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The traditions of indigenous Mesoamerican literature extend back to the oldest-attested forms of early writing in the Mesoamerican region, which date from around the mid- 1st millennium BCE. Many of the pre-Columbian cultures of Mesoamerica are known to have been literate societies, who produced a number of Mesoamerican writing systems of varying degrees of complexity and completeness. Mesoamerican writing systems arose independently from other writing systems in the world, and their development represents one of the very few such origins in the history of writing.

The conquistadors brought their distinctive cultural baggage, in the form of books, from Spain to the New World. The literature and texts created by indigenous Mesoamericans are the earliest-known from the Americas for primarily two reasons: Firstly the fact that the native populations of Mesoamerica were the first to enter into intensive contact with Europeans, assuring that many samples of Mesoamerican literature have been documented in surviving and intelligible forms.

Secondly, the long tradition of Mesoamerican writing which undoubtedly contributed to the native Mesoamericans readily embracing the Latin alphabet of the Spaniards and creating many literary works written in it during the first centuries after the Spanish conquest of Mexico.

This article summarizes current knowledge about indigenous Mesoamerican literatures in its broadest sense and describe it categorized by Que es novohispano yahoo dating literary contents and social functions.

When defining literature in its broadest possible sense including all products of "literacy", what becomes primarily interesting about a literate community is the manner in which literacy and literature is used. Which topics are chosen to be written and spoken about? And why did they do it? Which genres of literature are found in Mesoamerica?

The answer to this question is complex and is the topic of the rest of this article that will try to describe and resume what is known about the genres and functions of indigenous Mesoamerican literatures. Geoffrey Sampson distinguishes between two kinds of writing. One kind of writing he calls 'semasiographical', this covers kinds of pictorial or ideographic writing that is not necessarily connected to phonetic "Que es novohispano yahoo dating" but can be read in different languages, this kind of writing is for example used in roadsigns which can be read in any language.

The other kind of writing is phonetic writing Que es novohispano yahoo dating by Sampson 'glottographic' writing and which represents the sounds and words of languages and allows accurate linguistic readings of a text that is the same at every reading. This makes it difficult for modern day scholars to distinguish between whether an inscription in a Mesoamerican script represents spoken language or is to be interpreted as a descriptive drawing.

The only Mesoamerican people known without doubt to have developed a completely glottographic or phonetic script is the Maya, and even the Mayan script is largely pictorial and often shows fuzzy boundaries between images and text.

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