Evidence of such dates to pre-historic time and can be found in various regions of the continent. How Writing Developed in Africa The purpose of writing has always been to communicate ideas, and humans have been doing so for at leastyears in the form of engravings, such as those uncovered at the Blombos Cave in South Africa.
Of all the accomplishments of the ancient Middle East, the invention of the alphabet is probably the greatest.
While pre-alphabetic systems of writing in the Old World became steadily more phonetic, they were still exceedingly cumbersome, and the syllabic systems that gradually replaced them… Theories of the origin of the alphabet The evolution of the alphabet involved two important achievements.
The first was the step taken by a group of Semitic-speaking people, perhaps the Phoenicians, on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean between and bce.
This was the invention of a consonantal writing system known as North Semitic. The second was the invention, by the Greeks, of characters for representing vowels. This step occurred between and bce.
While some scholars consider the Semitic writing system an unvocalized syllabary and the Greek system the true alphabet, both are treated here as forms of the alphabet. Over the centuries, various theories have been advanced to explain the origin of alphabetic writing, and, since Classical times, the problem has been a matter of serious study.
The Greeks and Romans considered five different peoples as the possible inventors of the alphabet—the Phoenicians, Egyptians, Assyrians, Cretans, and Hebrews. Among modern theories are some that are not very different from those of ancient days.
Every country situated in or more or less near the eastern Mediterranean has been singled out for the honour. Egyptian writingcuneiformCretan, hieroglyphic Hittite, the Cypriot syllabaryand other scripts have all been called prototypes of the alphabet.
The Egyptian theory actually subdivides into three separate theories, according to whether the Egyptian hieroglyphic, the hieratic, or the demotic script is regarded as the true parent of alphabetic writing.
Similarly, the idea that cuneiform was the precursor of the alphabet may also be subdivided into those singling out Sumerian, Babylonian, or Assyrian cuneiform. Among the various other theories concerning the alphabet are the hypotheses that the alphabet was taken by the Philistines from Crete to Palestine, that the various ancient scripts of the Mediterranean countries developed from prehistoric geometric symbols employed throughout the Mediterranean area from the earliest times, and that the proto-Sinaitic inscriptions discovered since in the Sinai Peninsula represent a stage of writing intermediate between the Egyptian hieroglyphics and the North Semitic alphabet.
Another hypothesisthe Ugaritic theory, evolved after an epoch-making discovery in and the years following at the site of the ancient Ugariton the Syrian coast opposite the most easterly cape of Cyprus. Thousands of clay tablets were found there, documents of inestimable value in many fields of research including epigraphyphilologyand the history of religion.
Dating from the 15th and 14th centuries bce, they were written in a cuneiform alphabet of 30 letters. The Early Canaanite theory is based on several undeciphered inscriptions also discovered since at various Palestinian sites; the writings belong in part to c.
Despite the conflict in theories, scholars are generally agreed that, for about years before the middle of the 2nd millennium bce, alphabet making was in the air in the Syro-Palestinian region. It is idle to speculate on the meaning of the various discoveries referred to.
That they manifest closely related efforts is certain; what the exact relationship among these efforts was, and what their relationship with the North Semitic alphabet was, cannot be said with certainty.Most other languages of Africa are written in the Latin alphabet or in the Arabic script, in each case, possibly with additional characters for sounds not found in Latin or Arabic.
The importance of oral culture and tradition in Africa and the recent dominance of European languages through colonialism, among other factors, has led to Here are 11 African writing systems.
The writing systems of Africa refer to the current and historical practice of writing systems on the African continent, the colonial regimes had little interest in the writing of African languages, but in others they did.
although this was adopted at about the same time as the African reference alphabet. Afrikan Alphabets: The Story of Writing in Afrika [Saki Mafundikwa] on leslutinsduphoenix.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
Through text and illustrations, describes more than twenty African symbol systems and alphabets used on the continent and in the Diaspora/5(8). National language Republic of the Congo Mark making Alphabet Languages Symbols Maps AFRICAN Writing.
Forward Mandombe or Mandombé, is a script proposed in in Mbanza-Ngungu in the Bas-Congo province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo by Wabeladio Payi.
Writing system: Arabic and Latin alphabets Status: official language in South Africa and Namibia Afrikaans retains some features of 18th century Dutch, together with vocabulary from various Bantu and Khoisan languages and also from Portugese and Malay.