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Bernard M -- Taipei English Tutor

Bernard M - English Conversation / TOEFL / IELTS 一對一英文會話

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Transorming pictograms into a syllabic script (about 23rd century B.C.)

FROM The Sources of Social Power, Volume I, by Michael Mann
"Akkadian was an inflected language, conveying part of its meaning by tone and pitch. The Akkadians conquered a literate people whose pictograms generally represented physical objects rather than sounds. But they were more interested in developing phonetic writing. The fusion of the Akkadian language and Sumerian literacy resulted in a simplified script, which helped transform pictograms into a syllabic script. The existence of fewer characters was a boon to the diffusion of literacy. Akkadian's advantage over other Middle Eastern languages was so great that in the mid-second millenium, even after papyrus was replacing the clay tablet, it became the main international language of diplomacy and trade." [p. 152]

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