Script Family (Writing) a collection of scripts grouped according to one or more factors

Script Family is a term in Grammatology that commonly means "a collection of scripts grouped according to one or more factors." This term belongs mainly to the broader category called Writing.

Website definitions of Script Family

Source: ScriptSource (

"Script families"

The classification of scripts and writing systems can be difficult. Some relationships and derivations are well-documented and accepted, but others are less clear. Many scripts also seem to have no particular relationship to any other script, other than hints of influence. At the risk of over-simplification, ScriptSource uses a region-oriented family structure, where scripts are grouped mainly by where they were developed. Some consideration is also given to obvious similarities - Brahmic origin, writing direction, and others. We would like to use a more robust and valid classification system in the future, and are very open to your suggestions.

  • Family: Description
  • African: Scripts of indigenous African origin and heritage. Some have been influenced by Arabic writing, but most are unique inventions with interesting histories.
  • American: Scripts invented in the Americas and Caribbean, mostly for Native American languages.
  • Artificial: Scripts created for scientific, technical or fictional use. Except in the case of Braille, there are no groups that use them as a sole or primary writing system.
  • Central Asian: Scripts from the heart of Asia, separate from, but influenced by semitic scripts to the west, Indic to the south and Chinese to the east.
  • East Asian: Scripts that share a heritage in ancient Chinese writing, or are unique to East Asia.
  • European: Scripts of Europe, particularly those related to ancient Greek and non-semitic Mediterranean writing systems, but also including unique systems. These typically share a left-to-right writing direction.
  • Indic: Scripts of the Indic subcontinent that are mostly descended from, or influenced by, the ancient Brahmi script.
  • Insular Southeast Asian: Scripts of Indonesia and the Philippines. Some of these have a distant Brahmic history or influence.
  • Mainland Southeast Asian: Scripts developed in Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Viet Nam. Almost all have Brahmic origins.
  • Middle Eastern: Scripts originating in the region between the Eastern Mediterranean and India, many of which share a semitic heritage and are abjads written from right-to-left.
  • Pacific: Scripts originating on one of the approximately 25,000 islands lying south of the Tropic of Cancer in the Pacific Ocean, including Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.
  • Signed Language: Scripts used to encode the positions and movements of signed languages.
  • [unspecified]: Other classifications of symbols, which do not form 'scripts' in the conventional sense.

SIL International Contributors, "ScriptSource: Script families," accessed September 11, 2023, [Visit]

PDF of Website Page



PsychLing Contributors. "Script Family." PsychLing, OMNIKA Foundation, 6 Sep. 2023, Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.


PsychLing (2023, September 6). Script Family. Retrieved from

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PsychLing Contributors. "Script Family." Las Vegas, NV: OMNIKA Foundation. Created September 6, 2023. Modified September 16, 2023. Accessed July 21, 2024.


APA Dictionary

APA Contributors. "APA Dictionary of Psychology." Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Accessed September 14, 2023. [Visit]


Crystal, David, ed. A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. 6ed. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2011.


Internet Archive Contributors. "Wayback Machine." San Francisco, CA: Internet Archive. Created October 24, 2001. Accessed July 21, 2023. [Visit]


SIL International Contributors. "ScriptSource: Index of Languages and Writing Systems." Dallas, TX: SIL International. Created June 11, 2011. Accessed July 28, 2023. [Visit]

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