At 02:58 PM 12/13/2003, Peter Daniels wrote:

>Morphogram would be better, but then you have to explain what morphemes

Either that or call it a syllabo-graph... there're far too many
bound-morph/cran-morph graphemes to really justify "morphogram," I think.

>Yet somehow speakers of the language can usually figure out unfamiliar
>characters from the components and the context. Remember, they _already
>know_ the language perfectly.

hrm.. actually when reading and coming across unfamiliar
characters, *IF* it has a phonetic component, one can usually try to make a
guess from context. However, since phonetic components are usually not
directly phonetic, it's not that straightforward. Usually people
ask someone else or they look it up in the dictionary.

"Already know the language perfectly" is actually a spoken
language context. There is still a large gap between spoken and written
language.. if you've never run across a character (especially a base
character, or one where none of the compositional graphemes contributes
phonetically), you've no idea how to pronounce it....