You are here

ASIAN 404 A: Writing Systems

ancient text on old paper and round stone, picture of deer drawn on stone
Meeting Time: 
TTh 1:30pm - 3:20pm
LOW 105
Zev Handel

Syllabus Description:

Asian 404 surveys the origins, historical development, and typological analysis of the scripts of the world, with an emphasis on ancient writing systems. Topics covered include the relationships between languages and scripts; the patterns of invention, diffusion, and adaptation of writing systems; and the problems and methods of deciphering unknown scripts of the ancient world.

Among the languages/scripts discussed in this course are:

  • Egyptian
  • Chinese
  • Sumerian
  • Mayan
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Vietnamese
  • Sanskrit and various Indic languages
  • Latin, Greek, and various European languages


This page will be updated with additional information closer to the start of spring quarter.

Catalog Description: 
Comprehensive theoretical and historical overview of written language worldwide. Includes origins and early development of writing in the Near East, Asia, and the Americas; relationships between spoken and written languages; types and characteristic of writing systems (logographics, syllabic, and alphabetic); and methods used for decipherment of ancient languages. Offered: W.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Writing (W)
Last updated: 
February 4, 2020 - 1:27pm