• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This Handbook critically examines research and theoretical issues that impact writing development from the early years through to adulthood. It provides those researching or teaching literacy with one of the most academically authoritative and comprehensive works in the field. With expert contributors from across the world, the book represents a detailed and valuable overview of a complex area of study.

The History of Writing
The history of writing

The history of writing depends critically upon what we mean by writing.

Introduction

Paradigmatically, writing is the representation of speech. But what then about the visual signs and symbols that humans created and continue to create sometimes for communication purposes, other times for sheer self expression, and at still other times for linking themselves to the gods? To tell the history of writing, even in its paradigmatic sense, it seems essential to begin with a more comprehensive view of writing as the use of created visual marks or other artefacts for communication and expression. From this base, we may then see more clearly how representations in general relate to representations of language more specifically.

With this more inclusive notion of writing ...

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