|WikiProject Systems||(Rated Start-class, High-importance)|
|WikiProject Writing systems||(Rated Start-class, Top-importance)|
Have problems with this sentence. Within a given dialect, the pronounciation of a ideogram doesn't change much according to context.
- Ideograms are said to represent concepts rather than words because often an ideogram can be pronounced differently depending on the context.
There is a contradiction between this article, which takes "ideogram" and "logogram" as synonyms, and David Crystal's Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language, which treats "ideogram" and "logogram" as two rather different categories. The distinction seems to be that the "ideograms", though perhaps more abstract than pictograms, do not have anything to do with an underlying spoken language, while "logograms" stand for particular words in the underlying language. Anyone know how common such a distinction is? --Ryguasu 01:42 Feb 5, 2003 (UTC)
- The impression I get is that this distinction is only made by a small number of pedants; everybody else really means "logogram" when they say "ideogram". How often do real "ideograms" actually turn up? --Brion 07:01 Feb 5, 2003 (UTC)
- Short answer: never. Ideographic writing does not exist. See John DeFrancis' books "The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy" and "Visible Speech: The Diverse Oneness of Writing Systems".
- Long answer: often. Ideograms are used all the time in graphic design, from toilet signs to remote controls. --Davémon 11:27, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
- There should be a distinction between this usage of the term ideogram and the term as used in relation to the chinese language. I prefer to emphasize that an ideogram as used in relation to the chinese language exists as part of a larger system with structure rather than an isolated instance. Ideogram 23:39, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
I changed the file type of a graphic for a character from png to jpg. Some has troube with my png file (why is that?). If anyone figures out the problem, I will appreciate. -- Taku 23:17 Mar 24, 2003 (UTC)
- the first version of the png you uploaded was currupted by text conversion (according to pngcheck) the second version you uploaded seems fine though. Note that many png decoders (especilly browsers) do virtually NO validation when decoding png files. Plugwash 04:54, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Taku, im trying to use a table editor to fix the problem - also consider that your browser/screen/textsize setting may not represent the majority of users. Try not to make sweeping judgements about format problems - try to fix them if you know how.
- Domo Arigato Gozaimasu, 豎眩sv
- Actually I don't see the reason why we want to move the picture to the right because it is not a compliment but what is actual an ideogram. I think it is more appreciate to discuss a character in the main text. -- Taku 20:38 27 May 2003 (UTC)
What is "ideographis" in "or - more from the point of view of the ideographis - as simply "ideogram.""? "Ideographists"? But there's no such a word! Not even in Google. --Menchi 16:13 28 May 2003 (UTC)
- The reason, "Smart guy" is that its a mis-spelling. Just like your writing "there is no such a word" is improperly spelled (there should be no "a" before "word."). Spelling errors happen, unfortunate as they may be - this has no doubt happened in writing Chinese as well, where someone wanting to write "mother" accidentally calls her "horse woman." ;) -豎眩sv
- Of course typo happens. I make it all the time. But I'm not sure what you you mean here. When I said "there's no such a word," I refer to "ideographists," which is what I think it's supposed to be. But since it's non-word, I'm not sure. So what is it supposed to be? "Ideograph"? But that's just a less common spelling of "ideogram." Please don't leave mistakes hang around once discovered. You did write it, right? --Menchi 16:46 28 May 2003 (UTC)
What is meant by alternated in Japanese ideograms, or Kanji, are mostly alternated Chinese characters escapes me! Please correct (if wrong) or explain (for the ignorant). Psb777 07:53, 8 Feb 2004 (UTC)
- Looks like a misspelling of "altered". --Brion 08:04, 8 Feb 2004 (UTC)
- Perhaps rather than "altered" it should be "derived from"? Psb777 10:16, 8 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I've cut the references to the parts of characters as radicals, since a) every character has a radical, regardless of how many elements it has or its method of formation, and b) many of the elements are not radicals. Markalexander100 02:57, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)
- Chinese characters, although usually classified as ideograms or logograms, are more alphabet-like than most people think. Most characters (some 90 percent it is estimated) consist of multiple elements, where one part indicates the pronunciation of the character, and another is connected with the meaning. For this reason, these can be called phonologograms.
Hmmm, I have some problems with these sentences. Though it's true most characters contain multiple elements, is it true "one part indicates the pronunciation...another the meaning"? I know Chinese and I don't think that's the case. Others, what do you think? Mandel 21:04, Oct 2, 2004 (UTC)
- It's true. Check out the history of Chinese characters (books, not the web!). Over 95% of all characters ever created fall into this category. However, to be accurate, one part does not indicate the meaning; rather, it indicates general semantic category, like "water" or "metal." Also, the part that indicates pronunciation doesn't have to agree 100%, and the relation between characters that were once pronounced nearly homophonously has often been obscured or even totally lost in Mandarin, which has undergone massive sound changes since the characters were stadardized a couple thousand years ago.
