Throughout most of the history of linguistics, the primacy of the spoken word over the written word has been virtually axiomatic. Scholars working at what is perceived as the core of linguistic science, on grammar, sociolinguistics, phonetics, phonology, have generally perceived the written word as merely the means of representing the true matter of linguistics, spoken language, with varying degrees of efficiency. Yet the written word has demonstrably shaped the course of languages, been the means of their maintenance or, under different circumstances, their downfall. Written language has been the means of holding speech communities together. Speech communities have become writing communities and, in doing so, gained hegemony over their less literate neighbours.
Because writing has for so long and so often been treated as the poor relation of speech, the serious study of writing as a discipline itself has been relegated to disparate parts of the linguistic domain. It is only in the last fifty years that scripts and writing systems, their evolution and impact, have been the subject of scholarly works. Writing Systems aims at the widest possible sweep in collecting materials on the subject of written language and presents not only the latest research findings, but also anthologises writings on particular themes under each of these headings, both journal articles and longer works, extending over a long period of time. It provides an extensive bibliographical resource for scholars interested in pursuing the connections between the social, linguistic, historical, pedagogical, legal, and economic aspects of writing.
Volume I: Writing Technology and its Applications
1. Earl M. Herrick, ‘A Taxonomy of Alphabets and Scripts’, Visible Language, 1974, 8, 5–32.
2. Hsi-Yao Su, ‘The Multilingual and Multiorthographic Taiwan-Based Internet: Creative Uses of Writing Systems in College-Affiliated BBSs’, in Brenda Danet and Susan C. Herring (eds.), The Multilingual Internet: Language, Culture and Communication Online (Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 64–86.
3. Sean Hawkins, ‘Writing and Kinship in Northern Ghana: From Cowry Payments to Paper Documents’, in David R. Olson and Michael Cole (eds.), Technology, Literacy and the Evolution of Society: Implications of the Work of Jack Goody (Lawrence Erlbaum, 2006), pp. 189–213.
4. Rutherford Aris, ‘A Sequence of Scripts’, The Scribe, 1987, 41, 7–12.
5. P. Mohanty and G. Altmann, ‘On Graphemic Representation of the Oriya Phonemes’, in Gabriel Altmann and Fengxiang Fan (eds.), Analyses of Script Properties of Characters and Writing Systems (Mouton de Gruyter, 2008), pp. 121–40.6. William C. Hannas, ‘Asia’s Orthographic Tradition’, The Writing on the Wall (LB, 2003), pp. 168–93.
7. Andrew Robinson, Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World’s Undeciphered Scripts (McGraw-Hill, 2002), pp. 244–63.
8. Heidi Swank, ‘It all Hinges on the Vowels: Reconsidering the Alphasyllabary Classification’, Written Language and Literacy, 2008, 11, 1, 73–89.
9. David G. Lockwood, ‘Phoneme and Grapheme: How Parallel Can They Be?’, LACUS, 2000/1, 27, 307–16.
10. Ramesh Kumai Mishra, ‘The Neural Representation of Orthography: Phonology Interface and the Case of Syllabic and Alphabetic Scripts’, International Journal of Dravidian Linguistics, Trivandrum, 2007, 36, 2, 57–70.
11. J. D. Bolter, ‘Beyond Word Processing: The Computer as a New Writing Space’, Language and Communication, 1989, 8, 2, 3, 130.
12. William A. Poser, ‘Use of Web Pages for Endangered Languages’, IJSL, 2002, 158, 227–37.
13. Gary Sobbing and Audra Vincent, ‘Technology, Literacy and Orality: The Case of the Coeur d’Alene Language’, in Nicholas Ostler and Blair Rudes (eds.), Endangered Languages and Literacy: Proceedings of the Fourth FEL Conference (Foundation for Endangered Languages, 2000), pp. 29–34.
14. Steven L. Thorne and Rebecca W. Black, ‘Language and Literacy Development in Computer-Mediated Contexts and Communities’, Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, Vol. 27 (Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp. 133–60.
