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SV: SV: SV: [ANE-2] SV: Reading revolutions

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  • Niels Peter Lemche
    Complexity, which was also my point when I talked about the 500 persons limit. But I believe that we will find societies in Syria and Mesopotamia from before
    Message 1 of 26 , Aug 26, 2010
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      Complexity, which was also my point when I talked about the 500 persons limit. But I believe that we will find societies in Syria and Mesopotamia from before the invention of writing which surpassed this number.

      Otherwise, I do not disagree with Bob Whiting, only pointing at some problems when we move from Egypt and Mesopotamia to the Levant.

      Niels Peter Lemche

      -----Oprindelig meddelelse-----
      Fra: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] På vegne af Robert M Whiting
      Sendt: den 26 augusti 2010 19:12
      Til: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      Emne: Re: SV: SV: [ANE-2] SV: Reading revolutions

      NP has got the tomatoes before the horse again. No one says that writing
      is necessary for trading activities. Trading activities existed for
      millennia before the invention of writing. The point is that where
      writing develops the need for independent accounting is what drives it.
      Writing only develops in cultures of a certain size and complexity; it is
      the size and complexity that drives the need for keeping accurate
      records, not the mere activity of trading.

      NP's anecdotes remind me of when I first arrived at Helsinki more than 20
      years ago. Having just come from a large midwestern university, I asked
      my boss how to go about getting a University of Helsinki ID card. "ID
      card?", he said. "We don't have ID cards; we don't need them -- everybody
      knows everybody else." Things have changed since then. Now eveyone needs
      at least three ID cards. As I say, it is the size and complexity of the
      society that drives the need for writing.
    • Clark Whelton
      Bob Whiting wrote, ... society that drives the need for writing. Is there such a thing as typical commercial transactions in ancient documents? Written
      Message 2 of 26 , Aug 26, 2010
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        Bob Whiting wrote,
        >>> ... As I say, it is the size and complexity of the
        society that drives the need for writing.


        Is there such a thing as "typical" commercial transactions in ancient
        documents? Written records would seem to be most useful for keeping track
        of credit and consignments.


        Clark Whelton
        New York .
      • Robert M Whiting
        ... I m not sure what you mean by typical , but in Mesopotamia, the earliest tablets have nothing but numbers on them. Then there is a long period where
        Message 3 of 26 , Aug 27, 2010
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          On Thu, 26 Aug 2010, Clark Whelton wrote:

          > Bob Whiting wrote,
          > >>> ... As I say, it is the size and complexity of the
          > society that drives the need for writing.
          >
          >
          > Is there such a thing as "typical" commercial transactions in ancient
          > documents? Written records would seem to be most useful for keeping track
          > of credit and consignments.

          I'm not sure what you mean by "typical", but in Mesopotamia, the earliest
          tablets have nothing but numbers on them. Then there is a long period
          where tablets consist of numbers, personal names, and commodities --
          generally considered to be records of receipts and/or disbursements of
          large households, either temple or state. If Schmandt-Besserat is correct
          about the pervasiveness of the pre-writing token system then these tokens,
          wrapped in balls of clay and sealed, can't really have represented
          anything other than bills of lading accompanying consignments of
          merchandise or other commercial shipments.

          Apart from that there is practically anything you want in ancient
          documents: Commercial documents of all types, treaties, wills, letters,
          royal decrees, votive inscriptions, rituals, prayers, and literature
          including myths, fables, jokes and riddles. But the fact remains that the
          earliest uses of writing are for keeping accounts.

          Bob Whiting
          whiting@...
        • Brian Colless
          The original question was asked by James Spinti: From the Atlantic, 10 Reading Revolutions before E-books: .... http://tinyurl.com/277rvgc Quite overly
          Message 4 of 26 , Aug 27, 2010
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            The original question was asked by James Spinti:

            From the Atlantic, 10 Reading Revolutions before E-books:
            ....
            http://tinyurl.com/277rvgc

            Quite overly simplistic, but interesting. Question, though, on point 3:

            The author states, "unlike writing or agriculture, the alphabet was only
            invented once - every single alphabet and abjad can trace itself back to
            the same Semitic roots." Is this true? I thought that had been
            successfully challenged of late.

