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Encyclopedia > Written language
A Specimen of typeset fonts and languages, by William Caslon, letter founder; from the 1728 Cyclopaedia.
A Specimen of typeset fonts and languages, by William Caslon, letter founder; from the 1728 Cyclopaedia.

A written language is the representation of a language by means of a writing system. Written language is an invention in that it must be taught to children, who will instinctively learn or create spoken or gestural languages. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2898x3807, 1794 KB) This description text was copied from the original place of the image (see below) from: http://images. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2898x3807, 1794 KB) This description text was copied from the original place of the image (see below) from: http://images. ... Typesetting involves the presentation of textual material in an aesthetic form on paper or some other media. ... A font can mean: A member of a typeface family; or digital font - file format that encapsulates a typeface family in a database. ... A Specimen of typeset fonts and languages, by William Caslon, letter founder; from the 1728 Cyclopaedia. ... 1913 advertisement for Encyclopædia Britannica. ... Writing systems of the world today. ... For the musical form, see Invention (music). ... Spoken language is a language that people utter words of the language. ... Two sign language Intepreters working as a team for a school. ...


A written language exists only as a complement to a specific spoken or gestural language, and no natural language is purely written. However, extinct languages may be in effect purely written when only their writings survive. The term natural language is used to distinguish languages spoken and signed (by hand signals and facial expressions) by humans for general-purpose communication from constructs such as writing, computer-programming languages or the languages used in the study of formal logic, especially mathematical logic. ... An extinct language is a language which no longer has any native speakers, in contrast to a dead language, which is is a language which has stopped changing in grammar, vocabulary, and the complete meaning of a sentence. ...


Written languages evolve slower than corresponding spoken languages. When one or more registers of a language comes to be strongly divergent from spoken language, the resulting situation is called diglossia. However, such diglossia is often considered as one between literary language and other registers, especially if the writing system reflects its pronunciation. In linguistics, a register is a subset of a language used for a particular purpose or in a particular social setting. ... Look up Diglossia in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A literary language is a register of a language that is used in writing, and which often differs in lexicon and syntax from the language used in speech. ... Writing systems of the world today. ... Look up pronunciation in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Native readers and writers of English are often unaware that the complexities of English spelling make written English a somewhat artificial construct. The traditional spelling of English, at least for inherited words, preserves a late Middle English phonology that is no one's speech dialect; the artificial preservation of this much earlier form of the language in writing might make much of what we write intelligible to Chaucer, even if we could not understand his speech. Tom McArthur suggests that it is at least arguable that written and spoken English have reached the stage that can be considered diglossia.


Further reading

  • Ankerl, Guy. 2000. Coexisting Contemporary Civilizations: Arabo-Muslim, Bharati, Chinese, and Western. Geneva: INUPress,ISBN 2-88155-004-5, pp.59-66, 235-236.

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Written Language Corpora (1556 words)
Written Language Corpora, collections of text in electronic form, are being collected for research and commercial applications in natural language processing (NLP).
Written Language Corpora have been used to improve spelling correctors, hyphenation routines and grammar checkers, which are being integrated into commercial word-processing packages.
Written language corpora provide a spectrum of resources for language processing, ranging from the raw material of the corpora themselves to finished components like computational grammars and lexicons.
Chinese written language - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3534 words)
Cantonese is unique among non-Mandarin regional languages in having a written colloquial standard, used in Hong Kong and by non-Standard Mandarin speaking Cantonese speakers overseas, with a large number of unofficial characters for words particular to this variety of Chinese.
Written colloquial Cantonese does exist however, and Cantonese is unique among non-Mandarin regional languages in having a widely used written colloquial standard.
Due to their unique block, square nature and the morphologically inactive nature of the language, Chinese characters are generally written without spaces at word boundaries, and can be written either horizontally or vertically and from right to left or left to right, or from top to bottom or bottom to top.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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