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Rongorongo: The Easter Island Script: History, Traditions, Texts (review)

Rongorongo: The Easter Island Script: History, Traditions, Texts (review) Book Reviews Steven Roger Fischer. 1997. Rongorongo: The Easter Island Script; History, Traditions, Texts. Oxford Studies in Anthropo- logical Linguistics. Oxford: Clarendon Press, xix, 714 pp., ²gures, notes, glossary, references, index. $175, cloth. The book under review is in three parts: History, Traditions, and Texts. The author, Steven Roger Fischer (F), has compiled a comprehensive and de²nitive magnum opus for those researching the 25 surviving rongorongo inscriptions of Rapanui, the earliest and only known pre-twentieth-century writing system in Oceania. It took the author more than six years of full-time research spanning the globe to complete this immense work. The saga of F’s epic (and expensive) journey to study the ron- gorongo, as well as his equally important decipherment of the Phaistos Disk, can be read about in his book Glyphbreaker (Fischer 1997). To fully appreciate the scope of this monograph, one must understand that a work like this has never been attemped before, perhaps because the linguistic skills needed are beyond most peo- ple, requiring besides Rapanui, English, German, Russian, Spanish, and French, pro²ciency in several other Polynesian and European languages. This, not to men- tion the fact that most of the necessary artifacts are scattered all over the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oceanic Linguistics University of Hawai'I Press

Rongorongo: The Easter Island Script: History, Traditions, Texts (review)

Oceanic Linguistics , Volume 39 (1) – Jan 6, 2000

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 University of Hawai'i Press
ISSN
1527-9421

Abstract

Book Reviews Steven Roger Fischer. 1997. Rongorongo: The Easter Island Script; History, Traditions, Texts. Oxford Studies in Anthropo- logical Linguistics. Oxford: Clarendon Press, xix, 714 pp., ²gures, notes, glossary, references, index. $175, cloth. The book under review is in three parts: History, Traditions, and Texts. The author, Steven Roger Fischer (F), has compiled a comprehensive and de²nitive magnum opus for those researching the 25 surviving rongorongo inscriptions of Rapanui, the earliest and only known pre-twentieth-century writing system in Oceania. It took the author more than six years of full-time research spanning the globe to complete this immense work. The saga of F’s epic (and expensive) journey to study the ron- gorongo, as well as his equally important decipherment of the Phaistos Disk, can be read about in his book Glyphbreaker (Fischer 1997). To fully appreciate the scope of this monograph, one must understand that a work like this has never been attemped before, perhaps because the linguistic skills needed are beyond most peo- ple, requiring besides Rapanui, English, German, Russian, Spanish, and French, pro²ciency in several other Polynesian and European languages. This, not to men- tion the fact that most of the necessary artifacts are scattered all over the

Journal

Oceanic LinguisticsUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jan 6, 2000

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