Posted on 06/11/2013

Photo taken on January 24, 2013

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Christine Kenneally
The First Word

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Fossil of Language

Fossil of Language
Writing is a kind of fossil and so can tell us a little about the languages that have been recorded since it was invented. While it shares a lot with spoken language, including most of its words and much organizational structure, writing cannot be considered the bare bones of speech, for it is something else entirely. Writing is static, structured by the convent ions of punctuation and the use of space. The kinds of sentences that occur in writing bear only an indirect relationship to the more free-flowing and complex structures of speech. Writing has no additional channels for avoiding ambiguity, as speech has with intonation and gesture. And writing is only six thousand years old. ~ Page 5 [Introduction] "The First Word" ~ Christine Kenneally