The Meroitic Language and Writing System
This book provides an introduction to the Meroitic language and writing system, which was used between circa 300 BC and AD 400 in the Kingdom of Meroe, located in what is now Sudan and Egyptian Nubia. This book details advances in the understanding of Meroitic, a language that until recently was considered untranslatable. In addition to providing a full history of the script and an analysis of the phonology, grammar, and linguistic affiliation of the language, it features linguistic analyses for those working on Nilo-Saharan comparative linguistics, paleographic tables useful to archaeologists for dating purposes, and an overview of texts that can be translated or understood by way of analogy for those working on Nubian religion, history, and archaeology.
Current research on the Meroitic script as it was used in Sudan between 300 BCE and 400 CE but also on the modern use of script in Sudan and elsewhere continue to address the question on how writing systems developed by speakers of a language that was not written before.
Other relevant publications on this theme
2010 The Meroitic script and the understanding of alpha-syllabic writing. Bulletin of SOAS 73(1):101-105.
2008 Book review: La langue du Royaume Meroe. Journal of the American Oriental Society, 128(4):762-763.