This article presents a cross-cultural, diachronic, and comparative analysis of the representational aspects of picture-writing through the use of hieroglyphs in ancient Egypt and their revival in early Renaissance Europe. The two phenomena will be discussed with a focus on the functionality of the sign within the non-textual sphere, highlighting such similarities as the glottographic nature of the word-signs and the subsequent unified visuality of text and image. It is suggested that the similarities are the by-product of picture-writing: when words are expressed with pictograms rather than with letters, the following step is to benefit from their dual function, as both text and image. The current use of pictograms in digital media—namely the emoji—is a process that already exhibits similar traits.
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© 2021 Taylor & Francis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Language and Linguistics
- Visual Arts and Performing Arts
- Linguistics and Language
- Literature and Literary Theory