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[Gr. alpha-beta, like Eng. ABC], system of writing, theoretically having a one-for-one relation between character (or letter) and phoneme (see phonetics). Few alphabets have achieved the ideal exactness.
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(1) A graphic sign, or type.
(2) a grapheme, or unit of an alphabet. In an ordinary text a letter signifies not a sound but a phoneme. More precisely, a letter segment of a written word may, in an ideal situation, coincide with a phonemic segment of the corresponding word when sounded. In actuality, however, such a coincidence almost never occurs. A letter may also not have a sound equivalent if it is used only in a certain graphic combination or in a digraph (a graphic symbol consisting of two letters); thus, in the German othography the letter q can only occur in the combination qu.
REFERENCESBoduen-de-Kurtene, I. A. “Neskol’ko slov po povodu ’obshche-slavianskoi azbuki.’” Zhurnal Ministerstva narodnogo prosveshcheniia, 1871, no. 5, pp. 149-95.
Boduen-de-Kurtene, I. A. Ob otnoshenii russkogo pis’ma k russkomu iazyku. St. Petersburg, 1912.
Shcherba, L. V. “Teoriia russkogo pis’ma.” In his book Izbrannye raboty po russkomu iazyku. Moscow, 1957.
Gelb, I. J. Study of Writing. London, 1952.
What does it mean when you dream about a letter?
Dreaming about receiving and reading a letter can indicate either our intuitions or our fantasies about what the sender thinks about us. We send letters in a dream when we want to tell someone something. A dream letter can also be an allusion to certain idioms, from doing something “to the letter” to receiving a rejection “Dear John letter.”