A Novel Computerized Paleographical Method for Determining the Evolution of Graphemes

A Novel Computerized Paleographical Method for Determining the Evolution of Graphemes

Gábor Hosszú (Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch194
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Background

The writing system is a symbolic representation of a language described in terms of linguistic units (Malatesha Joshi & Aaron, 2006), where the grapheme (e.g. a letter) is the smallest semantically distinguishing fundamental unit in a particular writing system. Likewise, glyph refers to a specific shape, a representation of a grapheme. Different glyphs can be certain representations of the same, abstract grapheme.

In the article, the grapheme is a key term, its definition and further descriptions are listed in Table 1 (Hosszú, 2011). International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) symbols were applied for representing phonemes and occasionally actual sounds (allophones). In Table 1, each cited grapheme is presented by its glyph then it is usually followed by its grapheme-name and its phonetic representation for increasing the accuracy of the discussion.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Glyph Complexity Parameter (GCP): It measures the characteristicness of a glyph.

Computational Paleography: Applying computational algorithms in the study of ancient writings and inscriptions such as optimization or mathematical statistical methods.

Rovash Script Family: Closely related of writing systems, which were used in the Eurasian Steppe by different nations and tribes up to the 10th/13th century, and in the Carpathian Basin mainly by Hungarians up to present time.

Rovash Paleography: The study of ancient rovash (pronounced “rove-ash”) writings and inscriptions.

Similarity Matrix: Its elements measure pairwise similarity between objects.

Glyph Forming Method: Geometrical transformation applied on glyphs in the writing history.

Computer-Aided Paleography: Modeling and analyzing methods to explore links among graphemes, deciphering ancient inscriptions, representing various glyphs in digital form by using mathematical algorithms and software tools.

Script Evolution Principles: Concepts, which were – intentionally or accidentally – applied in the development of the scripts.

Mathematical Optimization: Minimization of maximization of some objective function in order to select a best element with regard to some criteria from some set of available alternatives.

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