Pahlavi or Pahlevi is a particular written form of various Middle Iranian languages. The essential characteristics of Pahlavi are the use of a specific Aramaic-derived script. Pahlavi compositions have been found for the dialects/ethnolects of Parthia, Sogdiana and Khotan. Independent of the variant for which the Pahlavi system was used, the written form of that language only qualifies as Pahlavi when it has the characteristics noted above. Pahlavi is an admixture of written Imperial Aramaic, from which Pahlavi derives its script and some of its vocabulary. Spoken Middle Iranian, from which Pahlavi derives its terminations, symbol rules, most of its vocabulary. Pahlavi may thus be defined as a system of writing applied to a specific language group, but with critical features alien to that language group, it is not one. It is an written system, but much Pahlavi literature remains an oral literature committed to writing and so retains many of the characteristics of oral composition; the term Pahlavi is said to be derived from the Parthian language word parthav or parthau, meaning Parthia, a region just east of the Caspian Sea, with the -i suffix denoting the language and people of that region.
If this etymology is correct, Parthav became pahlaw through a semivowel glide rt change to l, a common occurrence in language evolution. The term has been traced back further to Avestan pərəthu- "broad " evident in Sanskrit pŗthvi- "earth" and parthivi " of the earth". Common to all Indo-Iranian languages is a connotation of "mighty"; the earliest attested use of Pahlavi dates to the reign of Arsaces I of Parthia in early Parthian coins with Pahlavi scripts. There are several Pahlavi texts written during the reign of Mithridates I; the cellars of the treasury at Mithradatkird reveal thousands of pottery sherds with brief records. Such fragments, as the rock inscriptions of Sassanid kings, which are datable to the 3rd and 4th centuries AD, do not, qualify as a significant literary corpus. Although in theory Pahlavi could have been used to render any Middle Iranian language and hence may have been in use as early as 300 BC, no manuscripts that can be dated to before the 6th century AD have yet been found.
Thus, when used for the name of a literary genre, i.e. Pahlavi literature, the term refers to Middle Iranian texts dated near or after the fall of the Sassanid empire and extending to about AD 900, after which Iranian languages enter the "modern" stage; the oldest surviving example of the Pahlavi literature is from fragments of the so-called "Pahlavi Psalter", a 6th- or 7th-century-AD translation of a Syriac Psalter found at Bulayiq on the Silk Road, near Turpan in north-west China. It is in a more archaic script than Book Pahlavi. After the Muslim conquest of Persia, the Pahlavi script was replaced by the Arabic script, except in Zoroastrian sacred literature; the replacement of the Pahlavi script with the Arabic script in order to write the Persian language was done by the Tahirids in 9th century Khurasan. In the present day, "Pahlavi" is identified with the prestige dialect of south-west Iran and properly called Pārsi, after Pars; this practice can be dated to the period following the Islamic conquest.
The Pahlavi script is one of the two essential characteristics of the Pahlavi system. Its origin and development occurred independently of the various Middle Iranian languages for which it was used; the Pahlavi script is derived from the Aramaic script as it was used under the Achaemenids, with modifications to support the phonology of the Iranian languages. It is a typical abjad, where, in general, only long vowels are marked with matres lectionis, vowel-initial words are marked with an aleph. However, because of the high incidence of logograms derived from Aramaic words, the Pahlavi script is far from always phonetic. In addition to this, during much of its history, Pahlavi orthography was characterized by historical or archaizing spellings. Most notably, it continued to reflect the pronunciation that preceded the widespread Iranian lenition processes, whereby postvocalic voiceless stops and affricates had become voiced, voiced stops had become semivowels. Certain words continued to be spelt with postvocalic ⟨s⟩ and ⟨t⟩ after the consonants had been debuccalized to ⟨h⟩ in the living language.
