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drrayeye Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If one traces the use of abstract strokes that
> depict spoken sounds to classical languages, one
> is limited by surviving materials. These
> surviving materials connect to much more recent
> times than can be established for other evidence
> of advanced civilization: stones and bones--not
> much before 1000 BC. Based on our understanding
> of the development of spoken language in children,
> we should suppose that spoken language was always
> present in even the smallest communities; taught
> and standardized as communities grew--going back
> at least 30,000 years.
>
> Together with spoken languages, there was probably
> some abstract symbols that represented spoken
> words or phrases--but not a collection of them to
> represent all of the sounds of the language.

It seems to me that virtually by definition there was a language sufficiently complex to communicate everything known by humans all the way back to the very beginning (40,000 years ago). This same thing would apply to every type and species of life form but what sets humans apart is how complicated our behavior has been since the beginning. We moderns tend to believe complicated behavior gave rise to complicated language but, I believe, this is almost literally putting the cart before the horse. How can anything be invented without having the knowledge base to master the simpler concepts which underlie each new advancement? And how can this complex knowledge base be acquired without complex language. Logic appears to dictate that complex language preceded complex behavior.

I believe the better question here is why didn't writing appear earlier than it did? If their language was so complex as to allow the invention of agriculture and cities why didn't they bother to invent writing? Are we to believe a simple concept like writing is more complex than than taming spelt or goats? It seem more likely they had no need of writing and the apparent "prehistoric" alphabet are mere mnemonics for an individual or small group to remember some more complex utterance or instructions.

It is necessity that is the mother of invention and it's not logical to assume that writing wasn't invented earlier than it was because people weren't smart, were overly superstitious, or just hadn't thought of it. Far more likely is they had little or no use to record language in this manner. Note for instance that much of the early writing that does exists is merely lists rather than prose or sentences. This suggests that writing wasn't important for literary or scientific purposes but was (used) chiefly to record arcane processes. Why didn't they need writing so long and why are important writing from the dawn of the alphabet preserved anywhere at all? Are we really to believe writing was invented to record incantation and lists?

It certainly appears we are asking all the wrong questions. This becomes doubly obvious whemn we consider that writing started in 3200 BC but recorded history doesn't really start until 2000 BC. Why aren't important ideas from the dawn of the written word stil extant today? Lists were copied and incantation was copied but there is nothing that might be considered of any real import to any modern field from the earliest centuries of writing.

Man fears the pyramid, time fears man.

