Egypt would still like the return of the Rosetta Stone, a granodiorite stone inscribed with three versions of a decree issued at Memphis, Egypt, in 196BC -- one in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, one in Demotic script and one in ancient Greek.
In case studies, contributors offer interdisciplinary insights on the alphabet, abugida (alpha-syllabary), and logographic scripts including the evolution of the national scripts of various Semitic and Asian Indian languages; transnational or time-shift borrowing of a script, e.g., Chinese in Japan, writing classical Egyptian rituals in demotic script; and reforms in modern Korean writing.
Quack's analysis is preceded by a very useful general introduction to principles of the Egyptian writing system and a detailed explanation of the cursive development of the demotic script. As he points out, the cursivization of the graphic forms and the development of the "group sign" category led to a high degree of potential confusion and ambiguity in the demotic writing system, but contextual use of the writing is generally sufficient to surmount any problems: "As long as one looks at the complete word, most ambiguities are solved and there is only one possible interpretation" (p.
Dror analyzes previously undiscovered or insufficiently studied texts originally composed in Chinese or Vietnamese demotic script, beginning with the foundational work by Doan Thi Diem, an eighteenth-century figure considered one of Vietnam's most famous female writers.