Sunday, December 02, 2007

Nihongo Kutoho Kenkyukai/日本語句読法研究会

I received a notice about a new study group called 日本語句読法研究会 (Nihongo Kutoho Kenkyukai), which will focus on issues related to the Japanese punctuation system. According to their web page, the first meeting will be held on Saturday, January 12, 2008, starting from 3 p.m. The place for the meeting is to be confirmed.

For details, click here.



Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Written Language and Literacy, 10(1)

The latest issue of Written Language and Literacy (Vol. 10, No. 1) has been published. For the table of contents and other information, click here.

Written Language and Literacy』の最新号(10巻1号)が出版されました。目次などの情報はこちらをご覧ください。

Friday, November 02, 2007

Call for Papers: The 6th Workshop on Writing Systems

A call for papers has been published on LINGUIST List (18.3200) for The Sixth Workshop on Writing Systems, which will take place from September 18 to 19, 2008, at University of Braunschweig in Germany. The topic for the present workshop is Typology of Writing Systems. Submission deadline is May 2, 2008.

The invited speakers are William J. Poser (University of British Columbia/Yinka Dene Language Institute) and Rebecca Treiman (Washington University).

For details, click here.

2008年9月18日から19日の二日間に渡りドイツのUniversity of Braunschweigで開催されるThe Sixth Workshop on Writing Systemsの発表者募集がLINGUIST List (18.3200) を通じて通知されました。今回のワークショップのテーマはTypology of Writing Systems(文字・表記体系の類型論)となっています。LINGUIST Listの通知によれば、発表希望者は2008年5月2日までに要旨を提出することになっています。

なお、このワークショップでは、William J. Poser氏(University of British Columbia/Yinka Dene Language Institute)とRebecca Treiman氏(Washington University)による基調講演も予定されているそうです。


Friday, July 20, 2007

Call for Papers: Special Issue of Reading and Writing

A call for papers has been published on LINGUIST List for a special issue of Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal. The subtitle for the special issues is Acquiring Reading in Two Languages: Linguistic and Orthographic Factors. Call deadline is February 1, 2008.

For details, click here.

Reading and Writing』特別号への投稿募集がLINGUIST Listで通知されました。特別号のサブタイトルはAcquiring Reading in Two Languages: Linguistic and Orthographic Factorsとなっています。募集締め切りは2008年2月1日です。


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

BBC on Simplified English Spelling

Should we simplify spelling? - BBC News (July 10, 2007)

This article revisits the old and never-ending debate on English spelling reform. It features a series of emails exchanged between Ms. Masha Bell, a member of the Simplified Spelling Society, and Prof. Vivian Cook of Newcastle University. Ms. Bell argues that the current spelling system needs to be simplified to facilitate children's learning to read. Prof. Cook opposes her view from a linguistic standpoint, stressing that spelling is just one of various factors related to literacy.

Reading and Writing, 20(1-5)

Information on the latest issues of Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal (Vol. 20, Nos. 1-5) is now available from the publisher's website.

Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal』の最新号(20巻1-5号)に関する情報が出版社のウェブサイトで公開されました。

Update: CAASL-2

Programme and other information on the Second Workshop on Computational Approaches to Arabic Script-based Languages (CAASL-2) is now available from the workshop's homepage.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Workshop on Writing Systems and the Linguistic Structure

This workshop will be held in conjunction with the 18th International Congress of Linguistics (CIL 18).

According to the meeting description, centre to this workshop will be the following questions, although papers on other topics are also encouraged:

  • What kinds of formal constraints constrain the mapping between language and
  • What effects do properties of writing systems have on conscious (or
    unconscious) knowledge of language among literate speakers.
  • Are properties of scripts and writing systems -- e.g. such overt properties
    as script directionality -- related to what kind of information is encoded?

For those who are interested in giving a presentation, the deadline for submitting the abstract is August 31, 2007. For details, visit the official website shown above.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Role of Phonology in Reading Acquisition

A workshop entitled The Role of Phonology in Reading Acquisition
will be held at the 30th Annual Meeting of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft (DGfS).

