John Hudson wrote:
> At 05:37 AM 8/12/2003, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> >Neither Chinese nor Zhuang is or was written with "ideographs." As you
> >say, they denote pronunciation and/or meaning, not "ideas." The
> >appropriate term is "logograph," or if you want to be picky
> >"morphograph."
> Can you explain what morphograph means in this context, please? A couple of
> years ago, I took to using the term to refer to things like Arabic letters
> that changes its shape depending on word-position, neighbouring shapes,
> etc. The changeability of the shapes suggested to me the term morphograph,
> and I was unaware that this term was used in any other way.

"Morphogram" means a sign that denotes a morpheme, just as "logogram"
means a sign that denotes a word and "phonogram" (see why I use -gram?)
means a sign that denotes a sound and "ideogram" means a sign that
denotes an idea.

The refinement being because in (Modern) Chinese, words usually comprise
two characters, and only rarely do the characters not both bear
components of the meaning (one of the rare exceptions, which is a
standard example, is the word for 'butterfly', which is two syllables
and written with two characters at least one of which never occurs
outside this word).
Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...