The characters used to write the Vai script, which was invented in Liberia in 1833, have become visually simpler over time, reflecting the evolutionary pressures acting on writing
11 January 2022
The symbols we use to write words evolve to become visually simpler over time, and an analysis of a writing system from West Africa shows they can do so over just a few generations.
The script used to write the Vai language was invented in Liberia in 1833 and is still in use today. The eight men who devised the script may have had some awareness of the Latin and Arabic alphabets, but the Vai script is not modelled on either. Its …