Orthography - Units and Notation

Units and Notation

Orthographic units, such as letters of an alphabet, are technically called graphemes. These are a type of abstraction, analogous to the phonemes of spoken languages; different physical forms of written symbols are considered to represent the same grapheme if the differences between them are not significant for meaning. For example, different forms of the letter "b" are all considered to represent a single grapheme in the orthography of, say, English.

Graphemes or sequences of them are sometimes placed between angle brackets, as in ⟨b⟩ or ⟨back⟩. This distinguishes them from phonemic transcription, which is placed between slashes (/b/, /bæk/), and from phonetic transcription, which is placed between square brackets (, ).

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