from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The science dealing with vocal sounds; phonetics.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The science which treats of vocal sounds.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Sound; pronunciation.
  • n. Phonetic status; the use of symbols with a definite phonetic value.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • That the language contained a very large number of monosyllabic words is, however, certain; and as phonetism is necessarily syllabic, we may assume that the earliest Egyptian scribes had a rich mine of syllabic forms to draw upon.

    Pharaohs, Fellahs and Explorers

  • From picture-writing to pictorial phonetism was an enormous stride; but as we know nothing of the condition of the Egyptian vocabulary at that remote time, we cannot possibly estimate to what extent pictorial phonetism supplied a means of coherent communication between man and man.

    Pharaohs, Fellahs and Explorers

  • Just as pictorial phonetism was evolved from ideography, or picture-writing, so was alphabetism evolved from pictorial phonetism.

    Pharaohs, Fellahs and Explorers

  • A long course of umbrellas, so to speak, and the confusion to which it must have led, paved the way for another kind of picture-writing, in which sounds were expressed instead of things – namely, pictorial phonetism; and pictorial phonetism registers the second stage in the art of writing.

    Pharaohs, Fellahs and Explorers

  • This is pictorial phonetism; and pictorial phonetism is, in fact, pictorial punning, of the sort commonly known as the rebus, or charade.

    Pharaohs, Fellahs and Explorers

  • Now, in pictorial phonetism each figure stands for the sound of the word denoting the object represented, that word being generally, though not necessarily, used in a far-fetched sense.

    Pharaohs, Fellahs and Explorers

  • Other ancient writings passed through the same three stages of development – picture-writing, pictorial phonetism, and alphabetic writing; but the oldest alphabets of other nations are modern when compared with that of the Egyptians.

    Pharaohs, Fellahs and Explorers


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