Stages of Communication Development

Topics: Centuries, 2nd millennium, 16th century Pages: 6 (1440 words) Published: June 25, 2013
Stages in Communication Development

The ability to communicate can be deemed the most powerful attribute a human being possesses. It may also be regarded as a strict disciple, serving to educate, and inform society. Today, a higher level of learning and knowledge are maintained due to the volume of communication we are exposed to. Thus, communication may be regarded as a specialized function, as it encompasses our everyday lives, and helps us function more efficiently and productively.

For centuries verbal mediation served the function of informing and expressing information. Cultures depended on spoken words, opposed to written, ensuring a direct understanding between source and receivers were maintained. Oral communication left little room for ambiguity, and discrimination of the illiterate.

other forms of long-distance communication not based on words used were ‘smoke signals’ used by American Indians and whistled language of Gomera, of the Canary islands. But they were only capable of conveying very limited pre-arranged signals and would be incapable of sending a detailed message.

The imperfection of speech, which nonetheless allowed easier dissemination of ideas and stimulated inventions, eventually resulted in the creation of new forms of communication, hence improving both the range at which people could communicate and the longevity of the information.


The first writing system is generally believed to have been invented in pre-historic Sumer and developed by the late 3rd millennium BC into cuneiform. . By the end of the 4th millennium BC, this had evolved into a method of keeping accounts, using a round-shaped stylus impressed into soft clay at different angles for recording numbers The Chinese script may have originated independently of the Middle Eastern scripts, around the 16th century BC (early Shang Dynasty), out of a late neolithic Chinese system of proto-writing dating back to c. 6000 BC.

The first pure alphabets emerged around 2000 BC in Ancient Egypt, but by then alphabetic principles had already been incorporated into Egyptian hieroglyphs for a millennium

By 2700 BC Egyptian writing had a set of some 22 hieroglyphs to represent syllables that begin with a single consonant of their language, plus a vowel (or no vowel) to be supplied by the native speaker.

6th century BC

The sending of written messages is a standard feature of government in early civilizations. Much of our knowledge of those times derives from archives of such messages, discovered by archaeologists. Letters can be written onpapyrus (easily portable) instead of needing to be pressed with acuneiformstylus into wet clay. 

Pigeon post: from the 11th century

Domesticated pigeons are first developed in ancient Egypt. By selective breeding of suitable birds, the homing pigeon is developed. Pigeons carry swift news of each new conquest to his homeland in Mongolia.   

Gutenberg and western printing: AD 1439 – 1457

Scholars in the east have had the benefit of printing for many centuries, enabling holy and learned texts to be more widely possessed. But the very late arrival of printing in the west proves to be of much greater significance. The development by Gutenberg in in Strasbourg, Germany, in 1439, of movable type happens to coincide with the Renaissance, a time of great vigour in European culture.

The first two publications from Germany's presses are of an extraordinary standard, caused no doubt by the commercial need to compete with manuscripts.

The spread of printing: AD 1457-1500

An invention as useful as printing, in a Europe of increasing prosperity, readily finds new customers. 

The first Italian press is founded in 1464, at the Benedictine town of Subiaco in the papal states. Switzerland has a press in the following year. Printing begins in Venice, Paris and Utrecht in 1470, in Spain and Hungary in 1473, in Bruges in 1474 (on a press owned by Caxton,...
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