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On Sat, 25 Sep 2004 07:17:43 +0000, Rodlox R <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> *curious*
>
> if you had five or fewer tablet (each the size of your palm), which had
> symbols etched in them...how would you know that it was a written
> language?...as opposed to random slashes in the rock...or something else?

You probably wouldn't know... (unless, of course, the symbols were the same
as or similar to symbols you already know).

Without context, you have the same issue as you have with the Phaistos Disc:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phaistos_Disc

...you may be able to assume it's meaningful, but that's not the same as its
being language.  Common examples of "tablets with symbols" that don't
necessarily include language are, for example, maps, some board games, art,
or even simple accounting with pictographs and tally marks:

     [sheep.gif] ||||

...doesn't represent "four sheep" any more or less than it does "quattuor
oves" or "hetz ewir".

	*Muke!
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