The Pahlavi script consisted of two used forms: Inscriptional Pahlavi and Book Pahlavi. A third form, Psalter Pahlavi, is not attested. Although the Parthian Arsacids wrote in Greek, some of the coins and seals of the Arsacid period include inscriptions in the Parthian language; the script of these inscriptions is called inscriptional Parthian. Numerous clay fragments from Arsacid-era Parthia proper, in particular a large collection of fragments from Nisa that date to the reign of Mithridates I, are l
Transoxiana, known in Arabic sources as Mā Warāʾ an-Nahr and in Persian as Farārūd, is the ancient name used for the portion of Central Asia corresponding with modern-day Uzbekistan, southern Kyrgyzstan, southwest Kazakhstan. Geographically, it is the region between the Amu Syr Darya rivers; the area had been known to the ancient Iranians as Turan, a term used in the Persian national epic Shahnameh, to the Romans as Transoxania. The Arabic term Mā warāʼ an-Nahr passed into Persian literary usage and stayed on until post-Mongol times; the region was one of the satrapies of the Achaemenid dynasty of Persia under the name Sogdiana. It was defined within the classical world of Iran to distinguish it from Iran proper its northeastern province of Khorasan—a term originating with the Sasanians,—although early Arab historians and geographers tended to subsume the region within the loosely defined term "Khorasan" designating a much larger territory; the name Transoxiana stuck in Western consciousness because of the exploits of Alexander the Great, who extended Greek culture into the region with his invasion in the 4th century BC.
During the Sassanid Empire, it was called Sogdiana, a provincial name taken from the Achaemenid Empire, used to distinguish it from nearby Bactria. The Chinese explorer Zhang Qian, who visited the neighbouring countries of Bactria and Parthia along with Transoxiana in 126 BC, made the first known Chinese report on this region. Zhang Qian identifies Parthia as an advanced urban civilisation that farmed grain and grapes, made silver coins and leather goods, it was ruled successively by Seleucids, the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, the Parthian Empire and the Kushan Empire before Sassanid rule. In Sassanid times, the region became a major cultural center due to the wealth derived from the Northern Silk Road. Sassanid rule was interrupted by the Hephthalite invasion at the end of the 5th century and didn't return to the Sassanids until 565. Many Persian nobles and landlords escaped to this region after the Muslim invasion. Before the Muslim invasion it was ruled by Göktürks. After that it was ruled by Tang China until the Arab conquest between 705 and 715, the area became known as Mā warāʼ al-Nahr, sometimes rendered as "Mavarannahr".
Transoxiana's major cities and cultural centers are Bukhara. Both are in the southern portion of Transoxiana, the majority of the region was dry but fertile plains. Both cities remained centres of Persian culture and civilisation after the Islamic conquest of Iran, played a crucial role in the revival of Persian culture with establishment of the Samanid dynasty. Part of this region was conquered by Qutayba ibn Muslim between 706 and 715 and loosely held by the Umayyads from 715 to 738; the conquest was consolidated by Nasr ibn Sayyar between 738 and 740, continued under the control of the Umayyads until 750, when it was replaced by the Abbasids. The Tang dynasty controlled the eastern part of the region until about the same time, when a civil war known as the An Lushan Rebellion occurred. Genghis Khan, founder of the Mongol Empire, invaded Transoxiana in 1219 during his conquest of Khwarezm. Before his death in 1227, he assigned the lands of Western Central Asia to his second son Chagatai, this region became known as the Chagatai Khanate.
In 1369, Timur, of the Barlas tribe, became the effective ruler and made Samarkand the capital of his future empire. Transoxiana was known to be flourishing in the mid-14th century. Sogdiana Greater Khorasan Khwarezm Turan Hisar-i Shadman
Islam is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that there is only one God, that Muhammad is the messenger of God. It is the world's second-largest religion with over 1.8 billion followers or 24% of the world's population, most known as Muslims. Muslims make up a majority of the population in 50 countries. Islam teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful and has guided humankind through prophets, revealed scriptures and natural signs; the primary scriptures of Islam are the Quran, viewed by Muslims as the verbatim word of God, the teachings and normative example of Muhammad. Muslims believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith, revealed many times before through prophets including Adam, Abraham and Jesus. Muslims consider the Quran in its original Arabic to be the final revelation of God. Like other Abrahamic religions, Islam teaches a final judgment with the righteous rewarded paradise and unrighteous punished in hell. Religious concepts and practices include the Five Pillars of Islam, which are obligatory acts of worship, following Islamic law, which touches on every aspect of life and society, from banking and welfare to women and the environment.
The cities of Mecca and Jerusalem are home to the three holiest sites in Islam. Aside from the theological narrative, Islam is believed to have originated in the early 7th century CE in Mecca, by the 8th century the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate extended from Iberia in the west to the Indus River in the east; the Islamic Golden Age refers to the period traditionally dated from the 8th century to the 13th century, during the Abbasid Caliphate, when much of the Muslim world was experiencing a scientific and cultural flourishing. The expansion of the Muslim world involved various caliphates, such as the Ottoman Empire and conversion to Islam by missionary activities. Most Muslims are of one of two denominations. About 13 % of Muslims live in the largest Muslim-majority country. Sizeable Muslim communities are found in the Americas, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Europe, Mainland Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Russia. Islam is the fastest-growing major religion in the world. Islam is a verbal noun originating from the triliteral root S-L-M which forms a large class of words relating to concepts of wholeness, submission and peace.
