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JAL 328 H1S - Writing Systems 2003

This course examines the nature of writing and its relationship to language. We look at the major writing systems of the world from four perspectives:

a. History b. Internal structure c. Relation to the language d. Sociolinguistics

For example, for Chinese, we will look at

The earliest history of Chinese writing (oracle-bone inscriptions). Some of the major calligraphic styles of Chinese writing over the ages. The relationship of Chinese writing to the language (essentially, each syllable is written with one character, and different morphemes are written differently). How many characters there are in Chinese. How characters are ordered in a dictionary. How borrowed words are written with characters. Traditional and simplified (20th century) forms of characters . The role of writing in Chinese society, e.g., the Civil Service Examinations. The borrowing of Chinese characters to write Japanese and Korean.

Course Requirements

2 Quizzes Mid-Term Test Final Exam

Marks: Click HERE for a .pdf file of the component marks of the course (the final marks for the course will be on ROSI.


3.JKV.htm Day Chapter Topic


Jan 6 Introduction;

 1 Intro   

3 Chinese 1 2 3 4 5 6 (jpeg) Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese 1 2 3 4 (jpeg) Cuneiform


Quiz I Notes

Feb Egyptian


Mid-Term Test Notes Marks

17       Reading Week -- No class 

7 Semitic


Mar 8-9 Greek and Roman. Greek 10 English Rom&Eng 11-12 Indian abugida, Maya Asian phono Quiz II Notes 13 Misc. writing systems Maya-Other 14 Calligraphy and Printing.


Apr 15 Classification, Review


Exam notes

Note: Special review times during Study Week

In Dept. of Linguistics, Robarts 6th Floor

Monday, 14 April 2003 ----- 1-4 pm Tuesday, 15 April 2003 ----- 2-4 pm Wednesday, 16 April 2003 - 2-4 pm Thursday, 17 April 2003 ---- 9-4 pm

Examination Tuesday, 22 April 2003 9-11 am -- Benson-3

Time and Place Monday 3-5; Ramsey Wright 110


Henry Rogers 416-978-1769 6072 Robarts Library (take elevator from 2d floor to 6th floor) Office Hours: M 10-12 and by appointment

Text To be sold in class; cost $30.00

Dates Two quizzes--during class period -- 27 January and 17 March Mid-Term Test -- 10 February 2003 -- Note special location: Woodworth 111 (Drill Hall) Final Examination --during examination period (TBA) Last day to withdraw without academic penalty 9 March

Mark: Quizzes: 20 % (10% each) Mid-Term Test: 30% Final Examination 50%

This course uses the 'Refined Letter Grade Scale', defined in section A.c.ii of the appendix to the University Grading Practices Policy. It should be noted that when numerical raw scores are used in marking, the numerical equivalents in the grade tables 'are not to be used to translate a score to a grade directly'.

---University Grading Practices Policy, Part 1, section 5

Discussion Group The egroup for JAL 328 is found at


Phthong is an interactive program to teach the phonemic transcription of English. Two versions exists ­ one for LIN 100 and one for LIN228. They differ primarily in the symbols they use; LIN228 has standard IPA symbols. Phthong was developed at the University of Toronto by Henry Rogers and Michael Stairs.

The version available here shows broad phonemic pronunciations for Toronto English.


Phthong has been developed over a number of years by Henry Rogers and Michael Stairs. Originally, it was written in HyperCard for the Macintosh computer and has been used in that form successfully for a number of years at the University of Toronto. Stairs has been responsible for the computer design and programming of both the HyperCard and JAVA versions; Rogers has been responsible for the pedagogical design. Michael Stairs works for the CHASS facility (Computing in the Humanities and Social Sciences) at the University of Toronto. Henry Rogers is an associate professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Toronto.