The graphème is the fundamental unit of a writing given; the word is composed on the model of Phonème . According to the type of writing, the graphème is carried out visually and phonetically in various ways. Here an ideal model:
- Alphabet S: a graphème = a letter (or a Digraph, a Trigram) = a Phoneme;
- Spelling-book S: a graphème = a Syllable;
- Alphasyllabaire : a graphème = a Consonant and a Vowel or a Phoneme only;
- Abjad : a graphème = a letter = a Consonant;
- logographic writing: a graphème = a character = an idea, a word, a morpheme, a compound idéo-phonetics, etc
- in French, and
are graphèmes because “its” and “” are opposed;
- < has > and < has > are not graphèmes because “its” is opposed neither to “S has ” nor with “ a' ”. They are thus free alternatives;
- on the other hand, is not only the graphème associable with the /a/ phoneme (of because ); indeed, for example, the word rouennais (inhabitant of Rouen) decides /rwan ε/and the /a/ phoneme is represented there by the Digramme
. The graphème represents in our current writing at least two sounds: nasal the/ɑ̃/and the /a/ vowel.
Among the nonrelevant alternatives of the graphèmes, one counts mainly variations of working (fatty, Italic, etc), contextual Variantes and joint alternatives.
Moreover, so that a succession of letters (in the alphabets) form a graphème (digraph, trigram), it is necessary that this combination is connected to an identifiable phoneme: for example, and are not a French graphème because and are carried out different manners, and does not note a single phoneme, contrary to with the which is worth in the majority of the cases.
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