Hiroshima Peace Science Volume 22
2000 発行

表記体系をめぐる紛争 : 文字紛争論序説

Conflicts over the Writing System : Toward a Theory of Script Conflict
Matsuo, Masatsugu
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abstract
The present paper is an attempt to explore the causes and circumstances of conflicts over the writing system, or script conflicts, on the basis of the examination of a variety of cases. First of all, the creation or change of the writing system is often closely linked with the interests and identity of a group. The writing system, whether it is newly created or changed or maintained, can influence the life chances of a group. Or it may satisfy or disappoint the identity need of the group. Secondly, the modern industrial society requires universal or semi-universal literacy. The writing system is a prerequisite for this. Thirdly, the relationship between a language and its writing system is not a necessary one, but a conventional or arbitrary one. This means that there is always room for the choice of a writing system among possible candidates. This nature of the writing system also provides a possibility of conflict over the choice.
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