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Old May 28th, 2012, 02:24 PM   #1
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Inscription puzzle


Why Jiahu signs or Vinča signs we dont consider oldest inscription?
Why was it cuneiforms of Sumerians?
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Old May 29th, 2012, 04:47 PM   #2
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That is because earlier systems were regareded as "proto-writing", not true writing. The difference is that in prototype writing, while the symbols might represent ideas or concepts, they symbols don't respesent specific words. Most scholars do not think either the Jiahu signs of China or the Vinca signs of Europe represent specific words, and hence neither is regarded as a true written language. While some scholars have proposed that the signs in Jiaha and Vinca scripts do represent specific words, and therefore are true writing, the majority of scholars are unconvinced, and no one has developed a universally accepted translations of either of those scripts into words.


The majority of scholars, in contrast, think the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs and the cuneiform of the Sumerians represent actual words, not just concepts, which is why they are considered to be true writing.

Quote:
A conventional "proto-writing to true writing" system follows a general series of developmental stages:[10]
  • Picture writing system: glyphs directly represent objects and ideas or objective and ideational situations. In connection with this the following substages may be distinguished:
    1. The mnemonic: glyphs primarily a reminder;
    2. The pictographic (pictography): glyphs represent directly an object or an objective situation such as (A) chronological, (B) notices, (C) communications, (D) totems, titles, and names, (E) religious, (F) customs, (G) historical, and (H) biographical;
    3. The ideographic (ideography): glyphs represent directly an idea or an ideational situation.
  • Transitional system: glyphs refer not only to the object or idea which it represents but to its name as well.
  • Phonetic system: glyphs refer to sounds or spoken symbols irrespective of their meanings. This resolves itself into the following substages:
    1. The verbal: glyph (logogram) represents a whole word;
    2. The syllabic: glyph represent a syllable;
    3. The alphabetic: glyph represent an elementary sound.
The best known picture writing system of ideographic and/or early mnemonic symbols are:In the Old World, true writing systems developed from neolithic writing in the Early Bronze Age (4th millennium BC). The Sumerian archaic cuneiform script and the Egyptian hieroglyphs are generally considered the earliest true writing systems, both emerging out of their ancestral proto-literate symbol systems from 3400–3200 BC with earliest coherent texts from about 2600 BC. History of writing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old May 30th, 2012, 01:53 AM   #3

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There's also the dispilio inscription which looks like proto-writing and not ideograms, but since we have no idea what it says we can't tell if it is truly writing or random carvings.
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Old May 31st, 2012, 04:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Midas View Post
There's also the dispilio inscription which looks like proto-writing and not ideograms, but since we have no idea what it says we can't tell if it is truly writing or random carvings.
Even if the inscriptions has meaning, and is not a random carving, does not making it writing.

For example, the biohazard sign has meaning, and is not random, but it is not writing, since the symbol doesn't represent a word, it represents a concept. The hazard symbol doesn't stand for the English word "harzard" or another specific word in another language. Symbols based on concepts can convey a lot of meaning, but are more limited in the range of meanings they can convey than those based on words.


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Old May 31st, 2012, 11:39 PM   #5

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Originally Posted by Bart Dale View Post
Even if the inscriptions has meaning, and is not a random carving, does not making it writing.

For example, the biohazard sign has meaning, and is not random, but it is not writing, since the symbol doesn't represent a word, it represents a concept. The hazard symbol doesn't stand for the English word "harzard" or another specific word in another language. Symbols based on concepts can convey a lot of meaning, but are more limited in the range of meanings they can convey than those based on words.


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Yes you're very right about that. Good example!
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