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We are near the end of the book and yet we have given little consideration to the visual representation of language, to writing. Back in chapter 1 we defined language as a system of communication by means of speech sounds — this reflects the emphasis that linguists place on the spoken language. The reasons for this emphasis include the fact that we acquire speech naturally while we have to be taught how to read and write, the fact that we generally speak more than we read and write, and the fact that writing develops as an adjunct to speech; some societies have no writing system and no society has developed a written language and only subsequently decided to transmit the utterances orally.
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