Historical Communications Essay example
High school
Journalism & Communication
Pages 5 (1255 words)
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[Author’s Name] [Tutor’s Name] [Class] 20 February 2012 Historical Communications The importance of the rebus principle in the development of alphabetical writing Rebuses are extremely common in modern language. More often than not, rebus writing is considered as one of the most interesting forms of linguistic entertainments, a matter of training individual language and intellect.


The rebus principle is one of the several principal types of pictographs that laid the foundation for the development of modern syllabaries. The rebus principle turns the sound into a symbol which then becomes part of more complex linguistic structures (Ong 86). At the level of rebus writing, “the symbol represents primarily a sound, and a rebus is a kind of phonogram” (Ong 86). As a result, the rebus principle shaped the basis for the creation of modern alphabetic systems by enabling individuals and societies to use pictures/symbols that signified particular sounds. A combination of those sounds would be used by those societies to describe complex notions. For example, the English word Milwaukee can be written down as a combination of the mill, walk, and key symbols (mill-walk-key) (Ong 86). This is one of the easiest examples of how the rebus principle works. Apparently, the rebus principle drove the subsequent systematization of sounds and their common representation in written languages. With the help of the rebus principle a symbol denoting a particular concept could also be used in homonyms (WALS). The rebus principle facilitated the development and use of symbols denoting abstract notions, and gradually transformed into systemic and recognizable phonetic signs (WALS). ...
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