Yet, even in those days, the Babylonian syllabary continued to be a mixture of ideographic and phonetic writing.
Potent, however, as such a vehicle is for expressing thought, its ideographic script constitutes a great obstacle to general acquisition, and the Japanese soon applied themselves to minimizing the difficulty by substituting a phonetic system.
Incidentally they are hastening the assimilation of the written and the spoken languages (genbun itchi) which may possibly prelude a still greater reform, abolition of the ideographic script.
Some few signs ideographic of a group of ideas are made to express particular words belonging to that group by the aid of phonograms which point out the special meaning.
Thence the difficulty of substituting our phonetic alphabet for the ideographic characters of the Chinese, as well as for the ideophonetic writing partly borrowed by the Annamese from the letters of the celestial empire.
NINIB, the ideographic designation of a solar deity of Babylonia.
At times too a doubt may exist in regard to a name whose bearer was a Semite, whether the signs composing his name represent a phonetic reading or an ideographic compound.
Iwleanwhile an inquirer is confronted by the strange fact that of three neighboring countries between which frequent communication existed, one (China) never deviated from an ideographic script; another (Korea) invented an alphabet, and the third (Japan) devised a syllabary.
In the opinion of the Japanese expert, these styles Methods of hold the same respective rank as that occupied by the Chiseilin three kinds of ideographic script in caligraphy.
Previous to Professor Friedrich Delitzsch's masterly work on the origin of the most ancient Babylonian system of writing,' no one had correctly understood the facts regarding the beginnings of the cuneiform system, which is now generally recognized as having been originally a pure picture writing which later developed into a conventionalized ideographic and syllabic sign-list.