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How An Alphabet Is Developed

How An Alphabet Is Developed image
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Suppose tliat sonie okl nation of Asin, after li;ivinjf for age.s drawu an ox, when they wiehed to rec:ill au ox, began at lust to draw the picture of an ox also wheneTer It was rteedftll tn write about plowinjr. Tlien instead of an ox it would b wliat is called a aymhol. After a while Borne oo would say to MmMlf: What is Che use of drawing all of the ox when tin1 head alone, which every one will know trom its shape and itx horus, aives }(Mt We same tbougbtf Now suppose this ox-head ffrkdnall; to mean tiwtound ai ox in all wordf Oftbe MlguagV whereln Chat syllable ocímii-s, as in the name of the river Ox-us. Thon the ox-head would appeiir In words having nothing whiitover to do with eattle or plowing. Then it is called a piece of outj-writing, because it does not recall a ceitain given thing. but a sound. Sound-writing is thus au improred kind of picture-writinff. You all know sound-writing. and have probably oomposed sentences in it, bul you know it umicr another name. Hardly a majrazine for young pople 8 printed in whtcll you will not find rebuses. Well, in iny rebnses are nothing but sound-writiugs. And many, many thousand yens agoour an:ostors had DO other kind of writing. And the ncxt step onward froin sound¦ ritlng was writing. Hemember that people wlm had reached tliat stage Ihougbt of a sign or syiubol at least. Suppose the ox-head was called aleph. It would soon be found more convenient to employ it in all works wuere there wa the sound or syllable of al. And this wal the process with as many other letters as there wt-ie in such early writinsj. We will cali this syUabary stage, bccause ,ir 1 1 h nood for síyllableu, aiul po distinguif.h it fiom the al[ibabet tliat come later. The next advance would be to take the little picture for the sound a alone, and


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News