As logogram or logography (from ancient Greek λόγος lógos , German , word, phrase ' and γράφειν Graphein , write', such as "writing from word mark") refers to a type of character systems , in which the importance of each language expressions is represented by graphic signs . These characters are called logograms .
In contrast to ideographic or pictographic fonts, in which more or less complex symbols represent a term , logographic signs are assigned a morphemic , meaning-bearing unit, which, however, usually does not represent a whole term. A logogram represents a term and usually consists of several logographic characters. Logographic signs are not synthetic, but analytical signs, as each logographic element refers to an independent meaning. Of the alphabet and syllabic scripts they differ in that they no grapheme present system and not the phoneme reflect inventory of a spoken language.
Logographies can be implemented differently in individual cases, e.g. B. with Chinese characters . In addition to these and their use as Kanji in Japanese and as Hanja in Korean script, parts of the Egyptian hieroglyphs , the ancient oriental cuneiform and the Maya script are part of the logography. Abbreviations in shorthand also represent such a system.
No logograms are characters such as mathematical symbols (+, -, ×, ÷,%, ±, =,>, <), currency (£, $, ¥, €) and similar special characters (&, §, @, #) , since these do not denote any fixed minimum linguistic units (morphemes), but rather in a not precisely defined way (“plus / and”, “minus / less”) and z. In some cases, they can also be read by replacing complex linguistic expressions (“divided by / divided by”, “British pound”).