suzmccarth wrote:
> --- In, "Peter T. Daniels" <grammatim@...>
> wrote:
> > suzmccarth wrote:
> >
> > > > What do you think "logographic" means?
> > >
> > > It implies to me a lexical mapping rather than phonological and
> > > morphological mapping between written and spoken language.
> > > Logographic would mean to me that Chinese characters represent
> > > words. Have I somehow misunderstood this meaning of logographic? I
> > > realize it is broadly accepted as a descriptive term but it seems
> > > that it obscures comparisons between writing systems that are useful
> > > for observing how people interact with a writing system - problems
> > > in reading and writing.
> >
> > Yes. "Logographic" means that what the symbol encodes is a word (a
> > morpheme, to be more precise). Or, as C. F. Hockett put it, a
> > logographic system is a syllabary that distinguishes homophones.
> This definition of logographic clears things up for me. I guess I
> missed Hockett.

Review of *The World's Writing Systems*, in *Language*

> However it is not a transparent or obvious
> definition. The problem is that if a logographic system is a
> syllabary that distinguishes homophones then what is an alphabetic
> system that distinguishes homophones -

Nonexistent. An alphabetic system assigns symbols to segments.

> quasi-logographic? How can
> Chinese and English be compared? One maps phonemes and the other
> syllables, both phonographic, but one is popularly categorized as
> phonographic and the other as logographic.

Individual units of Chinese writing are logograms. Combinations of
letters in English must sometimes be taken as logographic units
(bomb/comb/tomb, women, perhaps a few dozen others, perhaps more).

> I prefer for myself the dichotomy of syllabic/phonemic, both are
> phonographic and some more or less morphological.

Utterly useless. To suppose that Cherokee and Chinese writing are
remotely similar is just bizarre.

> Suzanne McCarthy
> I have had to develop a framework for myself since I have studied
> extensively and occasionally reported on literacy among both Cree
> and Hong Kong students learning to read.
> > How
> > does that suggest that it _doesn't_ provide ("rather than") phonological
> > or morphological "mapping"? A morpheme is a correlation between form and
> > meaning.
> >
> > A phonographic writing system encodes only the phonological part of
> > language. A logographic writing system encodes both the phonological and
> > the semantic part.
Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...