syllabary

syllabary
/sil"euh ber'ee/, n., pl. syllabaries.
1. a list or catalog of syllables.
2. a set of written symbols, each of which represents a syllable, used to write a given language: the Japanese syllabary.
[1580-90; < NL syllabarium. See SYLLABLE, -ARY]

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      a set of written symbols (symbol) used to represent the syllables (syllable) of the words of a language. Writing systems that use syllabaries wholly or in part include Japanese, Cherokee, the ancient Cretan scripts (Linear A and Linear B), and various Indic and cuneiform writing systems. Some syllabaries include separate symbols for each possible syllable that may occur in the language; others use a system of consonant symbols that include an inherent vowel. In the former type of syllabary, for example, there will be separate symbols representing ka, ke, ki, ko, and ku; whereas in the latter type of syllabary a symbol for ka might be paired with a symbol for the vowel e to represent ke but would stand alone when it represented ka. Other types of syllabaries combine syllabic symbols to represent syllables for which there is no one symbol; in such systems, for example, there may be symbols for ka, ke, ki, etc., but no symbols for kan, ken, kin, etc. Syllables of this latter type might be represented in such a system by combining the symbol for ka with that for an to form kan (ka-an), the symbol for ke with that for en to form ken (ke-en), etc.

      Although syllabic writing systems are a great improvement over logographic and mixed phonetic and logographic writing systems (which may require thousands of distinct symbols), they are still much bulkier than alphabetic writing systems, which reduce the number of signs (letters) to the minimum number required for representing the sounds of a language.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Syllabary — Syl la*ba*ry, n. A table of syllables; more especially, a table of the indivisible syllabic symbols used in certain languages, as the Japanese and Cherokee, instead of letters. S. W. Williams. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • syllabary — [sil′ə ber΄ē] n. pl. syllabaries [ModL syllabarium < L syllaba: see SYLLABLE] 1. a set or table of syllables 2. a set of written signs or characters representing the syllables that are the units in a language that uses syllabic, rather than… …   English World dictionary

  • Syllabary — A syllabary is a set of written symbols that represent (or approximate) syllables, which make up words. A symbol in a syllabary typically represents an optional consonant sound followed by a vowel sound.Languages using syllabariesLanguages that… …   Wikipedia

  • syllabary — Силлабическое письмо (Syllabary)     То же, что и слоговое письмо [тип письма, в котором знак передает отдельный слог]. Слоговое письмо, Силлабическое письмо, Силлабарий (Syllabary)     Тип письма, в котором каждый знак передает отдельный слог.… …   Шрифтовая терминология

  • syllabary — noun (plural baries) Etymology: New Latin syllabarium, from Latin syllaba syllable Date: 1586 a table or listing of syllables; specifically a series or set of written characters each one of which is used to represent a syllable …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • syllabary — noun a) A table or list of syllabic letters or syllables b) A writing system where each character represents a complete syllable See Also: syllable …   Wiktionary

  • syllabary — Synonyms and related words: IPA, ITA, Initial Teaching Alphabet, International Phonetic Alphabet, alphabet, alphabetics, art, blueprint, charactering, characterization, chart, choreography, conventional representation, dance notation, delineation …   Moby Thesaurus

  • syllabary — syl·la·bar·y || sɪlÉ™bÉ™rɪ / brɪ n. set of characters that represents syllables, syllabic script …   English contemporary dictionary

  • syllabary — [ sɪləb(ə)ri] noun (plural syllabaries) a set of written characters representing syllables, serving the purpose of an alphabet. Origin C19: from mod. L. syllabarium, from L. syllaba syllable …   English new terms dictionary

  • syllabary — noun (C) a list of syllables, sometimes represented as symbols …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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