Ideogram

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Ideograph)
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the type of graphic symbol. For chromosome ideograms, see Cytogenetics. For the rhetorical device, see Ideograph (rhetoric).

An ideogram or ideograph (from Greek ἰδέα idéa "idea" and γράφω gráphō "to write") is a graphic symbol that represents an idea or concept, independent of any particular language, and specific words or phrases. Some ideograms are comprehensible only by familiarity with prior convention; others convey their meaning through pictorial resemblance to a physical object, and thus may also be referred to as pictograms.

Terminology[edit]

Further information: Character (symbol) and Logogram
"No dogs allowed" sign in Spain. The dog illustration is a pictogram. The red circle and bar is an ideogram representing the idea of "no" or "not allowed".
Ideograms in the Church of the Visitation, Jerusalem

In proto-writing, used for inventories and the like, physical objects are represented by stylized or conventionalized pictures, or pictograms. For example, the pictorial Dongba symbols without Geba annotation cannot represent the Naxi language, but are used as a mnemonic for reciting oral literature.[1] Some systems also use ideograms, symbols denoting abstract concepts.

The term "ideogram" is often used to describe symbols of writing systems such as Egyptian hieroglyphs, Sumerian cuneiform and Chinese characters. However, these symbols are logograms, representing words or morphemes of a particular language rather than objects or concepts. In these writing systems, a variety of strategies were employed in the design of logographic symbols. Pictographic symbols depict the object referred to by the word, such as an icon of a bull denoting the Semitic word ʾālep "ox". Some words denoting abstract concepts may be represented iconically, but most other words are represented using the rebus principle, borrowing a symbol for a similarly-sounding word. Later systems used selected symbols to represent the sounds of the language, for example the adaptation of the logogram for ʾālep "ox" as the letter aleph representing the initial sound of the word, a glottal stop.

Many signs in hieroglyphic as well as in cuneiform writing could be used either logographically or phonetically. For example, the Akkadian sign AN (𒀭) could be an ideograph for "deity", an ideogram for the god Anum in particular, a logograph for the Akkadian stem il- "deity", a logograph for the Akkadian word šamu "sky", or a syllabogram for either the syllable an or il.

Although Chinese characters are logograms, two of the smaller classes in the traditional classification are ideographic in origin:

  • Simple ideographs (指事字 zhǐshìzì) are abstract symbols such as 上 shàng "up" and 下 xià "down" or numerals such as 三 sān "three".
  • Semantic compounds (会意字 huìyìzì) are semantic combinations of characters, such as 明 míng "bright", composed of 日 "sun" and 月 yuè "moon", or 休 xiū "rest", composed of 人 rén "person" and 木 "tree". In the light of the modern understanding of Old Chinese phonology, researchers now believe that most of the characters originally classified as semantic compounds have an at least partially phonetic nature.[2]

Development of ideas[edit]

The idea of writing where each written symbol represents a concept found its consiquencies in the artificial writing systems often named as pasigraphy. The most known earliest idegraphic writing was John Wilkins' An Essay towards a Real Character, and a Philosophical Language (since 1668) and Johann М. Schmid' "PASYGRAPHIA" (since 1807). The latest examples of pasigraphies include Blissymbols (since 1949) and In-former[3](since 2015). At the moment of the midst of 2016 Blissymbolics consists about 2000 symbols. Each symbol does not have its sound[4]. In-former nowadays consists of 144 singns. Each symbol does have its sound[5]. To compare: the modern Standart Chinese consists of 2,400 most common idiographic Chinese characters, Egyptian hieroglyphs had nearly 5000 ideographic symbols.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ramsey, S. Robert (1987). The Languages of China. Princeton University Press. p. 266. ISBN 978-0-691-01468-5. 
  2. ^ Boltz, William (1994). The origin and early development of the Chinese writing system. American Oriental Society. pp. 67–72, 149. ISBN 978-0-940490-78-9. 
  3. ^ https://play.google.com/books/reader?printsec=frontcover&output=reader&id=vf6TCAAAAEAJ&pg=GBS.PA1
  4. ^ {{official website|http://www.blissymbolics.org/}
  5. ^ Komogorov, Iurii (2015). In-form. Linguistic constructor. Manual. FOP GUD. pp. 16–41. 

External links[edit]