Syllabic Writing

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Syllabic Writing


a type of phonetic writing in which a marker (syllabeme) indicates the pronunciation of a sequence of consonant and vowel phonemes or of vowels alone, generally in open syllables. Strictly syllabic writing systems include the Cyprian syllabic system and a number of Ethiopian and Indian scripts: Kharosthi, Brahmi, and derivative systems such as those used in Tibet, Indochina, and Indonesia. Artificial syllabic writing systems have been created for Cherokee (North America), Vai (Liberia), and Mende (Sierra Leone).

Word-syllabic scripts (systems combining syllabic writing with words or pictographs) include Japanese, Old Korean, and Late Cuneiform (Akkadian, Hittite, and biblical script) and Lu-vian hieroglyphic script. Systems sometimes regarded as syllabic writing are Old Persian cuneiform, Proto-Semitic script, and some Egyptian hieroglyphics.


Diringer, D. Alfavit. Moscow, 1963. (Translated from English.)
Cohen, M. L’Ecriture. Paris, 1953.
Friedrich, J. Geschichte der Schrift. Heidelberg, 1966.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Baybayin in the UST Archives are not the only documents written in pre-Spanish, pre-Islamic syllabary. There was the Laguna Copperplate Inscription (LCI), found by a fisherman at the mouth of a Laguna River.
(17.) By contrast, the nineteenth-century Native linguist Sequoyah's decision to invent a syllabary rather than an alphabet for Cherokee, another highly synthetic language, resulted in words of a more manageable length.
Sequoyah presented his syllabary to the Cherokee nation in 1821.
For example, the language uses numerous foreign words, which the Japanese have integrated into their practice so very well, that it has its own unique syllabary and characters.
Among their topics are Balinese practices of script and Western paradigms of text: an anthropological approach to a philological topic; the body of letters: Balinese aksara as an intersection between script, power, and knowledge; the medium is the message: chirographic figures in two traditions; the imposition of the syllabary (svaravyanjana-nyasa) in the Old Javano-Balinese tradition in light of South Asian Tantric sources; and visible and invisible script used at consecrations of buildings in Bali.
The Cherokee syllabary (a kind of alphabet) was invented by a Cherokee scholar and chief named Sequoyah (aka George Gist).
In other words, if we review the features of the tool, it is found that, for a better use of them, it is essential to have acquired the competence to read hiragana and katakana syllabary; besides, you should know the uses of different declensions and some verb tenses (dictionary form, ~masu [phrase omitted], ~nai [phrase omitted], ~nakatta [phrase omitted], causative, passive, imperative, potential and volitional), without forgetting some basic vocabulary.
Singularly in linguistic history, a man called Sequoyah, whose English name was George Guess, devised a syllabary to write and read Cherokee.