History of Phonetic Picture-Writing

History   (antique)

During the antiquity, phonetic picture-writing was kept secret in mystical circles (as described in the main article).   Today, three facts prove that then it was known:



           - Notes  of  antique  authors  about it
           - Pictures  encoded  in  antique  texts
           - Words  of  antique  languages


             Writing a text,  or only its initials, by the
             letters  of  the  phonetic picture-writing,
             creates   pictures  illustrating  the  text.
             Example:

             This is a caricature of a warrior,                         
             encoded  in  a  text  of  Pliny

Encoded pictures are found in the texts of the Greek writer Homer, in his books Ilias and Odyssey (about 800 B.C.)

Also the antique Greek writer Plato knew the phonetic picture-writing, which can be proven by encoded pictures in his texts and by notes in his book "KRATYLOS or about the correctness of words".

Later Roman writers, for example the elder Pliny (Plinius secundus maior, 23 - 79 A.D.), used the phonetic picture-writing to encode pictures into their texts, and gave verbal hints about it.

In whatever antique texts encoded pictures occur: they are always numerous, often well designed and composed of many signs, and they fit to the text. So there is no doubt that they were encoded deliberately and not created by accident.
Somebody who refuses to take note of these pictures, and denies them, proves the some mentality like the judges of Galileo, who denied the existence of the moons of Jupiter, but at the same time refuses to look through the telescope.

For encoding pictures writers mostly used the antique standard phonetic picture-writing, parallel to it also the version shown in the main article and other versions.

Another prove, that phonetic picture-writing was known already in the antiquity, is the fact that some words of antique languages are formed by the principle of phonetic picture-writing, that means the give good ideograms when written by the letters of the antique standard phonetic picture-writing



In the moment, the history of the phonetic picture-writing is not known completely. Pliny mentioned in his book about painting [book 35, 9] a "new invention" in the libraries, that portraits were exposed there, and supposely he also means the portraits encoded in books. Maybe it was rather new for the Romans. Homer used it centuries before them. And it's improbable that Homer is the inventor of it. In my opinion, the origins of phonetic picture-writing are in ancient Egypt and Sumer or even in earlier cultures. To prove this, that is to check texts for encoded pictures, is in the moment out of my range. You have to deal carefully with texts of these cultures.

A survey on the history of phonetic picture writing in newer times is given (hedged by clauses) by Hermann Hesse in his book "Das Glasperlenspiel".




History of Development   (modern)

Very short the history of development: In 1985, I discovered the principle of phonetic picture-writing, when - during my free time - I was looking for a method to form the words of an artificial language.

In June 1988, I published the first book "Teci - die Lautbildschrift" by my own, in a very small number. In it, I described a rather primitive version of the phonetic picture-writing, a syllable writing. I developed this picture-writing and published, at the end of 1992, the book "Die Bildersprache", also in a very small number. Therein I described a phonetic picture-writing, designed as letter writing, with 18 letters, about 1500 words and detailed grammar, also a simplified version with only 12 letters. Also in this book I discussed many possibilities to improve this writing, and it's suitability (when fully developed) as an international auxiliary language. Also in this book I argued that phonetic picture-writing was known already in the antiquity.


After this, I returned to the development of syllable writings. Their advantage is: Syllable writings, even for a very simple phonetic system, have more signs than other kinds of phonetic writing. That's why they allow, on principle, ideograms to be more expressive, more elegant, more compact, quicker writable. But an ideogram must not become acoustically too long, and thus it must contain less (say about the half) syllable signs, than it could contain letter signs.

There are numerous ways to form a syllable writing. But always the signs should be constructed systematically to be easy to learn (e.g.: left half of a sign = consonant, right half = vowel). See the articles about different version of phonetic picture-writing at the end of the main article


Since 1998 I also publish articles about phonetic picture-writing in the internet, also in German (some in Spanish too). These articles can be reached directly from my homepage, also indirectly by search machines (e.g. google) using the keyword "phonetic picture-writing" or simply "picture-writing". In net directories (google, yahoo, dmoz.org, web.de) you find it in the corresponding path, mostly science / language / artificial languages.


More articles about the history and the design of phonetic picture-writing you find in the link list at the end of the main article


 update   2013-8-9