grapheme

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grapheme

(grăf′ēm)
1. A letter of an alphabet.
2. The smallest element in a writing system.
3. A written symbol or group of symbols used to represent a single sound.
References in periodicals archive ?
The central argument I make here is that the lexicographic macrostructure and microstructures of the Shuowen are designed to prove that the changes in the writing systems are historically and graphemically observable, and consequently that the original intentions of the sages who used guwen to write the classics are literally recoverable by working backwards through the reforms and changes in writing to a proper understanding of how they classified and used their words in the guwen writing system.
scholars consider guwen to be a spurious writing system created by ambitious scholars outside the mainstream seeking favor and jobs at court and by the followers of Wang Mang, by historicizing the writing systems Xu Shen explains that the jinwen scholars who make these claims have themselves actually been using Qin lishu (a calligraphic style based on the zhuanwen writing system) to graphemically analyze and interpret the words of the classics and even to adjudicate legal cases.
It is true that only consonants were graphemically represented.