            James

            Some people may be wondering why Colless has not been responding.
            Well, I am on a different time here in Aotearoa/NZ, where each day
            begins; the posting from James came in at 1.53 am, just after I had
            gone to bed. It should also be kept in mind that because I am an
            outspoken person my postings do not always get past the censors. And
            when it comes to generalities, Peter Daniels and Robert Whiting are
            the experts, and I am in agreement with their responses; my speciality
            is particularities and peculiarities, with regard to the four types of
            West Semitic scripts (in chronological order of invention):

            (1) syllabary, (2) consonantary (proto-alphabet), (3) cuneiformary,
            (4) the Phoenician alphabet (aleph-beth consonantary).

            I certainly tell inquirers that all alphabets go back to the Semitic
            proto-alphabet (that is why I call it the proto-alphabet; it was the
            prototype of all alphabets). I must remember Peter's demonstration
            that even the Korean alphabet has a genealogy that ties in with this
            principle (see below).

            Nice to see Peter's word abjad being used (the general use of j is as
            yod, so I prefer to say abgad). The writer (Tim Carmody) would
            distinguish abjad as a system without vowel-signs, and alphabet
            (initially the Hellenic alpha-beta system, "the first proper
            alphabet") as a vocalic system.

            I am still wrestling with Barry B. Powell's WRITING (2009), which I
            have mentioned here before, and which received a response from Peter
            Daniels (whose term abjad is rejected).
            Two good reviews of it have been posted in Jack Sasson's AGADE; but
            neither commented on his fatal flaw: rejection of the acrophonic
            principle (acrophony) in the construction of the West Semitic
            syllabary and consonantary.

            Powell is adhering to I. J. Gelb's views. So, we have the CONSONANTAL
            SYLLABARY (the West Semitic system, the Phoenician so-called
            alphabet), which tells the reader the sound of the consonant but not
            the accompanying vowel (vibration of the vocal cords), and ALPHABETIC
            WRITING (grammatography), in which the signs represent elements of
            speech smaller than syllables (although such sounds do not exist in
            nature as separable elements of speech, and this is one of his
            fundamental points); letters predominate.

            Powell does allow logosyllabary as a concept (after Gelb), to apply to
            both the Egyptian and Mesopotamian systems (with the Egyptian as a
            consonantal syllabary?). Of course, I am pushing the idea that the
            proto-alphabet was an economical logo-consonantary, too, not merely
            an acrophonic consonantal script, but the signs could function as
            logograms and rebuses ("rebograms"), just like Egyptian hieroglyphs.

            Another revolution in reading that is overlooked is the fact that
            reading meant reading ALOUD; silent reading (and then rapid soundless
            reading) came later, but I am not sure when it became general
            practice. Augustine reported Ambrose doing it.

            Peter mentions Mexico, and I am building a case for Canaanite
            transmission of acrophonic syllabic writing (along with cylinder
            seals, and pyramids) to Meso-America.

            Brian Colless
            Massey University, NZ

            On 27/08/2010, at 3:43 AM, Peter T. Daniels wrote:

