This is the most comprehensive reference work on writing systems currently in print. The first edition was widely praised, and remains the standard reference in the field. It includes 74 chapters each devoted to a specific language or some aspect of writing. Ranging from cuneiform to shorthand, from archaic Greek to modern Chinese, from Old Persian to modern Cherokee, this important volume covers all of the world's writing systems from ancient times to the present.
In the fifteen years since The World's Writing Systems, edited by Peter T. Daniels and the late William Bright, was published, it has become a standard reference work on the scripts of the world; but over those fifteen years, advances have been made in the study of writing systems--for which this volume may perhaps claim some of the credit. The second edition incorporates new discoveries, new perspectives, and improved treatments of some areas. Typographic techniques unavailable at the time of creation of the first edition-primarily Unicode-will make possible the seamless incorporation of the work into Oxford University Press's online reference resources. New topics include the wide variety of modern creations of scripts for Africa (both indigenous and roman-alphabet-based), the Unicode enterprise, and an expansion of topics dealing with writing in society: literacy, internationalization, script reform, and the effects of technology. The new edition includes several entirely new chapters, such as "The Origins of Writing," "Women's Script," "Modern Inventions of Writing" and the "Sociolinguistics of Writing."show more