Title Information

The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Writing Systems

Edited by: Florian Coulmas
eISBN: 9780631214816
Print publication date: 1999

Subject Linguistics

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631214816.1999.x

Book Cover
The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Writing Systems

This is an encyclopedia of writing systems, scripts, and orthographies of all the world's major languages, past and present. It provides both a fully illustrated description of over 400 writing systems and an account of the study of writing in many different disciplines, from anthropology to psychology. Entries in this encyclopedia describe how writing systems evolved, how they work and how they differ from each other. They deal with technical aspects such as handwriting, printing, word processing; with practical problems of decipherment, alphabet making and spelling reform; and with theoretical questions such as the functions of writing and the typology of writing systems.

Florian Coulmas starts with the view that writing reflects a process of linguistic analysis, yet he ranges widely among different scientific disciplines. He draws on historical and paleographic research into the fundamental structure options of representing language by means of a graphic code, on psychological investigation into the cognitive processing of texts and on sociological and educational inquiry into the social conditions and consequences of literacy.

Entries vary between short explanations of terms and concepts, brief accounts of individual writing systems, and longer theoretical articles. The encyclopedia contains an exceptional array of visual examples and is supported by a comprehensive bibliography.

Cite this title

Coulmas, Florian (ed). The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Writing Systems. Blackwell Publishing, 1999. Blackwell Reference Online. 23 July 2018 <http://www.blackwellreference.com/public/book.html?id=g9780631214816_9780631214816>

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