Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 5-31-1998

Degree Name

Master of Science in Professional and Technical Communication - (M.S.)


Humanities and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Burt Kimmelman

Second Advisor

Norbert Elliot

Third Advisor

Christopher T. Funkhouser


This work examines the origins of our existing principles of communication to observe patterns of language and their causes. The study surveys twenty-five hundred-years of Western language and writing and its evolution through cultural interaction. The nature of this evolution is the topic of this thesis. There are four periods of time that are studied for their influence on language and writing: the Late Classical Period, the Early and Late Medieval Period, the Early Renaissance, and the Twentieth Century. The study revealed that language and writing have always had a significant metacognitive function within Western culture. Language and writing have been elemental in the progressive evolution of humankind because they are the most universal means of communication. There have been two great shifts in the use of language and writing and we are on the threshold of a third.