Written Communication

Start Free Trial

What sort written symbols people use to communicate?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Many forms of symbolic systems are used for written communication. The earliest to be invented were "tokens", pictures of objects originally used to identify the contents of sealed jars in Mesopotamia. Next, two ideographic systems were invented, Mesopotamian cuneiform (developing out of the earlier token system) and Egyptian hieroglyphics. Chinese characters were invented slightly later. All these ideographic systems use one symbol to represent a single word or idea. The next type of written system invented was the syllabary (e.g. Linear B), in which one character represented a single syllable. The first alphabets were invented in the Levant. People use alphabets, syllabaries, ideographs and many other symbolic visual systems to communicate.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team