Historical orthography – the study of how writing systems have changed over time – is a rapidly growing area of historical linguistics. This book provides the first comprehensive introduction to this exciting focus of research. Written in an engaging and accessible way, it surveys the purposes and methods of this field, and how it has developed as a discipline over time. The volume also discusses the various levels of analysis that historical orthography can carry out, as well as key historical orthographic processes, such as standardization and language change. It covers a range of non-western and western languages, including English, in order to discuss the breadth of typological issues that can arise in the documentation of writing systems. The book also establishes links between orthography and a range of other related disciplines, a quality which makes it an essential resource for advanced students of orthography and writing systems, and historical linguistics.
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