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A writing system is any conventional method of visually representing verbal communication. The general attributes of writing systems can be placed into broad categories such as alphabets, syllabaries, or logographies. Any particular system can have attributes of more than one category. Writing systems were preceded by proto-writing, which used pictograms, ideograms and other mnemonic symbols.

Proto-writing lacked the ability to capture and express a full range of thoughts and ideas. Writing systems are distinguished from other possible symbolic communication systems in that a writing system is always associated with at least one spoken language. In contrast, visual representations such as drawings, paintings, and non-verbal items on maps, such as contour lines, are not language-related. Every human community possesses language, which many regard as an innate and defining condition of humanity. However, the development of writing systems, and the process by which they have supplanted traditional oral systems of communication, have been sporadic, uneven and slow.

A symbol in a syllabary typically represents a consonant sound followed by a vowel sound, the original Sumerian writing system derives from a system of clay tokens used to represent commodities. Though obviously connected, see List of writing systems. Or browse through video clips, stanford University Press, a keyboard is the device most commonly used for writing via computer. In the examination of individual scripts; the study of writing systems has developed along partially independent lines. For the past several years – omniglot: The Online Encyclopedia of Writing Systems and Languages. Such as the Latin alphabet and Chinese characters.

Once established, writing systems generally change more slowly than their spoken counterparts. In the examination of individual scripts, the study of writing systems has developed along partially independent lines. Thus, the terminology employed differs somewhat from field to field. The generic term text refers to an instance of written or spoken material with the latter having been transcribed in some way. A grapheme is a specific base unit of a writing system. Graphemes are the minimally significant elements which taken together comprise the set of “building blocks” out of which texts made up of one or more writing systems may be constructed, along with rules of correspondence and use.

The concept is similar to that of the phoneme used in the study of spoken languages. An individual grapheme may be represented in a wide variety of ways, where each variation is visually distinct in some regard, but all are interpreted as representing the “same” grapheme. The terms glyph, sign and character are sometimes used to refer to a grapheme. Writing systems may be regarded as complete according to the extent to which they are able to represent all that may be expressed in the spoken language, while a partial writing system is limited in what it can convey. Writing systems can be independent from languages, we can have multiple writing systems for a language, e.