Chapter graphic

Chapter 1

Scripts and Languages

Writing is speech put in visible form.
— Michael D. Coe

Writing Systems, Scripts, and Languages

Categories of Writing Systems

Characters and Glyphs

Chapter Summary

Writing Systems,1 Scripts, and Languages

Michael Coe began his book on the decipherment of the Maya script with the memorable sentence above.2 Over the centuries, a hundred or so different scripts have been developed to record human languages. Many of them, such as Egyptian hieroglyphs or the Cuneiform script went out of existence; others, such as Chinese characters, are still in use and have gone through an amazingly small amount of change during their ...

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