Different Writing Systems

This week’s assignment is asking you to spend some time exploring Unicode, the technology standard that allows different writing systems to be used—and to appear more or less correctly—with digital devices like your computer, your phone, your printer, and in all sorts of other contexts.In order for people to be able to ready and write, they need a writing system, or script, to be able to give language a physical form. There are lots of ways of doing this, but once the era of personal computers arrived (roughly in the 1980s and 1990s), it became especially important for digital versions of scripts to be available to speakers — and this need has only increased over time, as more and more people conduct more and more interaction through digital platforms.The Unicode Consortium (Links to an external site.) https://home.unicode.org/ is the group that’s responsible for managing the digital versions of the world’s writing systems so they work on everyone’s devices. They’re also the ones who encode emoji, so you might have heard of them because of that, but for this assignment we’re focusing on traditional writing systems. As of right now, the Unicode Standard includes over 150 different scripts. Some of them are still in use, while others are no longer used (though they’re still useful for scholars); some of them have millions of users, others have only a few hundred users; some of them are thousands of years old, some of them were invented very recently. There’s a whole bunch of variation in the Unicode Standard.YOUR TASKStep 1. Choose a writing system that you are unfamiliar with, from the ones listed in the Unicode Standard. You can find the scripts here (Links to an external site.)http://www.unicode.org/charts/ . When you click a link it will download a PDF file with all of the characters encoded for that script (this will make more sense once you look at it). You can use whatever criteria you want to choose your script, up to and including randomly selecting one. NOTE: you can’t choose emoji for this assignment, unfortunately, though if you’d like to talk about emoji, I’m always more than happy to, so stop by office hours and we’ll chat.Step 2. Do a little bit of research on this script. The code chart you download (the PDF) won’t have much information on it, so you’ll need to do some web searching. Two very valuable resources are Wikipedia, which usually has a lot of great information for most writing systems, and the Unicode Standard itself, which is actually a published document. The latest version of the Unicode Standard can be found here (Links to an external site.). http://www.unicode.org/versions/Unicode13.0.0/ Everything you need to navigate the Standard is on the left-hand sidebar at that link. You can either download the whole thing as a PDF (the link is up toward the top), or find your writing system inside the categories listed in the sidebar. You can also use other resources, like Google ScholarStep 3. Provide and explain three (3) interesting facts or features that you’ve learned about this writing system from your research. We’re not so concerned about which facts you provide, but the more detailed and robust they are, the better your answer will be. So, like, if you say “The X script has Y users,” you’ll get some credit, but not full credit. But if you said “The X script, which is used with language P, language Q, and (with some variations) language R, is used by Y speakers, primarily in Asia, Europe, and Antarctic”, that’s a much better answer. It may seem like multiple facts, but form our perspective, it’s “the demographics” of the language, and so only really counts as one. The point is that we want you to dive into the script, even just a little, to find out more about it’s forms, history, and social status. The more you demonstrate you’ve done that, the higher your score will be.GuidelinesYou must cite each of the facts you provide. If there’s no citation, you won’t get credit.Each citation must come from a different source. I’ve given you two already (Wikipedia and the Unicode Standard), though you are free to use others. If you do use those two, you’ll have to find the third one on your own. Provide links for each one.Don’t just copy and paste this stuff. If you do, you won’t get credit. Summarize each fact you’re giving us, or rewrite it in your own words.Write out each entry in a full sentence or sentences.Part of your score is determined by how well you follow the guidelines and directions, so take your time with all of this.Have fun with it! Writing systems are super cool, really!

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