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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

The Story of the Alphabet              59

we have examples of logographic writing still largely the monopoly of
a scholar caste Scripts of this class share one important characteristic
with picture-writing The individual symbols have no necessary con-
nexion with the sounds associated with them This is not difficult to
understand if you recall one class of logograms which still survive on

FlG.  IO—DISCUS OF PlIAJ&TOS SHOWING AS YEr UNBECIPHERED PlCTOGRAPHIC

WRIIING OF THE ANCIENT CREI-AN CIVILIZATION

the printed page* The Englishman associates with the ideogram 4 the
noise which we write as four with our imperfect alphabet^ or/?, in
modern phoneuc script (p 83). The Frenchman writes it quatrey
standing for the sound katr The Englishman and the Frenchman both
recognise its meaning* though they associate it with different sounds>
and a Frenchman could learn to interpret the English traffic signs from
a French book without knowing a word of English In the same waya