Origins and antiquity

Writing is a system of linguistic symbols which permit one to transmit and conserve information. Writing appears to have developed between the 7th millennium BC and the 4th millennium BC, first in the form of early mnemonic symbols which became a system of ideograms or pictographs through simplification. The oldest known forms of writing were thus primarily logographic in nature. Later syllabic and alphabetic (or segmental) writing emerged. Silk, in China, was also a base for writing. Writing was done with brushes. Many other materials were used as bases: bone, bronze, pottery, shell, etc. In India, for example, dried palm tree leaves were used; in Mesoamerica another type of plant, Amate. Any material which will hold and transmit text is a candidate for use in bookmaking. The book is also linked to the desire of humans to create lasting records. Stones could be the most ancient form of writing, but wood would be the first medium to take the guise of a book. The words biblos and liber first meant "fibre inside of a tree". In Chinese, the character that means book is an image of a tablet of bamboo. Wooden tablets (Rongorongo) were also made on Easter Island. Writing is the representation of language in a textual medium through the use of a set of signs or symbols (known as a writing system).[1] It is distinguished from illustration, such as cave drawing and painting, and non-symbolic preservation of language via non-textual media, such as magnetic tape audio. Writing most likely began as a consequence of political expansion in ancient cultures, which needed reliable means for transmitting information, maintaining financial accounts, keeping historical records, and sim lar activities. Around the 4th millennium BC, the complexity of trade and administration in Mesopotamia outgrew human memory, and writing became a more dependable method of recording and presenting transactions in a permanent form.[2] In both Ancient Egypt and Mesoamerica writing may have evolved through calendrics and a political necessity for recording historical and environmental events. The oldest known use of writing in China was in divination in the royal court. Linguistics is the scientific study of human language.[1][2][3][4][5] Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context. The earliest known activities in descriptive linguistics have been attributed to Panini, India around 500 BCE, with his analysis of Sanskrit in Ashtadhyayi.[6] The first subfield of linguistics is the study of language structure, or grammar. This focuses on the system of rules followed by the users of a language. It includes the study of morphology (the formation and composition of words), syntax (the formation and composition of phrases and sentences from these words), and phonology (sound systems). Phonetics is a related branch of linguistics concerned with the actual properties of speech sounds and nonspeech sounds, and how they are produced and perceived. The study of language meaning is concerned with how languages employ logical structures and real-world references to convey, process, and assign meaning, as well as to manage and resolve ambiguity. This category includes the study of semantics (how meaning is inferred from words and concepts) and pragmatics (how meaning is inferred from context).