In a religious context it means "voluntary submission to God". Islām is the verbal noun of Form IV of the root, means "submission" or "surrender". Muslim, the word for an adherent of Islam, is the active participle of the same verb form, means "submitter" or "one who surrenders"; the word sometimes has distinct connotations in its various occurrences in the Quran. In some verses, there is stress on the quality of Islam as an internal spiritual state: "Whomsoever God desires to guide, He opens his heart to Islam." Other verses connect Islam and religion together: "Today, I have perfected your religion for you. Still others describe Islam as an action of returning to God—more than just a verbal affirmation of faith. In the Hadith of Gabriel, islām is presented as one part of a triad that includes imān, ihsān. Islam was called Muhammadanism in Anglophone societies; this term has fallen out of use and is sometimes said to be offensive because it suggests that a human being rather than God is central to Muslims' religion, parallel to Buddha in Buddhism.
Some authors, continue to use the term Muhammadanism as a technical term for the religious system as opposed to the theological concept of Islam that exists within that system. Faith in the Islamic creed is represented as the six articles of faith, notably spelled out in the Hadith of Gabriel. Islam is seen as having the simplest doctrines of the major religions, its most fundamental concept is a rigorous monotheism, called tawḥīd. God is described in chapter 112 of the Quran as: "He is God, the One and Only. Muslims repudiate polytheism and idolatry, called Shirk, reject the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. In Islam, God is beyond all comprehension and thus. God is described and referred to by certain names or attributes, the most common being Al-Rahmān, meaning "The Compassionate" and Al-Rahīm, meaning "The Merciful". Muslims believe that the creation of everything in the universe was brought into being by God's sheer command, "Be, it is" and that the purpose of existence is to worship or to know God.
He is viewed as a personal god who responds whenever a person in distress calls him. There are no intermediaries, such as clergy, to contact God who states, "I am nearer to him than jugular vein." God consciousness is referred to as Taqwa. Allāh is the term with no plural or gender used by Muslims and Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews to reference God, while ʾilāh is the term used for a deity or a god in general. Other non-Arab Muslims might use different names as much as Allah, for instance "Tanrı" in Turkish, "Khodā" in Persian or "Ḵẖudā" in Urdu. Belief in angels is fundamental
Kazakhstan the Republic of Kazakhstan, is the world's largest landlocked country, the ninth largest in the world, with an area of 2,724,900 square kilometres. It is a transcontinental country located in Asia. Kazakhstan is the dominant nation of Central Asia economically, generating 60% of the region's GDP through its oil and gas industry, it has vast mineral resources. Kazakhstan is a democratic, unitary, constitutional republic with a diverse cultural heritage. Kazakhstan shares borders with Russia, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan, adjoins a large part of the Caspian Sea; the terrain of Kazakhstan includes flatlands, taiga, rock canyons, deltas, snow-capped mountains, deserts. Kazakhstan has an estimated 18.3 million people as of 2018. Given its large land area, its population density is among the lowest, at less than 6 people per square kilometre; the capital is Astana, where it was moved in 1997 from the country's largest city. The territory of Kazakhstan has been inhabited by groups included the nomadic groups and empires.
In antiquity, the nomadic Scythians have inhabited the land and the Persian Achaemenid Empire expanded towards the southern territory of the modern country. Turkic nomads who trace their ancestry to many Turkic states such as Turkic Khaganate etc have inhabited the country throughout the country's history. In the 13th century, the territory joined the Mongolian Empire under Genghis Khan. By the 16th century, the Kazakh emerged as a distinct group, divided into three jüz; the Russians began advancing into the Kazakh steppe in the 18th century, by the mid-19th century, they nominally ruled all of Kazakhstan as part of the Russian Empire. Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, subsequent civil war, the territory of Kazakhstan was reorganised several times. In 1936, it was made part of the Soviet Union. Kazakhstan was the last of the Soviet republics to declare independence during the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Nursultan Nazarbayev, the first President of Kazakhstan, was characterized as an authoritarian, his government was accused of numerous human rights violations, including suppression of dissent and censorship of the media.
