HOME

TheInfoList




The term glyph is used in
typography Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including ...

typography
,
architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in Paris – 1734. Architecture (Latin ''archi ...

architecture
and
archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complexity, complex topic or Substance theory, substance into smaller parts in order to gain a better underst ...
. Broadly, the term means any kind of purposeful mark, such as a simple vertical line incised on a building, a single letter in a script, or a carved symbol.


Etymology

The term has been used in English since 1727, borrowed from ''glyphe'' (in use by French antiquaries since 1701), from the
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
γλυφή, ''glyphē'', "carving," and the verb γλύφειν, ''glýphein'', "to hollow out, engrave, carve" (cognate with Latin ''glubere'' "to peel" and English ''cleave''). The word ''
hieroglyph A hieroglyph (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximat ...
'' (Greek for sacred writing) has a longer history in English, dating from an early use in an English-to-Italian dictionary published by
John Florio Giovanni Florio (1552–1625), known as John Florio, was a linguist, poet, writer, translator, lexicographer Lexicography is divided into two separate but equally important groups: * Practical lexicography is the art or craft A cra ...

John Florio
in 1598, referencing the complex and mysterious characters of the Egyptian alphabet. The word ''glyph'' first came to widespread European attention with the engravings and lithographs from
Frederick Catherwood Frederick Catherwood (27 February 1799 – 27 September 1854) was an English artist An artist is a person engaged in an activity related to creating art, practicing the arts, or demonstrating an art. The common usage in both everyday speech a ...
's drawings of undeciphered glyphs of the
Maya civilization The Maya civilization () was a Mesoamerica Mesoamerica is a historical and important region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), human impact characteristics ( human ...
in the early 1840s.


Architecture

In architecture, the term glyph is used to describe a vertical mark in the facade of a building. One of the most well-known form of this is the
triglyph Triglyph is an architectural term for the vertically channeled tablets of the in , so called because of the angular channels in them. The rectangular recessed spaces between the tris on a Doric frieze are called . The raised spaces between the ...
(three glyphs), the vertical bands of the
DoricDoric may refer to: * Doric, of or relating to the Dorians of ancient Greece ** Doric Greek, the dialects of the Dorians * Doric order, a style of ancient Greek architecture * Doric mode, a synonym of Dorian mode * Doric dialect (Scotland) * Doric C ...
frieze Frieze of animals, mythological episodes at the base of Hoysaleswara temple, India ">India.html" ;"title="Hoysaleswara temple, India">Hoysaleswara temple, India In architecture, the frieze is the wide central section part of an entablatu ...

frieze
in
classical architecture Classical architecture usually denotes architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de ...

classical architecture
.


Archaeology

In archaeology, a glyph is a carved or inscribed symbol. It may be a
pictogram A pictogram, also called a pictogramme, pictograph, or simply picto, and in computer usage an icon An icon (from the Greek language, Greek 'image, resemblance') is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, in the cultures of the ...

pictogram
or
ideogram upright=1, Ideograms in the Church of the Visitation, Jerusalem. Five of the symbols are pictograms augmented with red bars representing the idea of "no" or "not allowed". The symbol at bottom left is a pictogram conveying the meaning of "silenc ...

ideogram
, or part of a
writing system A writing system is a method of visually representing verbal communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communic ...
such as a
syllable A syllable is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds. It is typically made up of a syllable nucleus (most often a vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels a ...
, or a
logogram In a written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign lang ...
.


Typography

In typography, a glyph is an elemental symbol within an agreed set of symbols, intended to represent a readable character for the purposes of
writing Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area arou ...

writing
. Glyphs are considered to be unique marks that collectively add up to the spelling of a word or contribute to a specific meaning of what is written, with that meaning dependent on cultural and social usage. A glyph is "the specific shape, design, or representation of a character". It is a particular graphical representation, in a particular
typeface A typeface is the design of lettering Lettering is an umbrella term In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying ...

typeface
, of an element of written language, which could be a grapheme, or part of a grapheme, or sometimes several graphemes in combination (a composed glyph). If there is more than one allograph of a unit of writing, and the choice between them depends on context or on the preference of the author, they now have to be treated as separate glyphs, because mechanical arrangements have to be available to differentiate between them and to print whichever of them is required. The same is true in
computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and software. It has sci ...

