Writing Systems

  • Thomas S. Barthel


None of the native writing systems in the New World has reached the stage of a ‘complete writing system’ capable of fully mirroring a language. We are dealing with all levels of ‘partial writing systems’, that is to say, with incomplete systems which attempted in various ways to graphically set down segments of a richer oral transmission. This is the reason for its weakness as compared to the fully developed writing systems of the Old World and the reason for an absolute limitation of knowledge in this field of research, but at the same time it stimulates the task of analytically grasping the early phases and stages in the development of complete writing systems.


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I. South American Writing Systems

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1977

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  • Thomas S. Barthel

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