Ideograms vs phonetic writing
"They are composed of visual elements arranged in a variety of ways rather than using the segmental phoneme principle of construction familiar in alphabetic languages. The effect is that while it is relatively easier to remember or guess the sound of alphabetic written words, it is relatively easier to remember or guess the meaning of ideographs"
If I remember well, DeFrancis's book disputes this opinion (he thinks the phonetic component of Chinese characters is underemphasized). Apokrif 09:15, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I'm having problems with the example (字). Specifically, would somebody kindly provide a reference for the claim that it once meant "to care for"? I can't seem to find one anywhere. If no authoritative reference is forthcoming, either the example should be changed or the claim about its "original" meaning removed.
- "字" originally means "to feed, foster or bring up a child." Do you know the book 《說文解字》? It explains this character as "字, 乳也," translated as "字 means to (breast)feed." In another ancient mystical book 《山海經》, there is a sentence "山有苦木, 服之不字." Here 不字 means exactly "unable to bear or foster a child." --Wooddoo-eng 19:09, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Do we need four links to Jim Breen's Japanese-specific site? They might be prunable. I'm adding a link to the Unihan database, which is more language-neutral.
The character 國
The article mentions the construction of this character twice - once it claims it's wholly symbolic (enclosure around region), but then in the next paragraph it contradicts that by claiming it's a semantic/phonetic mixture. Can someone who knows which of these is the generally accepted derivation perhaps remove the "wrong" one?
- It is definitely a semantic-phonetic composition. There is a wide misperception that Chinese characters are ideographic and certain characters such as 國 end up being reinterpreted in order to fit this misperception. For a blatant example, see Noah's Ark#Ancient_Chinese_characters. Anyway, I think this article is in need of massive clean-up because it too easily confuses the separate concepts of ideogram vs. logogram (some of the previous comments above hint at it). This confusion helps spread the misconception that Chinese is an ideographic rather than logographic writing system.
- Brion notes above that "this distinction is only made by a small number of pedants" but I think the distinction is more supported than he thinks. There are many sources that make this distinction. Since this is an encyclopedia, I feel it is important to be as accurate as possible, which is why I think some of the things in this article really should be moved to the logogram article. However, to reflect the fact that there are people who use the terms interchangably, a note stating such should be made on this page. Anyway, I'll see what I can do this weekend to help clean up the article. --Umofomia 23:28, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
large anonymous edit
there was a large edit recently by 220.127.116.11 with no edit reason  i dunno enough about the subject to know if this is a good edit or vandism but i thought that such a big anonymous edit with no edit reason should be thoughoughly checked out by someone who does Plugwash 17:12, 2 May 2005 (UTC)
The article seems to lack some consistence while stating that some characters do have ideographic use, while then going claims that they only represent syllabes. Strangely enough more than once a friend of mine could read old Chinese phrases he could not pronounce because he knew Japanese... Though it is obvious the Chinese Script does not exist separatedly from speech, claiming that it is a purely phonetical script is a very bizarre claim. nihil 11:52, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps this should be a stub.
DeFrancis is controversial
This article seems to be heavily influenced by DeFrancis. While he makes good points (the Chinese writing system is not independent of pronounciation) his work is not uncontroversial and represents a minority view.
I don't have the energy right now to find references to verify this, but I thought I should mention it. Ideogram 23:35, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
http://www.bartleby.com/61/9/I0020900.html This is the American Heritage Dictionary
A character or symbol representing an idea or a thing without expressing the pronunciation of a particular word or words for it, as in the traffic sign commonly used for “no parking” or “parking prohibited.” Also called ideograph.
n. symbol in picture-writing representing idea of thing; any symbol universally recognized.
http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/ideogram Merriam-Webster OnLine
a picture or symbol used in a system of writing to represent a thing or an idea but not a particular word or phrase for it; especially : one that represents not the object pictured but some thing or idea that the object pictured is supposed to suggest
http://www.britannica.com/ebc/article-9360623 Encyclopedia Britannica online
Chinese writing is fundamentally logographic: there is an exact correspondence between a single symbol, or character, in the script and a morpheme. Each character, no matter how complex, is fit into a hypothetical rectangle of the same size. The Chinese script is first attested in divinatory inscriptions incised on bone or tortoise shells dating from the Shang dynasty. Early forms of characters were often clearly pictorial or iconic. Shared elements of characters, called radicals, provide a means of classifying Chinese writing. It is thought that an ordinary literate Chinese person can recognize 3,000–4,000 characters. Efforts have been made to reduce the number of characters and to simplify their form, though the fact that they can be read by a speaker of any Chinese language and their inextricable link with China's 3,000-year-old culture makes abandonment of the system unlikely. Chinese characters have also been adapted to write Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese.
