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Author: Subject: Marti, Roland: Symbolism and Linguistics: Writing and Orthography in the Slavonic Languages
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[*] posted on 10-2-2016 at 06:04 AM
Marti, Roland: Symbolism and Linguistics: Writing and Orthography in the Slavonic Languages


Lětopis Abstract 2008 1: Marti, Roland: Symbolism and Linguistics: Writing and Orthography in the Slavonic Languages

Written language is generally regarded as little more than a visual representation of a spoken original. Writing, however, carries an additional symbolic load, and in the creation and revision of writing systems the symbolism of the various aspects of writing is often more important than linguistic considerations. This is shown in the article as regards the choice of alphabet (Glagolitic, Cyrillic, Latin as well as Greek, Arabian, and Hebrew), the script (round and angular Glagolitic, ecclesiastic and secular Cyrillic, Gothic and Roman Latin script), the relationship between sound and letter (monographic, pleographic, and combinatory writing) as well as the level of representation (phonetic/phonological, morphological, and historical). Additional aspects are the sequence of letters in the alphabet, the letter names and their numerical function, the rendering of foreign words and special “shibboleth letters.” The analysis shows that symbolic considerations are often at the basis of decisions in these areas and neglecting them may doom proposed revisions. Linguists should therefore pay more attention to the symbolic side of writing.

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