Nazarbayev resigned in March 2019, with Senate Chairman Kassym-Jomart Tokayev taking office as Interim President. Kazakhstan has worked to develop its economy its dominant hydrocarbon industry. Human Rights Watch says that "Kazakhstan restricts freedom of assembly and religion", other human rights organisations describe Kazakhstan's human rights situation as poor. Kazakhstan's 131 ethnicities include Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Germans and Uyghurs. Islam is the religion of about 70% of the population, with Christianity practised by 26%. Kazakhstan allows freedom of religion, but religious leaders who oppose the government are suppressed; the Kazakh language is the state language, Russian has equal official status for all levels of administrative and institutional purposes. Kazakhstan is a member of the United Nations, WTO, CIS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Eurasian Economic Union, CSTO, OSCE, OIC, TURKSOY; the name "Kazakh" comes from the ancient Turkic word qaz, "to wander", reflecting the Kazakhs' nomadic culture.
The name "Cossack" is of the same origin. The Persian suffix -stan means "land" or "place of", so Kazakhstan can be translated as "land of the wanderers". Though traditionally referring only to ethnic Kazakhs, including those living in China, Turkey and other neighbouring countries, the term "Kazakh" is being used to refer to any inhabitant of Kazakhstan, including non-Kazakhs. Kazakhstan has been inhabited since the Paleolithic. Pastoralism developed during the Neolithic as the region's climate and terrain are best suited for a nomadic lifestyle; the Kazakh territory was a key constituent of the Eurasian Steppe route, the ancestor of the terrestrial Silk Roads. Archaeologists believe. During recent prehistoric times Central Asia was inhabited by groups like the Proto-Indo-European Afanasievo culture early Indo-Iranians cultures such as Andronovo, Indo-Iranians such as the Saka and Massagetae. Other groups included the nomadic Scythians and the Persian Achaemenid Empire in the southern territory of the modern country.
In 329 BC, Alexander the Great and his Macedonian army fought in the Battle of Jaxartes against the Scythians along the Jaxartes River, now known as the Syr Darya along the southern border of modern Kazakhstan. The Cuman entered the steppes of modern-day Kazakhstan around the early 11th century, where they joined with the Kipchak and established the vast Cuman-Kipchak confederation. While ancient cities Taraz and Hazrat-e Turkestan had long served as important way-stations along the Silk Road connecting Asia and Europe, true political consolidation began only with the Mongol rule of the early 13th century. Under the Mongol Empire, the largest in world history, administrative districts were established; these came under the rule of the emergent Kazakh Khanate. Throughout this period, traditional nomadic life and a livestock-
Zoroastrianism, or Mazdayasna, is one of the world's oldest religions that remains active. It is a monotheistic faith, centered in a dualistic cosmology of good and evil and an eschatology predicting the ultimate destruction of evil. Ascribed to the teachings of the Iranian-speaking prophet Zoroaster, it exalts a deity of wisdom, Ahura Mazda, as its Supreme Being. Major features of Zoroastrianism, such as messianism, judgment after death and hell, free will may have influenced other religious systems, including Second Temple Judaism, Christianity and Buddhism. With possible roots dating back to the second millennium BCE, Zoroastrianism enters recorded history in the 5th century BCE. Along with a Mithraic Median prototype and a Zurvanist Sassanid successor, it served as the state religion of the pre-Islamic Iranian empires for more than a millennium, from around 600 BCE to 650 CE. Zoroastrianism was suppressed from the 7th century onwards following the Muslim conquest of Persia of 633–654. Recent estimates place the current number of Zoroastrians at around 190,000, with most living in India and in Iran.
However, in 2015, there were reports of up to 100,000 converts in Iraqi Kurdistan. Besides the Zoroastrian diaspora, the older Mithraic faith Yazdânism is still practised amongst Kurds; the most important texts of the religion are those of the Avesta, which includes the writings of Zoroaster known as the Gathas, enigmatic poems that define the religion's precepts, the Yasna, the scripture. The full name by which Zoroaster addressed the deity is: Ahura, The Lord Creator, Mazda, Supremely Wise; the religious philosophy of Zoroaster divided the early Iranian gods of Proto-Indo-Iranian tradition, but focused on responsibility, did not create a devil per se. Zoroaster proclaimed that there is only one God, the singularly creative and sustaining force of the Universe, that human beings are given a right of choice; because of cause and effect, they are responsible for the consequences of their choices. The contesting force to Ahura Mazda was called angry spirit. Post-Zoroastrian scripture introduced the concept of Ahriman, the Devil, a personification of Angra Mainyu.