            > [a bunch of postings this morning!]
            >
            > The five basic shapes of the Korean letters come from hPags pa,
            > which comes from
            > Tibetan, which comes (ultimately) from Brahmi, which comes
            > (ultimately) from
            > Aramaic.
            >
            > There are a couple of cases where an abjad (Manchu) and an abugida
            > (Lao) ended
            > up tantamount to alphabets, because just about every vowel is
            > notated, but those
            > both seem to have come about by historical accident rather than by
            > design or
            > imitation.
            >
            > The "origin" of Ugaritic doesn't enter the discussion; the Ugaritic
            > abjad is
            > nothing but the ordinary West Semitic abjad notated in a different
            > medium.
            > Indeed, the commercial/mercantile origin relates not to subsequent
            > developments
            > (such as the Phoenician hypothesis attributed to Childe -- he may
            > not have known
            > of Ugaritic, but certainly he could have known about Sabaean and
            > Proto-Sinaitic), but to the beginnings of writing itself (in Sumer,
            > China,
            > Mexico, and presumably India and Elam).--
            > Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
            >
            > ________________________________
            > From: Robert M Whiting <whiting@...>
            > To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
            > Sent: Thu, August 26, 2010 11:26:17 AM
            > Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Reading revolutions
            >
            >
            > On Thu, 26 Aug 2010, James Spinti wrote:
            >
            > > >From the Atlantic, 10 Reading Revolutions before E-books:
            > >http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2010/08/10-reading-revolutions-before-e-books/62004/
            > >/
            > > Or tinyurl:
            > > http://tinyurl.com/277rvgc
            > >
            > > Quite overly simplistic, but interesting. Question, though, on
            > point 3:
            > >
            > > The author states, "unlike writing or agriculture, the alphabet
            > was only
            > > invented once - every single alphabet and abjad can trace itself
            > back to
            > > the same Semitic roots." Is this true? I thought that had been
            > > successfully challenged of late.
            >
            > Basically, it's true. Keep in mind that we're only talking about
            > alphabets/abjads. Other types of writing systems, like syllabaries and
            > logo-syllabaries don't fall into this category.
            >
            > The only possible exception to "the alphabet was only invented once"
            > is
            > the Korean alphabet or hangul. It was created in the mid-fifteenth
            > century (AD) and is based on articulatory phonetics. However, the
            > principle of the alphabet was known, so although hangul is not based
            > on
            > any Semitic script, it shares the same principles.
            >
            > Bob Whiting
            > whiting@...
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
            >



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Peter T. Daniels
            (vide infra, at the s) �-- Peter T. Daniels grammatim@verizon.net Jersey City ________________________________ From: Brian Colless
            Message 5 of 26 , Aug 27, 2010
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              (vide infra, at the >'s)
              �--
              Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
              Jersey City
              ________________________________
              From: Brian Colless <briancolless@...>
              To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Fri, August 27, 2010 9:51:03 AM
              Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Reading revolutions

              �
              The original question was asked by James Spinti:

              From the Atlantic, 10 Reading Revolutions before E-books:
              ....
              http://tinyurl.com/277rvgc

              Quite overly simplistic, but interesting. Question, though, on point 3:

              The author states, "unlike writing or agriculture, the alphabet was only
              invented once - every single alphabet and abjad can trace itself back to
              the same Semitic roots." Is this true? I thought that had been
              successfully challenged of late.

              James

              Some people may be wondering why Colless has not been responding.
              Well, I am on a different time here in Aotearoa/NZ, where each day
              begins; the posting from James came in at 1.53 am, just after I had
              gone to bed. It should also be kept in mind that because I am an
              outspoken person my postings do not always get past the censors. And
              when it comes to generalities, Peter Daniels and Robert Whiting are
              the experts, and I am in agreement with their responses; my speciality
              is particularities and peculiarities, with regard to the four types of
              West Semitic scripts (in chronological order of invention):

              (1) syllabary, (2) consonantary (proto-alphabet), (3) cuneiformary,
              (4) the Phoenician alphabet (aleph-beth consonantary).

              I certainly tell inquirers that all alphabets go back to the Semitic
              proto-alphabet (that is why I call it the proto-alphabet; it was the
              prototype of all alphabets).

              > In linguistics, we generally use "proto" for unattested reconstructed
              > things. ("Proto-Sinaitic" got grandfathered in.)

              I must remember Peter's demonstration
              that even the Korean alphabet has a genealogy that ties in with this
              principle (see below).

              > (nothing below about Korean)

              Nice to see Peter's word abjad being used (the general use of j is as
              yod, so I prefer to say abgad). The writer (Tim Carmody) would
              distinguish abjad as a system without vowel-signs, and alphabet
              (initially the Hellenic alpha-beta system, "the first proper
              alphabet") as a vocalic system.

              > Yes, that's the intended usage. (I find it gratifying that the word is
              > now widely used.)

              I am still wrestling with Barry B. Powell's WRITING (2009), which I
              have mentioned here before, and which received a response from Peter
              Daniels (whose term abjad is rejected).