Volume II: Orthography
15. Bernard Comrie, ‘Script Reform in and After the Soviet Union’, in P. T. Daniels and W. Bright (eds.), Writing Systems of the World (Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 781–4.
16. Rachael Gilmour, ‘British Colonial Rule in Natal: The Growth of Missionary Activity, and the Development of Language Study’, in Grammars of Colonialism: Representing Languages in Colonial South Africa (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), pp. 126–43.
17. Sally Johnson, ‘Introduction to the 1996 Reform of German Orthography’, Spelling Trouble: Language, Ideology and the Reform of German Orthography (Multilingual Matters, 2005), pp. 1–17.
18. Steven Bird, ‘Strategies for Representing Tone in African Writing Systems’, Written Language and Literacy, 2000, 2, 1, 1–44.
19. V. Cook, ‘Written Language and Foreign Language Teaching’, in V. Cook and B. Bassetti (eds.), Second Language Writing Systems (Multilingual Matters, 2005), pp. 424–41.
20. S. Detey and J.-L. Nespoulos, ‘Can Orthography Influence Second-Language Syllabic Segmentation?’, Lingua, 2008, 118, 1, 66–81.
21. Rizwan Ahmad, ‘Urdu in Devanagari: Shifting Orthographic Practices and Muslim Identity in Delhi’, Language in Society, 2011, 40, 3, 259–84.
22. Peter Unseth, ‘The Sociolinguistics of Script Choice’, IJSL, 2008, 192, 1–4.
23. Andrew Savage, ‘Writing Tuareg: The Three Script Options’, IJSL, 2008, 192, 5–14.
24. Doris E. Blood, ‘The Ascendancy of the Cham Script: How a Literacy Workshop Became the Catalyst’, IJSL, 2008, 192, 45–56.
25. William Fierman, ‘The Introduction of Latin Letters’, Language Planning and National Development: The Uzbek Experience (Mouton de Gruyter, 1991), pp. 97–124.
26. Richard Sproat, ‘Reading Devices’, A Computational Theory of Writing Systems (Cambridge University Press, 2000), pp. 1–32.
27. Mark Sebba, ‘Postcolonial Orthographies’, Spelling and Society: The Culture and Politics of Orthography Around the World (Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp. 81–96.
28. Pamela Innes, ‘I Can’t Read that Way of Writing: Linguistic and Indigenous Systems Clash in the Apache Language Revitalization Movement’, in R. McKenna Brown (ed.), Endangered Languages and their Literatures (Foundation for Endangered Languages, 2002), pp. 39–45.
29. Lynley Hatcher, ‘Script Change in Azerbaijan: Nets of Identity’, IJSL, 2008, 192, 105–16.
30. Victoria Clement, ‘Emblem of Independence: Script Choice in Post-Soviet Turkmenistan’, IJSL, 2008, 192, 171–90.
31. T. S. Barthel, ‘Perspectives and Directions of the Classical Rapanui Script’, in S. R. Fischer, Easter Island Studies (Oxbow Books, 1993), pp. 174–7.
32. Francene Patterson, ‘Pathway to an Acceptable Orthography’, in Nicholas Ostler and Blair Rudes (eds.), Endangered Languages and Literacy: Proceedings of the Fourth FEL Conference (Foundation for Endangered Languages, 2000), pp. 25–9.
33. David L. Morse and Thomas M. Tehan, ‘How Do You Write Lisu?’, in Nicholas Ostler and Blair Rudes (eds.), Endangered Languages and Literacy: Proceedings of the Fourth FEL Conference (Foundation for Endangered Languages, 2000), pp. 53–62.
34. Blair Rudes, ‘When You Choose, Must You Lose? Standard Orthography Versus Dialect Diversity’, in Nicholas Ostler and Rudes (eds.), Endangered Languages and Literacy: Proceedings of the Fourth FEL Conference (Foundation for Endangered Languages, 2000), pp. 74–7.
