Lambert M. SurhoneISBN: 978-3-6399-9475-9;
The Yi script, also historically known as Cuan Wen or Wei Shu, is used to write the Yi languages. Classical Yi is a syllabic logographic system that was reputedly devised during the Tang dynasty (618-907) by someone called Aki. However, the earliest surviving examples of the Yi script only date back to the late 15th century and early 16th century, the earliest dated example being an inscription on a bronze bell dated to 1485. There are tens of thousands of manuscripts in the Yi script, dating back several centuries, although most are undated. In recent years a number of Yi manuscript texts written in traditional Yi script have been published. The original script is said to have comprised 1,840 characters, but over the centuries widely divergent glyph forms have developed in different Yi-speaking areas, an extreme example being the character for "stomach" which exists in some forty glyph variants. Due to this regional variation as many as...
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