Grapholinguistics, the multifaceted study of writing systems, is growing increasingly popular, yet to date no coherent account covering and connecting its major branches exists. This book now gives an overview of the core theoretical and empirical questions of this field. A treatment of the structure of writing systems—their relation to speech and language, their material features, linguistic functions, and norms, as well as the different types in which they come—is complemented by perspectives centring on the use of writing, incorporating psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic issues such as reading processes or orthographic variation as social action. Examples stem from a variety of diverse systems such as Chinese, English, Japanese, Arabic, Thai, German, and Korean, which allows defining concepts in a broadly applicable way and thereby constructing a comparative grapholinguistic framework that provides readers with important tools for studying any writing system. The book emphasizes that grapholinguistics is a discipline in its own right, inviting discussion and further research in this up-and-coming field as well as an overdue integration of writing into general linguistic discussion.