grapheme

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grapheme

[′gra‚fēm]
(communications)
A pictorial representation of a semanteme, such as X-reference for cross-reference.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Grapheme

 

the smallest distinctive unit of written speech, corresponding to the phoneme in oral speech—a, b, and so on. The system of graphemes of a particular writing system makes up the system’s alphabet.

The grapheme must be distinguished from the letter, which corresponds to a sound of speech (A, a, a, and so on), and from a graphic combination (that is, a collection of letters), which is regularly used in the particular writing system to designate a certain phoneme (for example, ch represents the phonemes [#x222B;], [x], and [t∫] in the French, German, and English writing systems, respectively). The term “grapheme” was introduced in 1912 by I. A. Baudouin de Courtenay.

REFERENCES

Baudouin de Courtenay, I. A. Ob otnoshenii russkogo pis’ma krusskomu iazyku. St. Petersburg, 1912.
Volotskaia, Z. M., T. N. Moloshnaia, and T. M. Nikolaeva. Opyt opisaniia russkogo iazyka v ego pis’mennoi forme. Moscow, 1964.

A. G. SHITSGAL

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

grapheme

(1) See also graphene.

(2) A displayed or printed letter of the alphabet with all of its accent marks in place. See glyph.
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References in periodicals archive ?
While acknowledging that many Eastern Han (25-220 C.E.) scholars consider guwen to be a spurious writing system created by ambitious scholars outside the mainstream seeking favor and jobs at court and by the followers of Wang Mang, by historicizing the writing systems Xu Shen explains that the jinwen scholars who make these claims have themselves actually been using Qin lishu (a calligraphic style based on the zhuanwen writing system) to graphemically analyze and interpret the words of the classics and even to adjudicate legal cases.
Because they began with the inherently flawed assumption that writing has never changed, Xu argues that jinwen scholars were therefore blindly working with what they wrongly perceived to be the genuine intentions of the sages as encoded graphemically in the writing system--that is, interpretations of words based on the structure of the characters that write them.
It is true that only consonants were graphemically represented.