              > Does he offer reasons?

              > The one time we met, at the (unfortunately never published, and John
              > Noble Wilford's writeup in the NY Times Science Times described each
              > talk in order, and mine was last, and his piece was simply cut from the
              > bottom up for space; when I saw that we'd made the Times, I recalled
              > Steve Kaufman's joy on his first mention in the NY Times -- in connection
              > with the U of C's annual Latke-Hamentashen Symposium) symposium on writing
              > organized by Holly Pitman�at the University of Pennsylvania
              > Museum in 1999, at the post-conference party he said
              > to me "ooga booga," presumably with reference to the abugida. I have
              > found no reason to alter my opinion of him since. Though I was shocked
              > to discover, from a paper I was asked to referee for a journal earlier this
              > year, that the screwy notion that the Greek alphabet was invented for the
              > purpose of writing down Homer was not, in fact, his own screwy idea,
              > as I assumed from his earlier book, but rather has been basically
              > accepted by Classicists for decades -- an idea that, AFAIK, is never
              > even mentioned, even to be refuted, in any history of writing or theory of
              > writing book. (Swiggers doesn't mention it in WWS.)

              Two good reviews of it have been posted in Jack Sasson's AGADE; but
              neither commented on his fatal flaw: rejection of the acrophonic
              principle (acrophony) in the construction of the West Semitic
              syllabary and consonantary.

              > Speaking of acrophony, I have just this afternoon for the first time seen
              > Zellig Harris's 1932 M.A. thesis, "The Origin of the Alphabet." (I have
              > begun to make a copy for myself, as it is festooned with "Do Not Copy"
              > notices, and the NYPL's copiers are guarded by a librarian who must
              > pass on the suitability of every volume for copying, based on its physical
              > condition; at least I don't have to do it by hand the way they did it in
              > previous centuries, for I type faster than I write.)

              > I sent outraged comments to Jack after both reviews -- when the second
              > one appeared, he reminded me that I'd said almost exactly the same
              > things about the first one. Namely, the reviewers appeared to be utterly
              > unfamiliar with the last five decades of writing-systems theory.

              > I have still never seen a copy of this book. I find it extraordinarily telling
              > that the publisher did _not_ send it for review to the same venues it sent
              > the almost simultaneously published general book by Gnanadesikan to.
              > Hers is a very good, very readable summary of The World's Writing Systems
              > (which means that she's missed a number of developments over the last 15
              > years or so).

              Powell is adhering to I. J. Gelb's views. So, we have the CONSONANTAL
              SYLLABARY (the West Semitic system, the Phoenician so-called
              alphabet), which tells the reader the sound of the consonant but not
              the accompanying vowel (vibration of the vocal cords), and ALPHABETIC
              WRITING (grammatography), in which the signs represent elements of
              speech smaller than syllables (although such sounds do not exist in
              nature as separable elements of speech, and this is one of his
              fundamental points); letters predominate.

              Powell does allow logosyllabary as a concept (after Gelb), to apply to
              both the Egyptian and Mesopotamian systems (with the Egyptian as a
              consonantal syllabary?). Of course, I am pushing the idea that the
              proto-alphabet was an economical logo-consonantary, too, not merely
              an acrophonic consonantal script, but the signs could function as
              logograms and rebuses ("rebograms"), just like Egyptian hieroglyphs.

              > Does he acknowledge my refutations of the Principle of Uniform
              > Development?

              > It seems that Gelb's aversion to acrophony was due to the fact that
              > the "Proto-Canaanite" materials through which the change from
              > more-pictographic to linear forms were not yet available when he
              > wrote the book in the 1930s, so he noted that you could never arrive
              > at the letter-names from, say, the Ahiram shapes of the letters.
              > Unfortunately he didn't fix that in either 1952 or 1963. (Jay Gelb was
              > not one to change his mind about things he had published. Often at
              > papers he would get up and say, "I said that twenty years ago!" --And
              > one time, "I said that fifty years ago!"

              Another revolution in reading that is overlooked is the fact that
              reading meant reading ALOUD; silent reading (and then rapid soundless
              reading) came later, but I am not sure when it became general
              practice. Augustine reported Ambrose doing it.

