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Book: The Five-Minute Linguist

Chapter: 16. How Many Kinds of Writing Systems are there?

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.38135


People used to say that there are three kinds of writing systems—the Chinese kind, the Indian kind, and the Hebrew and English kind (logographies, syllabaries, and alphabets). But when we look more closely, we find that we need to name five kinds, recognizing that Hebrew and English writing, and Indian and Japanese writing, use quite different kinds of writing system. Different kinds work better for different languages.

Chapter Contributors

  • Peter Daniels ( - ptdaniels) 'Independent Scholar '