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Pict-ionary

March 31, 2010

The written form of an ancient Scottish language from a group called the Picts may have been uncovered. The written language of the Picts was discovered on “highly stylized rock engravings” known as Pictish Stones.

The resulting data was compared with that for numerous written languages, such as Egyptian hieroglyphs, Chinese texts and written Latin, Anglo-Saxon, Old Norse, Ancient Irish, Old Irish and Old Welsh. While the Pictish Stone engravings did not match any of these, they displayed characteristics of writing based on a spoken language.

Spoken languages have been known to become extinct, but this exciting discovery will give a second life to the written form of Pict at the very least.

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