The 127th NINJAL Colloquium
"The Best Writing System of the World"

December 20, 2022 (15:30-17:30)
Florian Coulmas (University of Duisburg-Essen)
A list of main publications
  • Florian Coulmas (2022) Language, Writing, and Mobility: A Sociological Perspective. Oxford University Press.
  • Florian Coulmas (2022) Dutch and German: Mediator languages of science, politics, and law. In: John C. Maher (Ed.) Language Communities in Japan, 191-198. Oxford University Press.
  • Florian Coulmas (2019) Identity: A very short introduction. Oxford University Press.
Are some writing systems better than others? Are there any reasonable and reliable criteria for evaluating writing systems? Against the background of these questions, this lecture compares writing systems with a special focus on the Chinese writing system. The starting point is a remark by the German philosopher Georg Friedrich Hegel, who describes the alphabet as “in and of itself more intelligent”, which suggests a positive answer to the question of a possible qualitative assessment of writing systems. However, the standards that are applied in order to come to judgements of this sort must be examined critically. I will discuss several criteria, and compare the evaluation of writing systems with that of other notation systems.
For more information, see our Japanese website.
NINJAL Colloquia

NINJAL Colloquium series invites distinguished domestic and foreign researchers to talk about cutting-edge research findings in various fields of Japanese language, linguistics, and Japanese language education. The colloquia are open to the public, so please feel free to join us whether you are a teacher or a graduate student. (Free of charge)

Schedule: Irregular, Once a month in principle

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