Date: February 28-29, 2008
Place: Bamberg, Germany

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Journal of Research in Reading, 30(2)

Information on the latest issue of Journal of Research in Reading (Vol. 30, No. 2) is now available from the publisher's website.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Asahi Shimbun on Kokuji

漢字にも「方言」 早大教授が100以上の地域文字発見 (Google cache) - The Asahi Shimbun (April 16, 2007)

This article focuses on Japanese kokuji (国字), Siniform characters constituting a subclass of the kanji script. The kokuji characters were created in Japan using the organisational principles of the kanji characters, which had been originally developed in and adopted from China. While some of the kokuji characters encode such basic lexemes as 'farming field' and '(to) work', others represent more vernacular ones such as family names, place names and local commodities. The article introduces the reader to a survey conducted by Professor Hiroyuki Sasahara (笹原 宏之) of Waseda University, in which he has collected more than 100 vernacular characters from communities across Japan. Until now these characters were virtually unattested because they had been known only to particular members of the individual communities. According to Professor Sasahara, kokuji reflect the culture and history of the people's struggle to write their own words.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Written Language and Literacy, 9(2)

The latest issue of the journal Written Language and Literacy (Vol. 9, No. 2) has been published. See details.

Typology of Writing Systems

Typology of Writing Systems
Date: September, 2008 (date not yet announced)
Place: University of Braunschweig, Brunswick, Germany

Friday, April 13, 2007

A Chinese Signboard Written in the Jawi Script

I went on a short trip to Johor, Malaysia, in October 2006. It was quite fascinating to see lots of signs written in the Jawi script, an Arabic-derived script devised to represent the Malay language. One of the most exciting moments was when I saw this signboard at a Chinese-owned bank called Hong Leong Bank (豊隆銀行), which was written in Chinese, Latin and Jawi characters. The Jawi part would be transliterated as something like hong lyong bengk, with the notable ε-shaped velar nasal character - 'ayn with three dots on it - which is not found in the original Arabic script.
I found this particularly interesting because it was an actual example of the Jawi script used to write a Chinese name. While there are similar cases attested in historical texts, I am not certain if such usage is still wide-spread in Malaysia today. My impression is that the use of Jawi is on the rise among the Malays especially in the southern part of the country, where I met several people who would write their names in this script.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Origins of Early Writing System

Origins of Early Writing System
Date: October 5-7, 2007
Place: Institute of Ancient Near Easter Language and Civilizations, Peking University, Beijing, China

A Workshop On Scripts, Non-scripts and (Pseudo)decipherment

A Workshop On Scripts, Non-scripts and (Pseudo)decipherment
Date: July 11, 2007
Place: Department of Linguistics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA


The Second Workshop on Computational Approaches to Arabic Scipt-based Languages (CAASL-2)
Date: July 21-22, 2007
Place: Department of Linguistics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Welcome to K's Writing System Research Blog!

I am a postgraduate student doing research on the Japanese writing system from a linguistic perspective. I started this blog to collect (and, hopefully, provide) information about research on the world's writing systems.

In the past decades there has been an upsurge of academic interest in linguistic issues related to aspects of writing systems. These issues are being actively explored by specialists, discussed on various occasions and published as journal articles and books. We can access a wide range of information about these activities at ease through useful websites run by organisations and individuals. However, there are so many fragments of information dispersed over the Internet that it is quite difficult to go through everything and remain updated.

This blog is basically intended as a personal notebook which I will use for coping with the situation described above. Nevertheless, I will keep it open to anyone who finds the contents interesting, useful or both. Most posts will be brief notes on or reminders of events, publications and media reports related to writing system research. At times I will also post notes on other miscellaneous issues. The posts will be archived and sorted by topic for an easy access.

While I will try to be very careful about the fitness of each post, it will be greatly appreciated if you could kindly notice me of any flaw or inadequate content. In case you want to contact me, please leave comments on specific posts or give me a general feedback. Suggestions will be most welcome.

(Updated on January 28, 2008)