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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


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.


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


(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 ?
Tables 1-4 present the graphemic realisations of the native suffixes {-NESS}, {-SHIP}, {-FUL} and {-LY}.
In the first edition, as many as eight graphemic variants of this suffix appear, yet the table comprises only those variants which occur in more than one edition of the KS.
Tables 5-8 present the graphemic realisations of the suffixes borrowed from Latin and French, including the nominal suffixes {-ANCE}, {-ITY}, {-TION} and the adjectival {-AL}.
Similarly to {-SHIP}, the graphemic representation of the suffix {-ANCE} undergoes a significant change in Wa2 where the variant -ance is nearly as popular as -aunce (see Table 5 and Figure 2).
It is the main graphemic representation of {-TION} already in Huloet (1552), although -cion also remains an important variant in this dictionary (accounting for approximately one third of the tokens).
By contrast, the suffixes {-ITY} and {-TION} had undergone important graphemic changes by 1556, and the suffix {-ANCE} by c.