[sw-l] SW system type... alphabetic vs. others (pictographic, ideographic, logographic)

Tomáš Klapka Tomas.Klapka at RUCE.CZ
Tue Jun 21 11:30:47 UTC 2005

Hi, I have a question about type of SW writing system.

People always tell me that it is pictographic, ideographic or ...

I think it is alphabetic, because there is no pictogram, logogram,
ideogram for a morpheme.
Each morpheme (I mean sign in SW) is compounded of phonetic (cheretic)
symbols standardized in IMWA (and IMWA is just the alphabet). Those
symbols don't have meanings. So do phonems.

Sometimes there is more phonems in a symbol, but it still has no meaning.
It is simillar as for example in czech letter 'á' (latin letter a with
Acute) which represents long vowel 'a'.
So there is the sound quality (written as latin letter A) and sound
duration (writen by Acute) - two phonems in a letter.
But the letter has no meaning itself. It makes the meaning if it is
component of a morpheme:

czech word "ráda" - is glad, (feminine, verb)
czech word "rada" - advice, convocation, council, counsellor, tip (noun)

So it must be alphabetic.
Is it right?


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