Why do people have written language?
Veronica Sjöfn, f. 1996
AnswerWe know of many cultures where writing was unknown, but whose people lived rich and fulfilling lives. Even now, in an age when virtually every person in the world has at least come into contact with writing, there are many happy people who cannot read and write, including millions of small children. In cultures without writing, certain people tend to become skilled in the oral transmission of stories and information. This type of skill seems rarer in cultures with writing, and it helps develop a strong verbal or narrative memory. Consider, for example, the Icelandic law-sayers of Althing, the old Icelandic parliament, who knew the laws of the land by heart. Readers can find more information in Gunnar Karlsson's answer to the question How did the ancient Alþingi (parliament) function, and what was its significance for the Icelandic nation?
Licence plates on vehicles are among the many things that utilize writing.
- Is Icelandic the oldest language in Europe? How old is it? by Jón Axel Harðarson.
- How did the Icelandic language start? by Guðrún Kvaran.
- Who invented the alphabet? by Ian Watson.
Um þessa spurningu
Ian Watson. „Why do people have written language?“. The Icelandic Web of Science 15.11.2006. http://why.is/svar.php?id=6380. (Skoðað 23.3.2017).
Ian Watsonaðjúnkt í félagsvísinda- og hagfræðideild Viðskiptaháskólans á Bifröst