              > Well, we don't know that silent reading didn't exist in other cultures
              > than the one Augustine and Ambrose represented. (Is there any
              > evidence regarding Republican or Imperial Rome?)

              Peter mentions Mexico, and I am building a case for Canaanite
              transmission of acrophonic syllabic writing (along with cylinder
              seals, and pyramids) to Meso-America.

              > Oh, c'mon, pyramids are probably the most obvious and easy
              > way to build a tall structure, and anyone who's seen a pebble
              > leave a trail as it rolls down a muddy slope would realize they
              > could make a cylinder seal..

              Brian Colless
              Massey University, NZ

              On 27/08/2010, at 3:43 AM, Peter T. Daniels wrote:

              > [a bunch of postings this morning!]
              >
              > The five basic shapes of the Korean letters come from hPags pa,
              > which comes from
              > Tibetan, which comes (ultimately) from Brahmi, which comes
              > (ultimately) from
              > Aramaic.
              >
              > There are a couple of cases where an abjad (Manchu) and an abugida
              > (Lao) ended
              > up tantamount to alphabets, because just about every vowel is
              > notated, but those
              > both seem to have come about by historical accident rather than by
              > design or
              > imitation.
              >
              > The "origin" of Ugaritic doesn't enter the discussion; the Ugaritic
              > abjad is
              > nothing but the ordinary West Semitic abjad notated in a different
              > medium.
              > Indeed, the commercial/mercantile origin relates not to subsequent
              > developments
              > (such as the Phoenician hypothesis attributed to Childe -- he may
              > not have known
              > of Ugaritic, but certainly he could have known about Sabaean and
              > Proto-Sinaitic), but to the beginnings of writing itself (in Sumer,
              > China,
              > Mexico, and presumably India and Elam).--
              > Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
              >
              > ________________________________
              > From: Robert M Whiting <whiting@...>
              > To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
              > Sent: Thu, August 26, 2010 11:26:17 AM
              > Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Reading revolutions
              >
              >
              > On Thu, 26 Aug 2010, James Spinti wrote:
              >
              > > >From the Atlantic, 10 Reading Revolutions before E-books:
              >>http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2010/08/10-reading-revolutions-before-e-books/62004/
              >>
              >/
              > >/
              > > Or tinyurl:
              > > http://tinyurl.com/277rvgc
              > >
              > > Quite overly simplistic, but interesting. Question, though, on
              > point 3:
              > >
              > > The author states, "unlike writing or agriculture, the alphabet
              > was only
              > > invented once - every single alphabet and abjad can trace itself
              > back to
              > > the same Semitic roots." Is this true? I thought that had been
              > > successfully challenged of late.
              >
              > Basically, it's true. Keep in mind that we're only talking about
              > alphabets/abjads. Other types of writing systems, like syllabaries and
              > logo-syllabaries don't fall into this category.
              >
              > The only possible exception to "the alphabet was only invented once"
              > is
              > the Korean alphabet or hangul. It was created in the mid-fifteenth
              > century (AD) and is based on articulatory phonetics. However, the
              > principle of the alphabet was known, so although hangul is not based
              > on
              > any Semitic script, it shares the same principles.
              >
              > Bob Whiting
              > whiting@...
            • Frank Polak
              Dear All, An exceptional case is that of the African Vai living in the region on the border of Sierra Leone and Liberia (Niger-Congo group) where one has
              Message 6 of 26 , Aug 28, 2010
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                Dear All,

                An exceptional case is that of the African Vai living in the region on
                the border of
                Sierra Leone and Liberia (Niger-Congo group) where one has neither
                urbanism nor a complex society,
                but a syllabic system of their own, which in the judgment of
                linguistics reflects the complex sounds of their language pretty well
                and in which many of them were well versed, and were able to write
                down and to read complex literary texts.
                See the 1911 article by MOMOLU MASSAQUOI from Sierre Leone (Journal of
                the African Society)
                afraf.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/X/XL/459.pdf
                and
                Sylvia Scribner and Michael Cole, The Psychology of Literacy,
                Cambridge MA: Harvard UP, 1981.
                This study established that it is not literacy but schooling which
                accounts for the cognitive development of
                persons with education.

