The Chinese dialects (方 言) and the sound modules

The Chinese dialects (方 言) and the sound modules

Postby Tienzen » Thu May 31, 2012 9:38 pm

Ling wrote:The reason that phonetic roots in Chinese characters differ from the sound of the character is usually given as, “The character's sound was assigned from a different dialect than the phonetic root". … I'm sorry but I can't seem to get beyond PHONETICS. …

I believe that you have developed a system of phonetics for (classical) Chinese by analysis of the present language, and that its phonetic content is not necessarily based on a previously unified system of phonetics. This being the case I am content to move on. I shall get back to you with my solution as soon as it is finished (unfortunately a year, I fear).

In my new Chinese etymology, I have provided a unified system to describe the merge of Chinese characters (in an axiomatic root system) with the Chinese verbal system(s). Yet, Ling (a member of this forum) has questioned this claim (see his comments above).

In the article “Accommodating Chinese verbal universe by the written system, words-of-the-week/accommodating-chinese-verbal-universe-by-the-written-system-t168.html “, I have showed that there is one and only one unified Chinese written system although there are, at least, eight dialects. Of course, every dialect made contribution to this unified written system, in terms of the system which I described. On the other hand, they all also caused confusions which led “all” Chinese philologists in the past 2,000 years being ignorant about the fact that Chinese written system is an axiomatic root-based system. Now, it is the time to show the detailed mechanism of making this veil which hid the axiom-system so deep for two thousand years.

In 六 書 (six way of making Chinese characters), only four of them (象 形, 指 事, 會 意, 形 聲) are about making characters. The other two (轉 註, 假 借) are not the ways of making character per se but are making new meanings for existing characters. In some cases (especially in 假 借), the new meaning can be completely different from the original one (arrived by the reading out from the face of the character from its composed roots). This type of 假 借 is, often, phonetic in nature. I am showing two recent examples below.

1. “Show” in show-business translated as 秀 (which has a similar pronunciation as “show”). This is a phonetic translation. 秀 is 禾 (grain) over 乃 (still going or not yet ready), that is, the grain is not matured yet. So, 秀 is not matured grain, meaning still green, and it is used to express being “youthful”. Now, 秀 is borrowed (假 借) to mean “Show” (of show-business).

2. “Cool” means not-warm in English originally. It was “borrowed” to express “fashionable” nowadays. Thus, even in English, there is some borrowing. Now, “Cool” is translated “phonetically” as 酷 which is 酉 (a root for fermentation or wine) + 告 (telling). Thus, 酷 depicts a scene of telling that the wine is ready. Its extended meaning can be as “very much” or overly abusive. Now, 酷 means fashionable.

With the two examples above, it is obvious that the meaning of the “borrowed” can never be reached from its original meaning. And an axiomatic system can be easily veiled under this process if it produces enough cases. However, when most of those cases are revealed, the original axiom-system will be unveiled.

The book 方 言 described all known Chinese dialects before the 秦 朝 (Qing dynasty). It was edited by 揚 雄 (漢, 前53年-18年, 53 B.C to 18 A.D, ). It has 13 chapters, and I am post it in its entirety below. I am using the copy from 欽 定 四 庫 全 書 ( ... 0%E8%A6%81 ), published in 1773. This book is, in fact, a Chinese thesaurus. In addition to many synonyms, it encompasses most of the “borrowing” cases among dialects. For anyone who wants to know the phonetics on Chinese characters, he will go nowhere without this book.

I am also including two maps, showing the states during the Spring-Autumn period and the states during the Warring period. In the book 方 言, the dialects were identified by the names of those states.

春 秋 列 國 地 圖 (秦, 晉, 梁, 魏, 燕, 齊, 魯, 鄭, 宋, 陳, 蔡, 楚, 吳, 越, 許, 曹, 衛)


戰 國 地 圖 (秦, 趙, 魏, 韓, 燕, 齊, 楚)


I also made the book a bit easier to read. The first row lists the words (the synonyms). The second row lists the meaning for them. The third row is the detailed descriptions.
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Re: The Chinese dialects (方 言) and the sound modules

Postby Tienzen » Thu May 31, 2012 9:45 pm

Chapter one

1. 黨、 曉 、哲,
知 也。
楚 謂 之 黨,或 曰 曉,齊 宋 之 間 謂 之 哲。

2. 虔、 儇,
慧 也。
秦 謂 之 謾,晉 謂 之 㦟,宋 楚 之 間 謂 之 倢, 楚 或 謂 之 䜏。 自 關 而 東 趙 魏 之 間 謂 之 黠, 或 謂 之 鬼。

3. 娥、㜲,
好 也。
秦 曰 娥,宋 魏 之 間 謂 之 㜲,秦 晉 之 間,凡 好 而 輕 者 謂 之 娥。自 關 而 東 河 濟 之 間 謂 之 媌,或 謂 之 姣。趙 魏 燕 代 之 間 曰 姝,或 曰 妦。自 關 而 西 秦 晉 之 故 都 曰 妍。好,其 通 語 也。

