Grapheme as a polysemic word
This paper analyses polysemous term grafem `grapheme'. Grapheme has several different meanings: any symbol the writing system of a language uses, any symbol in the writing system which distinguishes meaning, a letter, a symbols of a language which represent phonemes. The last meaning is useful for languages with basically phonemic writing system and the paper gives a short overview of different relationships between a grapheme and a phoneme, which excludes silent letters. In spite of the fact that some linguists think that grapheme has become nothing more than a pretheoretic, fancy, scientific-sounding word for ``letter'' or ``character'' and ought not to be part of technical discourse, in Croatian and other languages with writing systems aiming to approach the ideal of one phoneme = one grapheme, definition of a grapheme as a symbol that represents a phoneme makes this term very useful.
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