about 400-600, midway between typical logographic and syllabic scripts, many scholars accept the script to be logo-syllabic (typically syllabic scripts have about 50-100 signs whereas logographic scripts have a very large number of principal signs). Several scholars maintain that structural analysis indicates an agglutinative language underlies the script.
Archaeologists have recently discovered that there was a civilization in Central Asia using writing circa 2000 BC. An excavation near Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, revealed an inscription on a piece of stone that was used as a stamp seal.
The Proto-Sinaitic script in which Proto-Canaanite is believed to have been first written, is attested as farback as the 19th Century BC. The Phoenician writing system was adapted from the Proto-Caananite script sometime before the 14th century BC, which in turn borrowed principles of representing phonetic information from Hieratic, Cuneiform and Egyptian hieroglyphics. This writing system was an odd sort of syllabary in which only consonants are represented. This script was adapted by the Greeks, who adapted certain consonantal signs to represent their vowels. The Cumae alphabet, a variant of the early Greek alphabet, gave rise to the Etruscan alphabet, and its own descendants, such as the Latin alphabet and Runes. Other descendants from the Greek alphabet include Cyrillic, used to write Bulgarian, Russian, among others. The Phoenician system was also adapted into the Aramaic script, from which the Hebrew script and also that of Arabic are descended.
The Tifinagh script (Berber languages) is descended from the Libyco-Berber script which is assumed to be of Phoenician origin.
A stone slab with 3,000-year-old writing was discovered in the Mexican state of Veracruz and is an example of the oldest script in the Western Hemisphere, preceding the oldest Zapotec writing by approximately 500 years. It is thought to be Olmec.
Of several pre-Columbian scripts in Mesoamerica, the one that appears to have been best developed, and the only one to be deciphered, is the Maya script. The earliest inscriptions which are identifiably Maya date to the 3rd century BC. Maya writing used logograms complemented by a set of syllabic glyphs, somewhat similar in function to modern Japanese writing.
Three stone slabs were found by Romanian archaeologist Nicolae Vlassa, in mid 20th century (1961) in Tărtăria, somewhere in noways Transylvania, Romania, historical land of Dacia, inhabited by Getaes, which were a population who may have been related to the Thracians. One of the slabs contains 4 groups of pictographs divided by lines. Some of the characters are also found ancient Greek, but also in Phoenician, Etruscan, Old Italic and Iberian. The origin and the timing of the writings are widely disputed, because there are no precise evidence in situ, the slabs cannot be carbon dated, because of the bad treatment of the Cluj museum. There are indirect carbon dates found on a skeleton discovered near the slabs, that certifies the 5300-5500 BC period. However, the presence of influences of Greek, Phoenician and Etruscan in the writings, make it unlikely that they date from this period. Other hypothesis are that the slabs are imported from Cyclades islands, because of other artifacts found in the same site.
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