35. Eckart Scheerer, ‘Orthography and Lexical Access’, in Gerhard Augst (ed.), New Trends in Graphemics and Orthography (de Gruyter, 1986), pp. 262–86.
36. R. Venezky, ‘Principles for the Design of Practical Writing Systems’, Anthropological Linguistics, 1970, 12, 7, 265–70.
37. Eda Derhemi, ‘The Endangered Arbresh Language and the Importance of Standardized Writing for its Survival’, International Journal on Multicultural Societies, 2002, 4, 2, 248–69.
38. Christina Eira, ‘Authority and Discourse: Towards a Model for Orthography Selection’, Written Language and Literacy, 1998, 1, 171–224.
39. Nancy H. Hornberger, ‘Five Vowels or Three? Linguistics and Politics in Quechua Language Planning in Peru’, in J. W. Tollefson (ed.), Power and Inequality in Language Education (Cambridge University Press, 1995), pp. 187–205.
40. Keren Rice, ‘Developing Orthographies: The Athapaskan Languages of the Northwest Territories, Canada’, in Insup Taylor and David Olson (eds.), Scripts and Literacy (Kluwer, 1995), pp. 77–84.
41. Peter Mühlhäusler, ‘"Reducing" Pacific Languages to Writing’, in J. R. Joseph and T. J. Taylor (eds.), Ideologies of Language (Routledge, 1996), pp. 187–205.
Volume III: Literacy
42. Jack Goody and Ian Watt, ‘The Consequences of Literacy’, in Goody (ed.), Literacy in Traditional Societies (Cambridge University Press, 1968), pp. 27–67.
43. Florian Coulmas, ‘Development of Orthographies’, in D. Wagner, R. Venezky, and B. V. Street (eds.), Literacy: An International Handbook (Westview Press, 1999), pp. 137–42.
44. Sarah Gudschinsky, ‘Ways to Test an Orthography’, A Manual of Literacy for Preliterate Peoples (SIL, 1973).
45. Brian V. Street, ‘The "Ideological" Model’, Literacy in Theory and Practice (Cambridge University Press, 1984), pp. 95–125.
46. Randal Holme, Literacy: An Introduction (Edinburgh University Press, 2004), pp. 236–42.
47. Ram Frost, ‘Orthography and Phonology: The Psychological Reality of Orthographic Depth’, in Pamela Downing, Susan D. Lima, and Michael Noonan (eds.), The Linguistics of Literacy (Benjamins, 1972), pp. 255–74.
48. Jan Blommaert, ‘Writing as a Problem: African Grassroots Writing, Economics of Literacy and Globalization’, LS, 2004, 33, 5, 643–71.
49. Shirley Brice Heath, ‘Critical Factors in Literacy Development’, in Suzanne De Castell, Allan Luke, and Kieran Egan (eds.), Literacy, Society and Schooling (Cambridge University Press, 1986), pp. 209–29.
50. Norbert Francis and Jon Reyhner, Language and Literacy Teaching for Indigenous Education: A Bilingual Approach (Multilingual Matters, 2002), pp. 55–70.
51. Joseph Blythe and Frances Kofod, ‘Literatures for the Semiliterate: Issues for Emerging Literacies in the Kimberley Region of North-Western Australia, in R. McKenna Brown (ed.), Endangered Languages and their Literatures (Foundation for Endangered Languages, 2002), pp. 67–76.
52. Mary Morgan and Deepa Gurung, ‘Languages Worth Writing: Endangered Languages of Nepal’, in R. McKenna Brown (ed.), Endangered Languages and their Literatures (Foundation for Endangered Languages, 2002), pp. 99–105.
53. Nora England, ‘Mayan Language Revival and Revitalization Politics: Linguists and Linguistic Ideologies’, American Anthropologist, 2003, 105, 4, 733–42.
