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Re: VMs: Stroke harmony. Was: Has anyone been down this route before?

On Sun, 5 Sep 2004, Dennis S. wrote:
> In other words, a glyph is a set of markings on a writing medium that
> constitutes a single, more or less irreducible unit of meaning.  A glyph
> may stand for a "word" or lexical entry (which may mean the same thing
> in different languages) , or a syllable, or a phoneme.

So, in short an emic unit, what some folks call a grapheme.

> Incidentally, I understand that the Semitic systems like Hebrew or
> Arabic which only write consonant phonemes (I forget John Koontz'
> excellent term) are considered syllabaries.  Is this correct?

Not my term, of course, but it was abjad.  Older terms are "consonantal
writing" and "defective script."  I think the notion is that such systems,
and abugidas, are more or less intermediate between a more traditional
syllabary and an alphabet.  For that matter, some syllabic systems are
more systematic than others, the Linear B system coming to mind as an
example of fairly extreme systematicity, as against, say, typical
cuneiform schemes. In short, progress from logographs to alphabets
may involve many more incremental steps than we usually consider.

>    In other words, groups of glyphs that denote a single phoneme.  Babs
> said that this is how epigraphers use the digraph.  Of course, a
> cryptologist means simply a sequence of two characters.

Linguists follow epigraphers.  Something for me to keep in mind with so
many crytologists around.
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