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Also referred to as an ideograph. (From the Greek word ἰδέα (idea) "idea" + γράφω (grafo) "to write". Ideogram is a symbol or character that represents an idea or concept. The majority of Chinese characters are either phonetic ideographs, semasio-phonetic ideographs or simply ideographs (like the kanji 回 (かい, kai), which, with its shape hints at the meaning of rotating movement). Kanji are often referred to as logographic ideograms, i.e. graphemes which represent a word or a morpheme (smallest meaningful language unit), as well as ideas and concepts.

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Page last modified on October 25, 2011, at 09:33 AM