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> From: bear <bear@xxxxxxxxx> > On Fri, 20 Feb 2004, Tom Lord wrote: > > > From: bear <bear@xxxxxxxxx> > > > On Tue, 10 Feb 2004, Tom Lord wrote: > > >> Programmers building global computing environments have need for > > >> certain categories of characters which historically, are of little or > > >> no interest to linguists. One of these categories is comprised of > > >> many of the characters used to write words, whether those characters > > >> are alphabetic, syllabic, or ideographic. Linguistics hasn't given > > >> us a term for that category. > > > Well, actually it has. Linguists call these categories "glyphs" or > > > "graphemes", usually with varying degrees of precision or varying > > > exact meaning depending on the context or speaker. > >Um, I _think_ you are wrong. Are you _certain_ of what you say? > >I'm not aware of what specific technical meaning "glyph" or "grapheme" > >may have in academic linguistics, but I would be quite surprised to > >find that it excluded, say, digits, punctuation, and other marks which > >do not constitute "words" in the (loose) sense used in computing. > No, neither 'glyphs' nor 'graphemes' excludes punctuation, digits, > etc. The distinction between them is about whether they are a > concrete shape (a glyph) or a 'minimum ideal unit of written language' > (a grapheme). An alphabet is a set of graphemes. A particular > inscription is a set of glyphs. > Linguists talk about alphabets, syllabaries, ideograph sets, etc, and > have had little need of words that lump these together but leave out > punctuation and digits. You know, there's no shame in just saying "gah -- you're right, tom." :-) -t