                Best regards,

                Frank Polak
                Tel Aviv University

                On 26/08/2010, at 19:58, Peter T. Daniels wrote:

                > You may not _need_ writing to have urbanization, but you don't get
                > writing
                > without urbanization. (The urban Incas didn't have writing, but they
                > had another
                > medium for recording economic transactions in detail.)
                > --
                > Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
                >
                > ________________________________
                > From: Niels Peter Lemche <npl@...>
                > To: "ANE-2@yahoogroups.com" <ANE-2@yahoogroups.com>
                > Sent: Thu, August 26, 2010 12:47:20 PM
                > Subject: SV: SV: [ANE-2] SV: Reading revolutions
                >
                >
                > As I said, it is an assumption based on parallels. A likely one, but
                > nevertheless -- in the case of Ugaritic -- an assertion. Furthermore
                > Bob Whiting
                > will know/should know of anthropological discussions about societies
                > without
                > writing, but still engaged in trading. There may be more recent
                > studies, but I
                > remember somewhere to have seen that a society of less than 500
                > people may not
                > need recording: everybody knows everybody.
                >
                > Writing is not a necessity for trading activities. You could, when I
                > was a child
                > buy horses at Hjallerup market in northern Jutland by handshaking.
                > No contract
                > was needed. Maybe Bob Whiting is a little influenced by his
                > Mesopotamian
                > background where, as I sometimes tell my students, you could not buy
                > a bag of
                > tomatoes without a signed contract with several witnesses -- not to
                > say that you
                > could buy tomatoes, of course.
                >
                > Niels Peter Lemche
                >
                > -----Oprindelig meddelelse-----
                > Fra: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] P� vegne
                > af Robert M
                > Whiting
                >
                > Sendt: den 26 augusti 2010 18:38
                > Til: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                > Emne: Re: SV: [ANE-2] SV: Reading revolutions
                >
                > Yes, but Linear B is not an alphabet so it falls outside the
                > discussion.
                > But it is a valid observation that there is no literature written in
                > Linear B.
                >
                > But NPL's comments about the uses of Ugaratic script are simply
                > irrelevant
                > to the discussion. The point is not what uses were made of Ugaritic
                > script but what necessitated the invention of writing/alphabets. If
                > necessity is the mother of invention then there must be a need that
                > the
                > invention of writing/alphabets fulfills. The need is for a record that
                > can be verified independently of human memory. And this need exists
                > with
                > transactions between two or more individuals where something of
                > value is
                > involved. Storytellers memorize their tales and if they forget, they
                > fudge it. But when it comes to who owes whom what and whether it's
                > been
                > paid or not, fudging it won't do. You want a written record.
                >
                > Bob Whiting
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                >
                >



                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Peter T. Daniels
                Vai is not an example of the invention of writing�_ex nihilo_. As Scribner and Cole studied in great detail, Vai literacy is part of a complicated web of
                Message 7 of 26 , Aug 28, 2010
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                  Vai is not an example of the invention of writing�_ex nihilo_. As Scribner and
                  Cole studied in great detail, Vai literacy is part of a complicated web of
                  literacy in three scripts (roman, Arabic, Vai), each with its own sphere of use.

                  Moreover, Konrad Tuchscherer (in an article in _History�in Africa_;
                  unfortunately I can't find the offprint just now) strenuously argues that the
                  invention of Vai script was not�spontaneous, like Sequoyah's of Cherokee
                  writing, inspired simply by the knowledge of the existence of writing for other
                  languages, but was based on an understanding of how the Cherokee�syllabary
                  works, since it was widely publicized in the missionary journals that would have
                  been known to them.--
                  Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...