Zoroastrianism's creator Ahura Mazda, through the Spenta Mainyu is an all-good "father" of Asha, in opposition to Druj and no evil originates from "him". "He" and his works are evident to humanity through the six primary Amesha Spentas and the host of other Yazatas, through whom worship of Mazda is directed. Spenta Mainyu adjoined unto "truth", oppose the Spirit's opposite, Angra Mainyu and its forces born of Akəm Manah. Zoroastrianism has no major theological divisions. In Zoroastrianism, the purpose in life is to "be among those who renew the world...to make the world progress towards perfection". Its basic maxims include: Humata, Huvarshta, which mean: Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds. There is only one path and, the path of Truth. Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, all beneficial rewards will come to you also; the name Zoroaster is a Greek rendering of the name Zarathustra. He is known as Zardosht in Persian and Zaratosht in Gujarati; the Zoroastrian name of the religion is Mazdayasna, which combines Mazda- with the Avestan language word yasna, meaning "worship, devotion".
In English, an adherent of the faith is called a Zoroastrian or a Zarathustrian. An older expression still used today is Behdin, meaning "The best Religion | Beh < Middle Persian Weh + Din < Middle Persian dēn < Avestan Daēnā". In Zoroastrian liturgy the term is used as a title for an individual, formally inducted into the religion in a Navjote ceremony; the term Mazdaism is a typical 19th century construct, taking Mazda- from the name Ahura Mazda and adding the suffix -ism to suggest a belief system. The March 2001 draft edition of the Oxford English Dictionary records an alternate form, Mazdeism derived from the French Mazdéisme, which first appeared in 1871. Zoroastrian philosophy is identified as having been known to Italian Renaissance Europe through an image of Zoroaster in Raphael's "School of Athens" by Giorgio Vasari in 1550; the first surviving reference to Zoroaster in English scholarship is attributed to Thomas Browne, who refers to the prophet in his 1643 Religio Medici, followed by the Oxford English Dictionary's record of the 1743.
The Oxford English Dictionary records use of the term Zoroastrianism in 1874 in Archibald Sayce's Principles of Comparative Philology. Zoroastrians believe that there is one universal, supreme God, Ahura Mazda, or the "Wise Lord".. Zoroaster keeps the two attributes separate as two different concepts in most of the Gathas and consciously uses a masculine word for one concept and a feminine for the other, as if to distract from an anthropomorphism of his divinity. Zoroaster claimed. Other scholars assert that since Zoroastrianism's divinity covers both being and mind as immanent entities, it is better described as a belief in an immanent self-creating universe with consciousness as its special attribute, thereby putting Zoroastrianism in the pantheistic fold where it can be traced to i
A writing system is any conventional method of visually representing verbal communication. While both writing and speech are useful in conveying messages, writing differs in being a reliable form of information storage and transfer; the processes of encoding and decoding writing systems involve shared understanding between writers and readers of the meaning behind the sets of characters that make up a script. Writing is recorded onto a durable medium, such as paper or electronic storage, although non-durable methods may be used, such as writing on a computer display, on a blackboard, in sand, or by skywriting; the general attributes of writing systems can be placed into broad categories such as alphabets, syllabaries, or logographies. Any particular system can have attributes of more than one category. In the alphabetic category, there is a standard set of letters of consonants and vowels that encode based on the general principle that the letters represent speech sounds. In a syllabary, each symbol correlates to a syllable or mora.
In a logography, each character represents morpheme, or other semantic units. Other categories include abjads, which differ from alphabets in that vowels are not indicated, abugidas or alphasyllabaries, with each character representing a consonant–vowel pairing. Alphabets use a set of 20-to-35 symbols to express a language, whereas syllabaries can have 80-to-100, logographies can have several hundreds of symbols. Most systems will have an ordering of its symbol elements so that groups of them can be coded into larger clusters like words or acronyms, giving rise to many more possibilities in meanings than the symbols can convey by themselves. Systems will enable the stringing together of these smaller groupings in order to enable a full expression of the language; the reading step expressed orally. A special set of symbols known as punctuation is used to aid in structure and organization of many writing systems and can be used to help capture nuances and variations in the message's meaning that are communicated verbally by cues in timing, accent, inflection or intonation.