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Subject Views Written By Posted
Who invented the first syllabic alphabet? 1744 drrayeye 03-Sep-19 07:56
Re: Who invented the first syllabic alphabet? 223 Spiros 03-Sep-19 10:50
Re: Who invented the first syllabic alphabet? 207 MDaines 03-Sep-19 12:59
Re: Who invented the first syllabic alphabet? 200 drrayeye 03-Sep-19 13:22
Re: Who invented the first syllabic alphabet? 255 MDaines 03-Sep-19 13:51
Re: Who invented the first syllabic alphabet? 124 cladking 13-Oct-19 16:08
For those who believe Moses wrote in "pre Hebrew" 156 drrayeye 07-Sep-19 06:52
Re: For those who believe Moses wrote in "pre Hebrew" 160 Spiros 07-Sep-19 07:18
Re: For those who believe Moses wrote in "pre Hebrew" 127 drrayeye 07-Sep-19 17:16
Re: For those who believe Moses wrote in "pre Hebrew" 142 Spiros 07-Sep-19 17:26
Re: For those who believe Moses wrote in "pre Hebrew" 132 drrayeye 09-Sep-19 16:17
Re: For those who believe Moses wrote in "pre Hebrew" 137 Eddie Larry 07-Sep-19 18:13
Re: For those who believe Moses wrote in "pre Hebrew" 141 drrayeye 08-Sep-19 01:44
Re: Who invented the first syllabic alphabet? 162 Thanos5150 09-Sep-19 17:15
Re: Who invented the first syllabic alphabet? 148 drrayeye 10-Sep-19 16:34
Re: Who invented the first syllabic alphabet? 140 Thanos5150 11-Sep-19 15:55
Re: Who invented the first syllabic alphabet? 144 drrayeye 11-Sep-19 18:06
Re: Who invented the first syllabic alphabet? 130 Thanos5150 11-Sep-19 23:21
different Patterns of influence 128 drrayeye 12-Sep-19 03:02
Re: different Patterns of influence 131 Thanos5150 12-Sep-19 03:14
Re: different Patterns of influence 155 drrayeye 12-Sep-19 03:42
Seriously? 177 Barbelo 09-Sep-19 22:34
modern psycholinguistic considerations 119 drrayeye 17-Sep-19 20:43
Re: modern psycholinguistic considerations 122 Eddie Larry 17-Sep-19 22:06
further cognitive limits on alphabet construction 120 drrayeye 21-Sep-19 20:07
HW CM Y CN RD THS? 124 drrayeye 24-Sep-19 20:32
Re: HW CM Y CN RD THS? 107 Eddie Larry 24-Sep-19 20:49
Some of the answers 136 drrayeye 25-Sep-19 01:58
Re: Some of the answers 116 Eddie Larry 04-Oct-19 15:01
Re: Some of the answers 105 drrayeye 05-Oct-19 06:01
Hypothesis 107 drrayeye 04-Oct-19 04:26
Re: Who invented the first syllabic alphabet? 111 seasmith 07-Oct-19 03:37
Re: Who invented the first syllabic alphabet? 126 seasmith 07-Oct-19 03:44
Re: Who invented the first syllabic alphabet? 104 drrayeye 08-Oct-19 06:55
Re: Who invented the first syllabic alphabet? 95 seasmith 10-Oct-19 00:27
Re: Who invented the first syllabic alphabet? 97 drrayeye 11-Oct-19 03:22
Re: Who invented the first syllabic alphabet? 95 seasmith 12-Oct-19 01:39
Could you add 91 drrayeye 12-Oct-19 02:14
History of the alphabet 87 Sirfiroth 12-Oct-19 02:59
Re: History of the alphabet 84 drrayeye 12-Oct-19 04:00
Re: History of the alphabet 81 Eddie Larry 12-Oct-19 04:05
Re: History of the alphabet 89 drrayeye 12-Oct-19 06:32
Re: History of the alphabet 91 Eddie Larry 12-Oct-19 14:52
Re: History of the alphabet 87 drrayeye 13-Oct-19 05:06
Re: Who invented the first syllabic alphabet? 109 cladking 13-Oct-19 02:44
Re: Who invented the first syllabic alphabet? 116 cladking 13-Oct-19 13:24
Psycholinguistics 82 drrayeye 15-Oct-19 19:36
Re: Psycholinguistics 88 cladking 15-Oct-19 20:17
Re: Psycholinguistics 210 drrayeye 16-Oct-19 01:15
Re: Psycholinguistics 83 cladking 27-Oct-19 14:51
Re: Psycholinguistics 77 drrayeye 03-Nov-19 02:04
Re: Psycholinguistics 65 cladking 03-Nov-19 14:36
Infants, Babies, and young children 67 drrayeye 03-Nov-19 23:02
Re: Infants, Babies, and young children 73 cladking 04-Nov-19 15:10
Re: Infants, Babies, and young children 75 drrayeye 04-Nov-19 17:21
Re: Infants, Babies, and young children 89 cladking 05-Nov-19 01:57
Re: Infants, Babies, and young children 118 drrayeye 05-Nov-19 18:40
Speechery & Glyphery 80 seasmith 03-Nov-19 04:02
Re: Speechery & Glyphery 71 cladking 03-Nov-19 15:02
Sign, symbol, and meaning: linguistic relativity 69 drrayeye 03-Nov-19 23:25
Re: Who invented the first syllabic alphabet? 92 seasmith 13-Oct-19 17:20
Do you have an example of an alphabet that is Not syllabic ? 89 drrayeye 13-Oct-19 22:46
I'm familiar with Rohl 86 drrayeye 13-Oct-19 23:12
Re: I'm familiar with Rohl 92 seasmith 13-Oct-19 23:53
Re: I'm familiar with Rohl 93 drrayeye 14-Oct-19 02:15
Re: I'm familiar with Rohl 96 seasmith 14-Oct-19 18:29
Re: I'm familiar with Rohl 86 drrayeye 14-Oct-19 19:21
Ancient written symbols 92 drrayeye 17-Oct-19 01:01
Summary: part one 90 drrayeye 20-Oct-19 07:12
Re: Summary: part two 86 drrayeye 27-Oct-19 06:36
Re: Summary: part one 82 cladking 27-Oct-19 14:30


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