                  ----- Original Message ----
                  > From: Frank Polak <frankha@...>
                  > To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                  > Sent: Sat, August 28, 2010 4:06:14 AM
                  > Subject: Re: SV: SV: [ANE-2] SV: Reading revolutions
                  >
                  > Dear All,
                  >
                  > An exceptional case is that of the African Vai living in the region on�
                  > the border of
                  > Sierra Leone and Liberia (Niger-Congo group) where one has neither�
                  > urbanism nor a complex society,
                  > but a syllabic system of their own, which in the judgment of�
                  > linguistics reflects the complex sounds of their language pretty well
                  > and in which many of them were well versed, and were able to write�
                  > down and to read complex literary texts.
                  > See the 1911 article by MOMOLU MASSAQUOI from Sierre Leone (Journal of�
                  > the African Society)
                  > afraf.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/X/XL/459.pdf
                  > and
                  > Sylvia Scribner and Michael Cole, The Psychology of Literacy,�
                  > Cambridge MA: Harvard UP, 1981.
                  > This study established that it is not literacy but schooling which�
                  > accounts for the cognitive development of
                  > persons with education.
                  >
                  > Best regards,
                  >
                  > Frank Polak
                  > Tel Aviv University
                  >
                  > On 26/08/2010, at 19:58, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
                  >
                  > > You may not _need_ writing to have urbanization, but you don't get�
                  > > writing
                  > > without urbanization. (The urban Incas didn't have writing, but they�
                  > > had another
                  > > medium for recording economic transactions in detail.)
                  > >� --
                  > > Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
                • Frank Polak
                  Nevertheless it is an example of the emergence of a writing system in a non-urban and non-complex society. Frank Polak TAU ... [Non-text portions of this
                  Message 8 of 26 , Aug 28, 2010
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                    Nevertheless it is an example of the emergence of a writing system in
                    a non-urban
                    and non-complex society.

                    Frank Polak
                    TAU

                    On 28/08/2010, at 14:37, Peter T. Daniels wrote:

                    > Vai is not an example of the invention of writing���_ex nihilo_. As
                    > Scribner and
                    > Cole studied in great detail, Vai literacy is part of a complicated
                    > web of
                    > literacy in three scripts (roman, Arabic, Vai), each with its own
                    > sphere of use.
                    >
                    > Moreover, Konrad Tuchscherer (in an article in _History���in Africa_;
                    > unfortunately I can't find the offprint just now) strenuously argues
                    > that the
                    > invention of Vai script was not���spontaneous, like Sequoyah's of
                    > Cherokee
                    > writing, inspired simply by the knowledge of the existence of
                    > writing for other
                    > languages, but was based on an understanding of how the
                    > Cherokee���syllabary
                    > works, since it was widely publicized in the missionary journals
                    > that would have
                    > been known to them.--
                    > Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
                    >
                    > ----- Original Message ----
                    > > From: Frank Polak <frankha@...>
                    > > To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                    > > Sent: Sat, August 28, 2010 4:06:14 AM
                    > > Subject: Re: SV: SV: [ANE-2] SV: Reading revolutions
                    > >
                    > > Dear All,
                    > >
                    > > An exceptional case is that of the African Vai living in the
                    > region on���
                    > > the border of
                    > > Sierra Leone and Liberia (Niger-Congo group) where one has
                    > neither���
                    > > urbanism nor a complex society,
                    > > but a syllabic system of their own, which in the judgment of���
                    > > linguistics reflects the complex sounds of their language pretty
                    > well
                    > > and in which many of them were well versed, and were able to
                    > write���
                    > > down and to read complex literary texts.
                    > > See the 1911 article by MOMOLU MASSAQUOI from Sierre Leone
                    > (Journal of���
                    > > the African Society)
                    > > afraf.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/X/XL/459.pdf
                    > > and
                    > > Sylvia Scribner and Michael Cole, The Psychology of Literacy,���
                    > > Cambridge MA: Harvard UP, 1981.
                    > > This study established that it is not literacy but schooling
                    > which���
                    > > accounts for the cognitive development of
                    > > persons with education.
                    > >
                    > > Best regards,
                    > >
                    > > Frank Polak
                    > > Tel Aviv University
                    > >
                    > > On 26/08/2010, at 19:58, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
                    > >
                    > > > You may not _need_ writing to have urbanization, but you don't
                    > get���
                    > > > writing
                    > > > without urbanization. (The urban Incas didn't have writing, but
                    > they���
                    > > > had another
                    > > > medium for recording economic transactions in detail.)
                    > > >��� --
                    > > > Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
                    >
                    >
                    >



                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Peter T. Daniels
                    You have not understood what we are talking about. We are distinguishing between the original invention of the very idea of writing (which happened three times
                    Message 9 of 26 , Aug 28, 2010
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                      You have not understood what we are talking about.

