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Distributed for Eburon Academic Publishers

Words Out of Wood

Proposals for the Decipherment of the Easter Island Script

Two dozen or so wooden tablets discovered on Easter Island late in the nineteenth century are all that remain of rongorongo—a series of glyphs thought to be the writing system of the island’s lost people. In Words Out of Wood, M. de Laat explores the construction and use of these enigmatic figures and makes a compelling case that rongorongo, despite its resistance to decipherment, constitutes nothing less than a fully developed script. Reproduced here in clear, full-page illustrations, the glyphs stand alongside the great moai statues as lasting monuments of the inventiveness and artistry of the remote Pacific island.

292 pages | 7 x 9 3/4 | © 2009

Language and Linguistics: Psycholinguistics and Language Acquisition

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Table of Contents


1        Script

1.1  Syllables

1.2  Signs

1.3  Words

1.4  Frames

1.4.1        Nominal frame

1.4.2        Verbal frame

2        Texts

2.1  The murder investigation

2.1.1        Introduction

2.1.2        Transcription and analysis

2.2  The unwanted resurrection

2.2.1        Introduction

2.2.2        Transcription and analysis

2.3  The magic eyes

2.3.1        Introduction

2.3.2        Transcription and analysis

3        Conclusions


A: Vocabulary

B: Index on tablet transliterations

C: Sources of illustrations


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