4. 烈, 枿,
餘 也。
陳 鄭 之 間 曰 枿,晉 衛 之 間 曰 烈,秦 晉 之 間 曰 肄, 或 曰 烈。

5. 台、 胎、 陶、 鞠,
養 也。
晉 衛 燕 魏 曰 台,陳 楚 韓 鄭 之 間 曰 鞠,秦 或 曰 陶,汝 潁 梁 宋 之 間 曰 胎,或 曰 艾。

6. 憮,㤿、憐、牟,
愛 也。
韓 鄭 曰 憮,晉 衛 曰 㤿,汝 潁 之 間 曰 憐, 宋 魯 之 間 曰 牟,或 曰 憐。 憐,通 語 也。

7. 㥄、憮、矜、悼、憐,
哀 也。
齊 魯 之 間 曰 矜,陳 楚 之 間 曰 悼,趙 魏 燕 代 之 間 曰 㥄,自 楚 之 北 郊 曰 憮,秦 晉 之 間 或 曰 矜,或 曰 悼。

8. 咺、唏、㣿、怛,
痛 也。
凡 哀 泣 而 不 止 曰 咺,哀 而 不 泣 曰 唏。於 方:則 楚 言 哀 曰 唏,燕 之 外 鄙,朝 鮮 洌 水 之 間,少 兒 泣 而 不 止 曰 咺。自 關 而 西 秦 晉 之 間,凡 大 人 少 兒 泣 而 不 止 謂 之 唴,哭 極 音 絕 亦 謂 之 唴。平 原 謂 啼 極 無 聲 謂 之 唴 哴。楚 謂 之 噭 咷,齊 宋 之 間 謂 之 喑,或 謂 之 惄。

9. 悼、惄、悴、憖,
傷 也。
自 關 而 東 汝 潁 陳 楚 之 間 通 語 也。 汝 謂 之 惄,秦 謂 之 悼,宋 謂 之 悴,楚 潁 之 間 謂 之 憖。

10. 慎、濟、䁮、惄、溼,桓,
憂 也。
宋 衛 或 謂 之 慎,或 曰 䁮。陳 楚 或曰 溼,或 曰 濟。自 關 而 西 秦 晉 之 間 或 曰 惄,或 曰 溼。自 關 而 西 秦 晉 之 間,凡 志 而 不 得,欲 而 不 獲,高 而 有 墜,得 而 中 亡,謂 之 溼,或 謂 之 惄。
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Re: The Chinese dialects (方 言) and the sound modules

Postby taiwan » Sun Jun 10, 2012 11:57 am

Thank you so much for making the great book Fang Yan (方言) available. Why there was no one knowing about that Chinese word system is an axiomatic system for the past 2,000 years? This great mystery is now clear. The permeating of Fang Yan made a unified Chinese written language on the one hand and placed that axiomatic system in a thick veil at the same time. This fact is so obvious even with the first example of the book.

黨、 曉 、哲,
知 也。
楚 謂 之 黨,或 曰 曉,齊 宋 之 間 謂 之 哲

From dictionary: (dǎng, zhǎng ) political party, gang, faction

From Tienzen etymology: 尚 (prefer) over 黑. 黑 is 臼 (the grounding stone) turned over on top of 土 (earth, ground) over 火 (fire). So, 黑 depicts a scene of “campfire”. Now, we use 黑 to point out the color black (the color of the 臼 after the campfire). But the original meaning of 黑 can describe a group around a campfire. So, the word 會 (conference or meeting) has the turned over 臼 as the middle radical over 曰 (the intelligent speaking) while the top radical means “union or together”. So, 尚 黑 depicts a group who enjoy the campfire together.

From Fang Yan: 知 也, meaning “knowing, understood”.

From dictionary: (xiǎo) dawn, daybreak; clear, explicit

From Tienzen etymology: 日 (Sun) + 堯 (high above). 堯 is 垚 (a high ground, made of three 土[earth]) over 兀 (nothing, nothingness). So, 堯 depicts the scene of building a high ground from nothing, such as the achievement of the Emperor 堯. In fact, 堯 is a word invented for commemorating that legendary ancient emperor-sage. So, 曉 depicts the scene of the 日 (Sun) coming out from nowhere to high above (堯), that is, the dawn.

From Fang Yan: Knowing

From dictionary: (zhé) wise, sagacious; wise man, sage

From Tienzen etymology: 折 (breaking something) over 口 (mouth). 折 is 手 (hand) + 斤 (ax), breaking something with hand-ax. So, 哲 is breaking something (analyze something or persuade someone) with mouth (words or intelligence). For Chinese, accomplishing things with words (intelligence) is always better than using force (hand). So,
最 [曰 (intelligent speaking) over 取 (taking)], taking with words (intelligence) is the “best” way.
周 [用 (using) over 口 (mouth)], using mouth can go around fast, encompassing all places.

From Fang Yan: Knowing.

With the book Fang Yan (方言), we now know the paths of how the Chinese words got their meanings in addition to the original axiomatic meaning. I now also understand why no one in the past 2,000 years knew about that Chinese word system is an axiomatic system.
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Re: The Chinese dialects (方 言) and the sound modules

Postby carolgreen702 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:20 pm

that is so interesting
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