                      We are distinguishing between the original invention of the very idea of writing
                      (which happened three times only that we can be certain of),


                      and the spread of writing -- either by the direct adoption or adaptation of an
                      original script, or by becoming aware of the technology of writing without
                      knowing anything about how it works.

                      Ugaritic is an example of adoption, Vai an example of awareness (or, if
                      Tuchscherer is right, very loose adaptation). --
                      Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
                      Jersey City



                      ----- Original Message ----
                      > From: Frank Polak <frankha@...>
                      > To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                      > Sent: Sat, August 28, 2010 8:34:11 AM
                      > Subject: Re: SV: SV: [ANE-2] SV: Reading revolutions
                      >
                      > Nevertheless it is an example of the emergence of a writing system in 
                      > a non-urban
                      > and non-complex society.
                      >
                      > Frank Polak
                      > TAU
                      >
                      > On 28/08/2010, at 14:37, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
                      >
                      > > Vai is not an example of the invention of writing�_ex nihilo_. As 
                      > > Scribner and
                      > > Cole studied in great detail, Vai literacy is part of a complicated 
                      > > web of
                      > > literacy in three scripts (roman, Arabic, Vai), each with its own 
                      > > sphere of use.
                      > >
                      > > Moreover, Konrad Tuchscherer (in an article in _History�in Africa_;
                      > > unfortunately I can't find the offprint just now) strenuously argues 
                      > > that the
                      > > invention of Vai script was not�spontaneous, like Sequoyah's of 
                      > > Cherokee
                      > > writing, inspired simply by the knowledge of the existence of 
                      > > writing for other
                      > > languages, but was based on an understanding of how the 
                      > > Cherokee�syllabary
                      > > works, since it was widely publicized in the missionary journals 
                      > > that would have
                      > > been known to them.--
                      > > Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
                      > >
                      > > ----- Original Message ----
                      > > > From: Frank Polak <frankha@...>
                      > > > To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                      > > > Sent: Sat, August 28, 2010 4:06:14 AM
                      > > > Subject: Re: SV: SV: [ANE-2] SV: Reading revolutions
                      > > >
                      > > > Dear All,
                      > > >
                      > > > An exceptional case is that of the African Vai living in the 
                      > > region on�
                      > > > the border of
                      > > > Sierra Leone and Liberia (Niger-Congo group) where one has 
                      > > neither�
                      > > > urbanism nor a complex society,
                      > > > but a syllabic system of their own, which in the judgment of�
                      > > > linguistics reflects the complex sounds of their language pretty 
                      > > well
                      > > > and in which many of them were well versed, and were able to 
                      > > write�
                      > > > down and to read complex literary texts.
                      > > > See the 1911 article by MOMOLU MASSAQUOI from Sierre Leone 
                      > > (Journal of�
                      > > > the African Society)
                      > > > afraf.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/X/XL/459.pdf
                      > > > and
                      > > > Sylvia Scribner and Michael Cole, The Psychology of Literacy,�
                      > > > Cambridge MA: Harvard UP, 1981.
                      > > > This study established that it is not literacy but schooling 
                      > > which�
                      > > > accounts for the cognitive development of
                      > > > persons with education.
                      > > >
                      > > > Best regards,
                      > > >
                      > > > Frank Polak
                      > > > Tel Aviv University
                      > > >
                      > > > On 26/08/2010, at 19:58, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > > You may not _need_ writing to have urbanization, but you don't 
                      > > get�
                      > > > > writing
                      > > > > without urbanization. (The urban Incas didn't have writing, but 
                      > > they�
                      > > > > had another
                      > > > > medium for recording economic transactions in detail.)
                      > > > >� --
                      > > > > Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
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