In other cases, a population will have built their new language upon a repertoire of elements taken from an existing language.
The same fate overtook cuneiform generally with astonishing swiftness and completeness. Development[ edit ] The Phoenician letter forms shown here are idealized: But even in this well-formed state, there are quite a few open questions about the system, and quite a few problems inherent in the script itself that make understanding both cuneiform and the language it is trying to represent quite difficult.
Babylonia thus became the great and influential centre of Mesopotamian culture. The initial results of Grotefend were expanded and refined by other scholars. So, for many years, we all assumed that cuneiform was invented by Sumerians.
Round-stylus and sharp-stylus writing was gradually replaced by writing using a wedge-shaped stylus hence the term proto cuneiform writing activityat first only for logogramsbut by the 29th century BC proto cuneiform writing activity for phonetic elements. The indications are that the proto-Sumerians invented their language at the start of the Near Eastern Neolithic, approximately ten thousand years ago.
By the early 21st century some 30, tablets or fragments of tablets in the Hittite language had been recovered through archaeological excavations. There were also significant variations in Phoenician letter forms by era and region. Once the Semitic character of the language had been established, the philological science of Assyriology developed rapidly from the closing decades of the 19th century onward, especially because of scholars like Friedrich Delitzsch and, later, Benno Landsberger and Wolfram von Soden.
Decipherment of cuneiform Many of the cultures employing cuneiform Hurrian, HittiteUrartian disappeared one by one, and their written records fell into oblivion. This script was adapted by the Greekswho adapted certain consonantal signs to represent their vowels. The published copies are not always very reliable.
Late Babylonian and Assyrian were little but moribund artificial literary idioms. The meanings that she synthesized for the Eurasian proto-language are spatial and abstract in nature, as compared to the analogic and concrete meanings that I have deduced for the proto-Sumerian phememes. The universal history of numbers: The back of the tongue is held close to the velum so that when air is forced past the constriction the result is a series of small explosions.
Curving lines disappeared from writing, and the normal order of signs was fixed as running from left to right, without any word-divider. Our best guess is that this kind of visual symbology lead, eventually, to the desire to express more abstract ideas in clay as well. The Elamite cuneiform script was used from about to BC, and was adapted from the Akkadian cuneiform.
The proto-Sumerians recognized the following articulatory symbolism: By BC or so, we see a complete and fully-formed writing system - nothing like the clunky logographs of the past. Darnell said of the conclusion that early alphabetic writing was developed by Semitic-speaking people in an Egyptian context.
Addendum, August 24, After the proto-Sumerians made the conceptual breakthrough of mapping important things in the world to vocalic symbols, i. The issue is still controversial. This system was gradually augmented with using a sharp stylus to indicate what was being counted by means of pictographs.
Of several pre-Columbian scripts in Mesoamericathe one that appears to have been best developed, and the only one to be deciphered, is the Maya script.
Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, pp. Period or Regional Style, Wiesbaden: Metropolitan museum of art.They listed their court activity. They listed their sales and purchases.
The story was told in pictures, in cuneiform, and in another writing similar to an East Indian language that Henry Rawlinson already could read and write. The same story was told in three different ways so that most probably, in ancient times, everyone could understand.
The writing is still purely pictographic, and represents a transitional stage between proto-writing and the emergence of the partly syllabic writing of the cuneiform script proper.
The "proto-literate period" of Egypt and Mesopotamia is taken to span about to BC. Proto-Elamite is a derived writing system originating from the Uruk invention of writing in southern Mesopotamia during the middle of the 4th millennium BC.
Scribes in Susa in southwestern Iran took over a majority of the numerical signs as well as many of the numerical systems from the older proto-cuneiform system. The Phoenician writing system was adapted from the Proto-Canaanite script sometime before the 14th century BC, which in turn borrowed principles of representing phonetic information from Hieratic, Cuneiform and Egyptian hieroglyphs.
This writing system was an odd sort of syllabary in which only consonants are represented. Proto-cuneiform writing thus remained essentially a system of proto-writing, and the calculations performed with the context-dependent numerical notations remained essentially operations in proto-arithmetical systems.
Both systems, of course, were incomparably more complex and powerful than their preliterate precursors. The Proto-Sumerian Language Invention Process by John A. Halloran Before reading this paper, the reader should know that none of the proto-languages of the world's great language families are more than ten thousand years old.Download