Origin of the Chinese Writing System
(7,992 words)

1. Definition and Earliest Attestations

In the most straightforward sense writing entails the association of the sounds of a language with graphs in a systematic and conventionally functional way, that is, in a way that all users of the graphs recognize and adhere to. To be writing, in other words, a graph must have an established, fixed and…

Cite this page
William G. BOLTZ, “Origin of the Chinese Writing System”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 15 February 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000311>
First published online: 2015

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