The Symbols of the Writing System
A grapheme is a “unit of the writing system which clearly
represents an orthographic unit” (Downing and Leong, 1982,
p.55). These same authors point out that, “In learning to
read the universal talk in all languages is to learn how
the writing system represents language. The writing system
is the basic tool for literacy, but the tool varies from one
language to another” (p.55).
Khmer is a syllabic alphabet
writing system (also known as an agubida), that
is, there are symbols for combined consonants and vowels (Ager,
2003b; Agubida, 2003). The Khmer written symbols are very
different from the Roman alphabet used in English. In addition,
Khmer writing does not have spaces between words: spaces are
only used at the end of a clause or sentence (Ager, 2003a).
Samples of some of the symbols in the Khmer agubida:
Source: Ager, 2003a. Permission requested.
For more information see: http://www.omniglot.com/writing/khmer.htm