A lot of people usually question to know whether speech comes first in language or writing. Although this is not a question so arguable as other topics in Linguistics studies,but for the sake of beauty of the study,we are considering whether language is spoken first before it is written,or whether speech is before writing.
Before an utterance or one could produce sounds,would he not have had contents already? We learnt from all our Linguistics studies that speech is learnt and acquired,and we ask ‘how’? One of the answers is that it is through written words from books. Then can we rightly say here that writing comes first and not speech? Speech or writing,which comes first?
On the other hand,we also learnt from Linguistics studies before one begins to write,he must have expressed his thoughts anyhow,somehow. And so,what are we saying? Does it look like here that speech comes first before writing?
Come to look at this: Between speech and writing which did you pick up first? Did you first write ABCD before you start producing your first words: ma ma, pa pa, da da and all of that? Certainly not. As a child,the first skill you have acquired is speech sounds,by first recognizing and associating one sound with a symbol which it represents,and after that, one begins to produce sounds to words and few little sentences.
Speech is a secondary aspect of language acquisition. It is learnt or acquired in schools where children are thought letters,and how to combine them to form words and sentences. Is it possible to write characters or letters which sounds you do not know,or have? Certainly no!
Even as adults we are,before we could make any speech,we must have either written it down,and made the thoughts in our minds. Speech and writing,which comes first?
In conclusion, we have seen from many ways that speech comes before writing. There is no way writing would have come first before speech since children already makes their speeches before learning how to hold their pencils to write letters or characters.