Berthold Frommann wrote:
> Let me put it another way.
> There are more basic units in Chinese writing than just the 214
> Kanxi-radicals. But listing every single unit as a category
> on its own would render any character dictionary useless,
> blowing it up unproportionally. Those 214 radicals (there are by
> the way other Chinese character dictionaries with a different
> number of radicals) are just a selection.
> Some of those radicals are characters on their own. 耳 "ear" is also
> a proper full-blown hanzi/kanji.

So far so good.

> All of those radicals are graphemes. But there are more
> graphemes around, more than just 214. Juergen Stalph
> gives a figure for the graphemes used in Japanese, As
> far as I remember, it was more than 500. (cf. STALPH,
> Juergen (1989): "Grundlagen einer Grammatik der
> sinojapanischen Schrift". Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz).
> Describing it as features:
> 耳 (ear) = grapheme + radical + kanji
> 寺 (temple) = grapheme + kanji
> [right half of] 構 denotes "structure" = only grapheme, *no*
> radical, *not* used as an independent kanji.

Here I am lost...

First you say that a radical is a grapheme, then you seem to use the term
"grapheme" as *opposed* to "radical".

Is it possible that you are using "grapheme" with two distinct meanings
(e.g., Stalph's definition and your own)?

> >> The term "grapheme" is used by Japanologists and Sinologists a lot,
> >> actually.
> >
> > They probably haven't read my articles.
> There probably is yet another usage of this term, not
> identical to your preferred definition ...

I am with the impression that Peter's preferred definition for "grapheme"
can only be said aloud when children are asleep. :-)

_ Marco