What has written language allowed humankind to do?
What would we have done if written language never existed?
Was written language invented by the Chinese?
When was Spanish written language invented?
When was English written language invented?
What were the first language recordings about?
When did being able to write become common and not just for nobles and scribes?
How will you answer the inquiry questions? We collaborated as a team to find the most appropriate answer.
The answers to the inquiry questions:1. The first dictionary was created to have a record of the language of the day as stated by Robert Cawdrey. It contained more than 3000 words and was in non-alphabetical order. It was invented to symbolise the language of the time and to show how much it was going to change in modern English. A further 5000 words were added to the dictionary. This proved Cawdrey’s theory of how much the English was going to change.
2. Samuel Johnson was one of the greatest literary figures of his time. He was born on the 18th of september, 1709 and passed away at the age of 75, on the 13th of december. As a child, Samuel suffered from a range of health problems but still grew up to achieve many great things such as one of the most influential dictionaries. He was the author of the world famous book, ‘A dictionary of the English language’. He was a person who made significant differences to languages as he invented a place for all the words in the world.
3. There are many different languages in ancient times because groups of people lived in different places on Earth. Because of this, they all had different needs, lifestyles, ancestors and backgrounds. All of which would influence the common set of words they developed. The different tribes and civilisations would’ve all developed different sounds and words for the basic thoughts and ideas they wanted to communicate. Eventually the different groups would meet in a war. The group that wins would conquer the other group and therefore, eliminating their language. This is the reason why there are many different languages but not billions of them.
4.The two places that definitely developed the concept of writing is ancient Sumer (Mesopotamia) around 3100 BC and Mesoamerica. By 300 BCE, several Mesoamerican scripts were written, the oldest being from the Olmec and Zapotec of Mexico. Early writing was done on clay with the use of weeds to carve the wet clay. This process was called cuneiform. They had specific markings which were much easier to communicate than spoken language.
5. It is most likely that Chinese written language was developed in c. 1500 BCE during the second half of the Shang dynasty. This script was etched onto animal bones and tortoise shells which were then heated until they started to crack and the inscriptions would appear. There is, however, some evidence that a form of Chinese writing, similar to certain modern Chinese characters. These characters were also carved into tortoise shells and were dated to 6600 BCE.
6. Written languages have allowed humankind to record history. It allowed people that were living far away from each other to communicate with each other. It has also allowed humans to send official documents or to record taxes. Finally, it allowed all the people that know the same type of writing to communicate clearly and easily.
7. We would have passed on history in different ways. We could orally tell our children history and rely on them to pass it on to their children. The progress would be slower because the history would be difficult to remember and it is most likely that they would forget parts of history and make the same mistakes then. Without written languages, spoken communication would be very hard to understand.
8. Written language were not invented by the Chinese. It was invented by the Sumerians from Sumer, southern Mesopotamia during C. 3500-3000 BCE.
9. The earliest form of written Spanish language was developed in c. 1200 CE and was based on the Castilian dialect. This was the first standardised form of written Spanish. King Alfonso X (the 5th), together with his group of scholars they adopted the city of Toledo as their home base. There his group of scholars translated many important texts that included histories, chronicles, and scientific, legal, and literary works from other languages (mostly Latin, Greek, and Arabic) into Spanish.
10. The earliest form of English was developed in 450 CE, called old English. Many of our English words today are derived from words in the old English language. The way old English was written wasn’t similar at all to the way modern English is written, and English speakers today would barely understand old English. Old English was spoken until 1100 CE.
11. When ancient scribes and nobles were first using their written language systems They were recording the past histories of their civilisation. e.g. past rulers and governing families. Taxes were also recorded so everyone could be held accountable for the money they owed the government, their friends and their acquaintances. The crop and material haul of the previous season would’ve been written down as well.
12. Before 1820, only 12% of the world's population could read and write. Now, more than 80% of the world can read and write. The earliest form of writing, Cuneiform started between 3500-3000 BCE. But at this time, writing was a very restricted privilege, only for scribes or nobles. It was not until the Middle ages when books and literature started being taught to the general public.
Feedback on research from peers: - use a bibliography
List of questions to ask your HSIE teacher plus answers: - How did rube goldbergs work in the past - Which time periods had a massive impact on the way we speak languages - Did major world events change the way we speak languages