Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> What are the graphemes of Chinese?

Well, it is obvious that a Chinese logogram such as "媽" ("ma¹" = "mother")
is composed of a left-side element, "女" , and a right side element, "馬".

It is well known that, in this case, the left-side element "女" bears a
generic semantic indication, 'woman', while the right side element "馬" bears
a phonetic information, [ma].

These two elements are also found in other logograms, either with the same
function described above or with swapped functions (i.e. "馬" can stand for
meaning 'horse', and "女" can stand for sound [nu]).

Moreover, they also constitute two single-element logograms on their own:
"nü³" ('woman') and "ma³" ('horse').

Finally, neither "女" nor "馬" can be further subdivided in graphic elements
conveying either a certain meaning or a certain sound.

To me, the role of elements such as "女" and "馬" in the Chinese writing
system seems quite analogous to the role of a phoneme in a language's
phonetic system, or to the role of a morpheme in a language's morphology:
they all are the "atoms" which we can use to analyze larger structures.

Why is it wrong to call them "graphemes" by analogy with "phoneme" or

_ Marco