ERIC Number: ED157053
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1976
Reference Count: N/A
Origins of Western Literacy. Four Lectures delivered at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Toronto, March 25-28, 1974. Monograph Series No. 14.
Havelock, Eric A.
The four essays in this book are concerned with the cultural consequences of literacy in that they demonstrate that some forms of competence, highly valued in society, developed in large part as an unintended consequence of the Greek alphabetic writing system. The first essay, entitled "Spoken Sound and Inscribed Sign," discusses the preliteracy of the Greeks, symbols of numbers versus symbols of language, speaking versus reading, diverse meanings of the word "write," and the priority of reading over writing. "The Pre-Greek Syllabaries" defines the act of recognition and discusses the alphabet versus syllabary, literacy and literature, and the control of technology over content. The third essay is concerned with "The Greek Alphabet" and the results of its invention. The final essay, "Aftermath of the Alphabet," discusses the law of residual ambiguity, the Roman version, literate culture in the classical age, readership before the printing press, politics and the alphabet, arithmetical "literacy" and musical "literacy," and the alphabetic cultures of the modern world. (MAI)
Descriptors: Alphabets, Classical Languages, Cultural Influences, Cultural Interrelationships, Greek Civilization, Literacy, Symbolic Language, Western Civilization, Written Language
The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, 252 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 1V6 ($3.95 paper)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Ontario Inst. for Studies in Education, Toronto.