54. Mary Raymond, ‘Literacy Work in Papua New Guinea: The Accidental and the Planned’, in Peter K. Austin (ed.), Language Documentation and Description (SOAS, 2007), pp. 174–94.
55. Melissa Axelrod, Logan Sutton et al., ‘Intellectual Property Rights Among Indigenous Languages of the U.S. Southwest’, in M. Haboud and N. Ostler (eds.), Endangered Languages: Voices and Images: Proceedings of the XV Annual Conference of the Foundation for Endangered Languages (Quito, Ecuador, 2011) pp. 219–24.
56. Keiko Koda, ‘Learning to Read Across Writing Systems: Transfer, Metalinguistic Awareness and Second-Language Reading Development’, in V. Cook and B. Bassetti (eds.), Second Language Writing Systems (Multilingual Matters, 2005), pp. 311–34.
57. Richard Hill and Stephen May, ‘Exploring Biliteracy in Māori-Medium Education: An Ethnographic Perspective’, in Teresa L. McCarty (ed.), Ethnography and Language Policy (Routledge, 2011), pp. 161–84.
58. Angela Terrill, ‘Why Make Books for People Who Don’t Read? A Perspective on Documentation of an Endangered Language from Solomon Islands’, IJSL, 2002, 155/6.
59. Philip Baker, ‘Developing Ways of Writing Vernaculars: Problems and Solutions in a Historical Perspective’, in A. Tabouret-Keller, R. Le Page, P. Gardner-Chloros, and G. Varro (eds.), Vernacular Literacy: A Re-evaluation (Clarendon Press, 1997), pp. 93–141.
60. Christopher Wyrod, ‘A Social Orthography of Identity: The N’ko Literacy Movement in West Africa’, IJSL, 2005, 192, 27–44.
61. Ofelia Zepeda, ‘On Native Language Literacy: A Personal Perspective’, in Nicholas Ostler and Blair Rudes (eds.), Endangered Languages and Literacy: Proceedings of the Fourth FEL Conference (Foundation for Endangered Languages, 2000), pp. 13–16.
62. Elena Benedicto, ‘A Community’s Solution to Some Literacy Problems: The Mayangna of Nicaragua’, in Nicholas Ostler and Blair Rudes (eds.), Endangered Languages and Literacy: Proceedings of the Fourth FEL Conference (Foundation for Endangered Languages, 2000), pp. 19–24.
63. Patricia Shaw, ‘Perspectives on Literacy in Endangered Language Revitalization’, in Nicholas Ostler and Blair Rudes (eds.), Endangered Languages and Literacy: Proceedings of the Fourth FEL Conference (Foundation for Endangered Languages, 2000), p. 93.
64. Kathleen Tacelosky, ‘Literacy Ability and Practice in Peru: An Indigenous Account’, in Nicholas Ostler and Blair Rudes (eds.), Endangered Languages and Literacy: Proceedings of the Fourth FEL Conference (Foundation for Endangered Languages, 2000), pp. 99–102.
65. Carla Paciotto, ‘The Bilingual-Bicultural Literacy Program for the Tarahumara of Chihuahua’, in Nicholas Ostler and Blair Rudes (eds.), Endangered Languages and Literacy: Proceedings of the Fourth FEL Conference (Foundation for Endangered Languages, 2000), pp. 103–12.
66. Marit Vamarasi, ‘All Literate and Nothing to Read: The Problem of the Lack of Written Language in Rotuman’, in Nicholas Ostler and Blair Rudes (eds.), Endangered Languages and Literacy: Proceedings of the Fourth FEL Conference (Foundation for Endangered Languages, 2000), pp. 119–22.
67. Linda King, Language and Literacy in Mexico (Stanford University Press, 1994) (extract).
68. Mariko Shiohata, ‘Language Use Along the Urban Street in Senegal: Perspectives from Proprietors of Commercial Signs’, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 2012, 33/3, 269–85.
