chapter  1
4 Pages

1A philological approach

Philology studies language as part of cultural history. Its viewpoint is diachronic, looking at language evolution, showing how the present-day state of the language has developed over the centuries. A study of English spelling that is primarily philological, such as Cummings (1988), will consequently focus on the writing system as a transmission of culture. This will include material which, though interesting in itself, need have no relevance at all to the purely synchronic problems of achieving literacy in the language as it is today.