computing
. In computing as well as typography, the term "
character Character(s) may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''Character'' (novel), a 1936 Dutch novel by Ferdinand Bordewijk * ''Characters'' (Theophrastus), a classical Greek set of character sketches attributed to Theophrastus M ...
" refers to a grapheme or grapheme-like unit of text, as found in
natural language In neuropsychology Neuropsychology is a branch of psychology. It is concerned with how a person's cognition and behavior are related to the brain and the rest of the nervous system. Professionals in this branch of psychology often focus on ...
writing system A writing system is a method of visually representing verbal communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communic ...
s (''scripts''). In typography and computing, the range of graphemes is broader than in a written language in other ways too: a typeface often has to cope with a range of different languages each of which contribute their own graphemes, and it may also be required to print non-language symbols such as
dingbat In typography, a dingbat (sometimes more formally known as a printer's ornament or printer's character) is an ornament, a glyph (roughly, character) or spacer used in typesetting on a composing stick on a type case. , letter founder, fr ...

dingbat
s. The range of glyphs required increases correspondingly. In summary, in typography and computing, a glyph is a
graphical Graphics (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 millio ...

graphical
unit.


Distinctions

In most languages written in any variety of the
Latin alphabet The Latin alphabet or Roman alphabet is the collection of letters originally used by the ancient Romans In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived ...

Latin alphabet
, the dot on a lower-case is not a glyph because it does not convey any distinction, and an in which the dot has been accidentally omitted is still likely to be recognized correctly. However, in
Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...
this dot is a glyph because that language has two distinct versions of the letter ''i'',
with With or WITH may refer to: * With, a preposition in English * Carl Johannes With (1877–1923), Danish doctor and arachnologist * With (character), a character in ''D. N. Angel'' * With (novel), ''With'' (novel), a novel by Donald Harrington * With ...
and without a dot. Also, in Japanese
syllabaries In the linguistic Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis includ ...
, a number of the characters are made up of more than one separate mark, but in general these separate marks are not glyphs because they have no meaning by themselves. However, in some cases, additional marks fulfill the role of
diacritic A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph The term glyph is used in typography File:metal movable type.jpg, 225px, Movable type being assembled on a composing stick using pieces that ...
s, to differentiate distinct characters. Such additional marks constitute glyphs. In general, a diacritic is a glyph, even if it is contiguous with the rest of the character like a
cedilla A cedilla ( ; from Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (di ...

cedilla
in
French
French
or
Catalan Catalan may refer to: Catalonia From, or related to Catalonia: * Catalan language, a Romance language * Catalans, an ethnic group formed by the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia * Països Catalans, territories where Catalan is spoken * C ...
, the
ogonek 100px, Ogonek The ( Polish: , "little tail", the diminutive of ; lt, nosinė, "nasal") is a diacritic A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph added to a letter or basic glyph. The t ...

ogonek
in several languages, or the stroke on a Polish " Ł". Some characters such as "
æ
æ
" in
Icelandic Icelandic refers to anything of, from, or related to Iceland and may refer to: *Icelandic people *Icelandic language *Icelandic alphabet *Icelandic cuisine See also

* Icelander (disambiguation) * Icelandic Airlines, a predecessor of Icelandai ...
and the "
ß
ß
" in
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
may be regarded as glyphs. They were originally typographic ligatures, but over time have become characters in their own right; these languages treat them as unique letters. However, a ligature such as "fi", that is treated in some typefaces as a single unit, is arguably not a glyph as this is just a design choice of the typeface, essentially an
allograph Allography, from the Greek for "other writing", has several meanings which all relate to how word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, obje ...
ic feature, and includes more than one
grapheme In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most langu ...

grapheme
. In normal handwriting, even long words are often written "joined up", without the pen leaving the paper, and the form of each written letter will often vary depending on which letters precede and follow it, but that does not make the whole word into a single glyph.


See also

* * Unicode code block ''Arabic Presentation Forms-B'' * * * * * * * * * *


Notes


References


External links

* * {{Typography terms Archaeological terminology Graphemes Infographics Typographical symbols Typography