Establishes an innovative interdisciplinary theoretical framework that enables a new outlook for writing studies and the development of more convincing explanations for a number of unusual features of the early Aegean scripts.
Writing does not begin and end with the encoding of an idea into a group of symbols. It is practiced by people who have learnt its principles and acquired the tools and skills for doing it, in a particular context that affects what they do and how they do it. Nor are these practices static, as those involved exploit opportunities to adapt old features and develop new ones. The act of writing then has tangible and visible consequences not only for the writers but also for those encountering what has been produced, whether they can read its content or not – with potential for a wider social visibility that can in turn affect the success and longevity of the writing system itself.
With a focus on the syllabic systems of the Bronze Age Aegean, this book attempts to bring together different perspectives to create an innovative interdisciplinary outlook on what is involved in writing: from structuralist views of writing as systems of signs with their linguistic values, to archaeological and anthropological approaches to writing as a socially grounded practice. The main chapters focus on the concepts of script adoption and adaptation; different methods of logographic writing; and the vitality of writing traditions, with repercussions for the modern world.
Contexts of and Relations between Early Writing Systems (CREWS) is a project funded by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement No. 677758), and based in the Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge.
Acknowledgements List of Tables and Figures Introduction Cretan Hieroglyphic, Linear A and Linear B (and their Cypriot cousins) Chronology Theoretical perspectives and terminology 1: Exploring script adoption How do we know that Linear B adopted Linear A syllabographic sign values with little change? Can we use Linear B sign values or structural features to reconstruct Minoan phonology or other linguistic features? How should we understand the nature of the transition from Linear A to B? 2: Exploring logography Classifying signs in writing systems Linear B Linear A Cretan Hieroglyphic Understanding logography in the Bronze Age Aegean 3: Exploring vitality Cretan Hieroglyphic Linear A Linear B Syllabic writing in Cyprus Relationships between writing and language vitality The vitality of writing traditions Epilogue: writing for the future Bibliography
Philippa M. Steele is the Director of the Crews Project, a Senior Research Associate at the Faculty of Classics, Cambridge, and a Senior Research Fellow of Magdalene College. Having previously been awarded a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship and the Evans Pritchard Lectureship at All Souls College, Oxford, She has published widely on ancient languages and writing systems with a particular focus on Cyprus and the Aegean.
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.