A writing system will typically have a method for formatting recorded messages that follows the spoken version's rules like its grammar and syntax so that the reader will have the meaning of the intended message preserved. Writing systems were preceded by proto-writing, which used pictograms and other mnemonic symbols. Proto-writing lacked the ability to express a full range of thoughts and ideas; the invention of writing systems, which dates back to the beginning of the Bronze Age in the late Neolithic Era of the late 4th millennium BC, enabled the accurate durable recording of human history in a manner, not prone to the same types of error to which oral history is vulnerable. Soon after, writing provided a reliable form of long distance communication. With the advent of publishing, it provided the medium for an early form of mass communication; the creation of a new alphabetic writing system for a language with an existing logographic writing system is called alphabetization, as when the People's Republic of China studied the prospect of alphabetizing the Chinese languages with Latin script, Cyrillic script, Arabic script, numbers, although the most common instance of it, converting to Latin script, is called romanization.
Writing systems are distinguished from other possible symbolic communication systems in that a writing system is always associated with at least one spoken language. In contrast, visual representations such as drawings and non-verbal items on maps, such as contour lines, are not language-related; some symbols on information signs, such as the symbols for male and female, are not language related, but can grow to become part of language if they are used in conjunction with other language elements. Some other symbols, such as numerals and the ampersand, are not directly linked to any specific language, but are used in writing and thus must be considered part of writing systems; every human community possesses language, which many regard as an innate and defining condition of humanity. However, the development of writing systems, the process by which they have supplanted traditional oral systems of communication, have been sporadic and slow. Once established, writing systems change more than their spoken counterparts.
Thus they preserve features and expressions which are no longer current in the spoken language. One of the great benefits of writing systems is that they can preserve a permanent record of information expressed in a language. All writing systems require: at least one set of defined base elements or symbols, individually termed signs and collectively called a script. In the examination of individual scripts, the study of writing systems has developed along independent lines. Thus, the terminology employed differs somewhat from field to field; the generic term text refers to an instance of writte
An ideogram or ideograph is a graphic symbol that represents an idea or concept, independent of any particular language, specific words or phrases. Some ideograms are comprehensible only by familiarity with prior convention. In proto-writing, used for inventories and the like, physical objects are represented by stylized or conventionalized pictures, or pictograms. For example, the pictorial Dongba symbols without Geba annotation cannot represent the Naxi language, but are used as a mnemonic for reciting oral literature; some systems use ideograms, symbols denoting abstract concepts. The term "ideogram" is used to describe symbols of writing systems such as Egyptian hieroglyphs, Sumerian cuneiform and Chinese characters. However, these symbols are logograms, representing words or morphemes of a particular language rather than objects or concepts. In these writing systems, a variety of strategies were employed in the design of logographic symbols. Pictographic symbols depict the object referred to by the word, such as an icon of a bull denoting the Semitic word ʾālep "ox".
Some words denoting abstract concepts may be represented iconically, but most other words are represented using the rebus principle, borrowing a symbol for a similarly-sounding word. Systems used selected symbols to represent the sounds of the language, for example the adaptation of the logogram for ʾālep "ox" as the letter aleph representing the initial sound of the word, a glottal stop. Many signs in hieroglyphic as well as in cuneiform writing could be used either logographically or phonetically. For example, the Akkadian sign AN could be an ideograph for "deity", an ideogram for the god Anum in particular, a logograph for the Akkadian stem il- "deity", a logograph for the Akkadian word šamu "sky", or a syllabogram for either the syllable an or il. Although Chinese characters are logograms, two of the smaller classes in the traditional classification are ideographic in origin: Simple ideographs are abstract symbols such as 上 shàng "up" and 下 xià "down" or numerals such as 三 sān "three".
Semantic compounds are semantic combinations of characters, such as 明 míng "bright", composed of 日 rì "sun" and 月 yuè "moon", or 休 xiū "rest", composed of 人 rén "person" and 木 mù "tree". In the light of the modern understanding of Old Chinese phonology, researchers now believe that most of the characters classified as semantic compounds have an at least phonetic nature. An example of ideograms is the collection of 50 signs developed in the 1970s by the American Institute of Graphic Arts at the request of the US Department of Transportation; the system was used to mark airports and became more widespread. Mathematical symbols are a type of ideogram. Inspired by inaccurate early descriptions of Chinese and Japanese characters as ideograms, many Western thinkers have sought to design universal written languages, in which symbols denote concepts rather than words. An early proposal was An Essay towards a Real Character, a Philosophical Language by John Wilkins. A recent example is the system of Blissymbols, proposed by Charles K.
Bliss in 1949 and includes over 2,000 symbols. The Ideographic Myth Extract from DeFrancis' book. American Heritage Dictionary definition Merriam-Webster OnLine definition