Volume IV: History of Writing
69. J. Justeson and L. D. Stephens, ‘The Evolution of Syllabaries from Alphabets: Transmission, Language Contact and Script Typology’, Die Sprache, 1993, 35, 2–46.
70. Geoffrey Sampson, ‘Chinese Script and the Diversity of Writing Systems’, Linguistics, 1994, 32, 117–32.
71. C. B. F. Walker, Cuneiform (British Museum, 1987), pp. 48–52.
72. S. D. Houston, Maya Glyphs (British Museum, 1987), pp. 8–19.
73. Florian Coulmas, ‘What is Writing?’, Writing Systems: An Introduction to Their Linguistic Analysis (Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp. 1–25.
74. Florian Coulmas, ‘Units of Speech and Units of Writing’, The Writing Systems of the World (Basil Blackwell, 1989), pp. 37–54.
75. James Lockhart, ‘Lesson 17: Orthography’, Nahuatl as Written: Lessons in Older Nahuatl, with Copious Examples and Texts (Stanford University Press, 2001), pp. 104–16.
76. Malcolm D. Hyman, ‘Of Glyphs and Glottography’, Language and Communication, 2006, 26, 3–4, 231–49.
77. Barry B. Powell, ‘Plato’s Ideas and Champollion’s Decipherment of the Egyptian Hieroglyphs’, Writing: Theory and History of the Technology of Civilization (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), pp. 85–107.
78. Anne-Marie Christin (ed.), ‘Saved by Stenography’, A History of Writing (Flammarion, 2002) (extract).
79. J. Vachek, ‘On the Primacy of Writing’, in Philip A. Luelsdorff (ed.), Written Language Revisited (John Benjamins, 1989), pp. 25–34.
80. Amalia E. Gnanadesikan, ‘King Sejong’s One-Man Renaissance’, The Writing Revolution: From Cuneiform to the Internet (Wiley, 2008), pp. 191–207.
81. William M. Schniedewind, ‘Aramaic, the Death of Written Hebrew, and Language Shift in the Persian Period’, in Seth L. Saunders (ed.), Margins of Writing, Origins of Cultures (University of Chicago Press, 2008), pp. 141–52.
82. Helma Pasch, ‘Competing Scripts: The Introduction of the Roman Alphabet in Africa’, IJSL, 2007, 191, 65–110.
83. Graziano Savà and Mauro Tosco, ‘"Ex Uno Plura": The Uneasy Road of Ethiopian Languages Toward Standardization’, IJSL, 2007, 191, 111–20.
84. D. Rajgor, ‘Evolution of Brahmi Script: A Linguistic Approach’, in P. G. Patel, P. Pandey, and D. Rajgor (eds.), The Indic Scripts: Palaeographic and Linguistic Perspectives (DK Printworld, 2007).
85. Nicholas Ostler, Literacy and the Beginning of Language History, in Empires of the Word (HarperCollins, 2005), pp. 10–13.
86. Cyrus H. Gordon, ‘Reclaiming the Sumero-Akkadian Legacy’, Forgotten Scripts: The Story of their Decipherment (Penguin, 1971), pp. 55–85.
87. William V. Harris, ‘The Functions of Literacy in the Graeco-Roman World’, Ancient Literacy (Harvard University Press, 1989), pp. 25–42.
88. Richard Salomon, ‘The Kharosthi Script’, Indian Epigraphy: A Guide to the Study of Inscriptions in Sanskrit, Prakrit, and the Other Indo-Aryan Languages (Oxford University Press, 19980, pp. 42–55.
89. Denise Schmandt-Besserat, ‘Tokens: A New Theory’, How Writing Came About (University of Texas Press, 1997), pp. 8–25.
Routledge Critical Concepts in Linguistics series provides authoritative reprints of the discipline's best and most influential scholarship. This series looks at language from the point of view of the user, at the choices made and the constraints encountered when we use language. Edited by experts in the field, each set puts the development of fundamental concepts and themes into their historical context, as well as providing students and researchers with a snapshot of contemporary debates and current thinking.