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Subject Linguistics

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631214816.1999.x


A modern formation from Gk γραμματo-, the combining form γράμμα ‘letter’, and -λoγíα ‘teaching’, this term was suggested by Ignace gelb as a name for the science of writing. Rather than dealing with writing only as far as is necessary to retrieve the information it is employed to record, the study of writing as a scientific discipline in the intended sense describes and analyses the structural properties of writing systems, much like the science of phonology deals with the structural properties of linguistic sound systems. Gelb's term has not gained wide currency, but the scientific field that he envisaged has begun to take shape. In a somewhat different though also related sense, the French philosopher Jacques Derrida has used the term grammatologie to designate a theory of writing which he understands as a critique of the logocentrism of the Western intellectual tradition since Aristotle, which considers the sign (writing) as a mere supplement rather than an epistemic force in its own right. See also graphemics ; graphetics . Reading Gelb 1963; Derrida 1967. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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