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In Xinjiang Uyghur is used in the media, and as a lingua franca among other peoples. There are also communities of Uyghur speakers in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

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Simply Scripts

Hieratic, the cursive form of Egyptian hieroglyphs, was in fact employed throughout the pharaonic period for administrative and literary purposes, as a faster and more convenient method of writing; thus, its Greek designation is a misnomer.

The structure of the hieratic script corresponds with that of hieroglyphic writing. Changes occurred in the characters of hieratic simply because they could be written rapidly with brush or rush and ink on papyrus.

Often the original pictorial form is not, or not easily, recognizable. Because their models were well known and in current use throughout Egyptian history, the hieratic symbols never strayed too far from them. Nevertheless, the system differs from the hieroglyphic script in some important respects: Hieratic was written in one direction only, from right to left.

In earlier times the lines were arranged vertically and later, about bce, horizontally. Subsequently the papyrus scrolls were written in columns of changing widths.

There were ligatures in hieratic so that two or more signs could be written in one stroke.

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As a consequence of its decreased legibility, the spelling of the hieratic script tended to be more rigid and more complete than that of hieroglyphic writing. Variations from uniformity at a given time were minor; but, during the course of the various historical periods, the spelling developed and changed.

As a result, hieratic texts do not correspond exactly to contemporary hieroglyphic texts, either in the placing of signs or in the spelling of words. Hieratic used diacritical additions to distinguish between two signs that had grown similar to one another because of cursive writing.

Certain hieratic signs were taken into the hieroglyphic script. In the life of the Egyptians, hieratic script played a larger role than hieroglyphic writing and was taught earlier in the schools.

In offices, hieratic was replaced by demotic in the 7th century bce, but it remained in fashion until much later for religious texts of all sorts. The latest hieratic texts stem from the end of the 1st century or the beginning of the 2nd century ce. Demotic script Demotic script is first encountered at the beginning of the 26th dynastyabout bce.

The writing signs plainly demonstrate its connection with the hieratic script, although the exact relationship is not yet clear. It appears that demotic was originally developed expressly for government office use—that is, for documents in which the language was extensively formalized and thus well suited for the use of a standardized cursive script.

Only some time after its introduction was demotic used for literary texts in addition to documents and letters; much later it was employed for religious texts as well. The latest dated demotic text, from Dec. In contrast to hieratic, which is almost without exception written in ink on papyrus or other flat surfaces, demotic inscriptions are not infrequently found engraved in stone or carved in wood.

Ostracon with demotic inscription, Ptolemaic dynasty, c. David Liam Moran The demotic system corresponds to the hieratic and hence ultimately to the hieroglyphic system.

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Alongside the traditional spelling, however, there was another spelling that took account of the markedly altered phonetic form of the words by appropriate respelling.

This characteristic applied especially to a large number of words that did not occur in the older language and for which no written form had consequently been passed down.

The nontraditional spelling could also be used for old, familiar words. Decipherment of hieroglyphic writing With the possible exception of Pythagorasno Greek whose writings have survived seems to have understood the nature of hieroglyphic writing, nor did the Greeks obtain guidance from their Egyptian contemporaries.

Rather, the Greek tradition taught that hieroglyphs were symbolic signs or allegories.

Writing as a system of signs

The Egyptian-born Greek philosopher Plotinus interpreted hieroglyphic writing entirely from the viewpoint of his esoteric philosophy. Only one of the numerous works on the hieroglyphic script written in late antiquity has been preserved: Horapollon made use of a good source, but he himself certainly could not read hieroglyphic writing and began with the false hypothesis of the Greek tradition—namely, that hieroglyphs were symbols and allegories, not phonetic signs.

The Middle Ages neither possessed any knowledge of hieroglyphic writing nor took any interest in it. But a manuscript of Horapollon brought to Florence in stirred great interest among the humanists.

They used hieroglyphs as wisdom-laden symbols in architecture and also in drawings and paintings. He also believed, again correctly, that the signs recorded phonetic values.

In spite of this, he did not arrive at correct results—with the exception of a single character. In his view the phonetic value of the hieroglyphs was merely the commonplace, superficial part of the sign.Create terrific lightbox jQuery slideshows in second without a line of code.

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