Writing is a relative latecomer to the history of language. This program tracks its emergence in Mesopotamia, China, and Mesoamerica and its down through the millennia via conquest--usually violent, sometimes benign--and colonization. The creation of creoles and pidgins resulting from the interaction of specific populations is also addressed, and speculation is made about the first things to be written down. Noam Chomsky; Peter , coeditor of The Worlds Writing Systems; the Manhattan Institutes John McWhorter; MITs Michel DeGraff; and Salikoko Mufwene, of The University of Chicago, contribute.
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