Anthropology and Linguistics

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The Shape of Script: How and Why Writing Systems Change

Edited by Stephen D. Houston

This book builds on earlier projects about the origins and extinctions of script traditions throughout the world in an effort to address the fundamental questions of how and why writing systems change. The contributors—who study ancient scripts from Arabic to Roman, from Bronze Age China to Middle Kingdom Egypt—utilize an approach that views writing less as a technology than as a mode of communication, one that is socially learned and culturally transmitted.

Published By School for Advanced Research Press

6 x 9 in. 346 pages 54 figs., 5 tables