This is all from the first page of Google results on ideogram.
It's important to distinguish between the definition of the term ideogram and the description of Chinese as ideographic, as I noted above. DeFrancis' work is largely aimed at dispelling myths about the Chinese writing system, and as such does not belong in the ideogram entry. Ideogram 23:55, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
- Then what IS the definition of an "ideogram"? If you want to define "ideogram" as representing words and morphemes as was done up to this revision, then there is no longer any difference between ideograms and logograms, and this article should be changed into a redirect to logogram. Also, we are then left without a term or article to describe pure ideograms, like Naxi Dongba, or mathematical notation.
- I think rather than writing this article into a duplicate of what's already at logogram, some sort of renaming or disambiguation should be done. We have two concepts: "symbols for ideas" and "symbols for words/morphemes": the problem is how to name them. If the former shouldn't be called "ideogram", then we should be thinking up a better name for it, not writing the article for the former into a duplicate of the latter. -- ran (talk) 01:17, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
- It isn't our job to think up names for concepts. Our job is to describe how existing names are used in practice. In practice "ideogram" is the term laymen apply to characters in Chinese, while "logogram" is the term used by scholars following DeFrancis. The fact that there is an overlap between these terms is inevitable. I have no problem with the two Wikipedia entries in their current form. --Ideogram 10:57, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
- What I'm trying to say is: we currently have two articles, one describing writing systems like Chinese, Egyptian, Mayan etc. currently located at logogram; and another describing "pseudo"-writing such as musical notation, mathematical notation, Naxi Dongba etc, currently located at ideogram. If Ideogram better describes the former, then I have no problems with renaming it -- but then what would we call the latter? -- ran (talk) 02:45, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
- I don't see any problem with having two articles that link to each other. Certainly ideogram is more likely to be looked up in a search but logogram is often used as well. We can discuss which material belongs in which article. For example, I believe the bulk of the DeFrancis material belongs at logogram with a one paragraph mention at ideogram (much like it is now). I believe we need some mention of Chinese at least at ideogram but the material we have there now is probably sufficient. --Ideogram 03:22, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
mathematical symbols may be ideogram, but they are not usually called that, they are simply known as symbols. I appreciate the distinction between ideogram and logogram, but the problem is that this article, after a brief list of some examples, goes into a discussion of these distinctions, particularly obsessing about the Chinese alphabet. This isn't good enough for a standalone article, and would be more at home in a section of the logogram article.
The problem here is with the very philosophical notion of "idea". Any word conveys an idea, that's the whole point of words. If you have an image depicting a sheep, it is perfectly artficial to ask, is the intention to evoke the idea of a sheep, or is the intention to evoke the word "sheep", which in turn (excepting meta-linguistic contexts) has the only purpose of evoking the idea of a sheep in the listener's mind. And who says a morpheme doesn't convey an idea? Who says a phoneme isn't an idea? We cannot discuss the term ideogram as it were from philosophical a priori considerations on its literal meaning. We need to treat the term based on actual usage. And actual usage is very closely related to "logogram", in fact close enough to suggest a merger. --dab (𒁳) 10:10, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
- A philosophical discussion is not necessary to distinguish ideogram from logogram.
- A logogram is a symbol that represents something in a particular language. In contrast, an ideogram is a symbol that represents a particular idea independent of what word (in whatever language) is used to express that idea.
- Example 1: [&] is read "and" in English, and read "et" in French. Thus, in those languages [&] is a logogram. In this case, [&] is also an ideogram since "and" and "et" both represent the same idea (i.e. conjunction), even though they are not the same word.
- Example 2:
- Get it? -- Fullstop (talk) 14:31, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
What happened to the image that used to accompany this article? I liked it. Ideogram 00:12, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
ideogram v. pictogram
Please see my recent post at Talk:Chinese_character_classification#Ideogram_vs._Pictogram.
The claim that "Chinese characters are examples of ideograms, and many have specific logographic qualities or functions" seems backwards. According to List of writing systems, "to this day Chinese is often erroneously said to be ideographic", a claim that is cited. According to Chinese character classification, "All Chinese characters are logograms." Some "are ideographic in origin, but the vast majority originated as phono-semantic compounds." Chinese seems like a particularly bad example of a script for illustration on this page. DAVilla (talk) 06:35, 4 November 2012 (UTC)