The Idea of Writing

The Idea of Writing is an exploration of the versatility of writing systems. From ancient Egyptian, Cuneiform and Meroitic writing to Chinese, Maya and Maldivian script, authors examine the problems and possibilities of polysemy, representing loanwords and the problems of adapting a writing system to another language. The playful and artistic use of writing, including a contribution on writing dance, further illustrates the intricacies of the systems. The different academic traditions in which these writing systems have been studied use linguistic, socio-historical and philological approaches that give complementary insights into the complex phenomena.