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Chinese Language Forums - Chinese Etymology Institute • View topic - WW (033) --- The mutations of Chinese characters

WW (033) --- The mutations of Chinese characters

WW (033) --- The mutations of Chinese characters

Postby Tienzen » Fri May 18, 2012 8:08 pm

The first two premises of this new etymology are,
1. Premise one --- All (each and every) Chinese words (characters) are composed of from a set of word roots,
2. Premise two --- The meaning of all Chinese words can be read out from their faces.


In my previous posts, I did prove these two premises with both existential introduction (that is, with one example) and existential generalization (with, at least, two or more examples). However, for a final proof, I need to show a universal proof, that is, these premises are valid for an arbitrary selected word. Yet, the chance for you (the reader) to do this universal proof yourselves for the following words is almost nil, let alone to say any arbitrary word, although you have learned about this axiom system.
1. 乎, 呼
2. 姊, 弟, 第
3. 前, 慈, 首
4. 叔, 椒
5. 卬, 迎 、 仰 、 抑 、 昂
6. 攸 , 絛 、 條 、 修 、 倏 、 悠 、 焂 、 筱 、 脩
7. 最
8. 鏡


The fact is that the Chinese character set, now, has two systems,
a. the original axiomatic system,
b. a mutated system.


After over 2,000 years of evolution, the Chinese character set did acquire a huge mutated system. Without knowing this mutated system, the universal proof becomes impossible. I will list some major mutation pathways here.

a. By fusion: I have showed some simple examples before, such as,
並 is the fusion of 立 立 .
兼 is the fusion of 秉 秉 .
雨 is the fusion of 天 水 .

b. Via diverging mutation, such as,
犬 --- the radical 犬 is in all these words (犯, 戾, 狀, 吠, 狁, 狂, 狄, 狎, 狐, 狗)
网 --- the radical 网 is in all these words (羅, 罪, 罩, 罰, 罔, 岡)
肉 --- the radical 肉 is in all these words (肚, 肛, 肝, 育, 肥, 腐, 臠, 昔)
火 --- the radical 火 is in all these words (煇, 炬, 煮, 篜, 煎, 烹, 無, 光)
水 --- the radical 水 is in all these words (永, 暴, 雨, 泉, 泰, 懷, 況, 流, 滾, 涼)
心 --- the radical 心 is in all these words (必, 忐, 忑, 志, 忘, 怕, 悄, 忖, 忙, 忡, 忝, 恭)
In these examples, we can see that one radical can mutate into a few different variants. This type of mutation is known to most of Chinese people. But, there are enough cases which are unknown to the common folk, such as 昔 has the radical of 肉, 恭 has the radical of 心 and 懷 has the radical of 水.

c. Via converging mutation, such as,
The look-like radical in (明, 肌, 前) are three different roots.
The look-like radical in (股, 几, 鳧) are three different roots.
The look-like radical in (香, 音, 杳) are three different roots.
This is the most difficult issue in the Chinese etymology. This is 100% knowledge-based. There is no chance of any kind that one can decode this type of mutation with computer analysis.

d. Via insertion, such as,
行 --- the radical 行 is in all these words (術, 衛, 衙, 銜, 衍, 衒, 衖, 衝, 街, 衡, 衢)
衣 --- the radical 衣 is in all these words (裔, 裝, 製, 裴, 襲, 裘, 哀, 衰, 衷, 裹, 褒, 襄)
While some insertions are very obvious, some are not.

e. Via multiple pathways, such as,
黃 is the insertion of 田 into 光. This takes more topological work to see the transformation.
漢 is 水 + 黃, meaning “Yellow water” which is, now, the name for Chinese race. Again, the topological transformation of 黃 takes some detailed analysis.

e. There are many more different mutation pathways, and I will discuss them in due time.
Tienzen
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Re: WW (033) --- The mutations of Chinese characters

Postby Ling » Thu May 24, 2012 8:45 am

I'm sorry but I can't seem to get beyond
PHONETICS

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"
This suggests that a knowledge of phonetic roots was not widespread in China, or else the phonetic root would have been changed to change the sound of the character.
That this did not happen may be deduced from the fact that a dictionary-maker would have had to have changed the root phonetic but left the character sound unchanged, in order for the discrepancy between phonetic roots and character sounds to have occurred.
Thus, a knowledge of phonetic roots was never a universal precept, and as all languages grow and develop, Chinese grew and developed without a general consideration for phonetics. Without any phonetic constraint or value put on roots for most of its growth, the concept of a phonetic 'basis' for Chinese is questionable.
Ling
 
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Re: WW (033) --- The mutations of Chinese characters

Postby Tienzen » Thu May 24, 2012 9:53 am

Ling wrote:Without any phonetic constraint or value put on roots for most of its growth, the concept of a phonetic 'basis' for Chinese is questionable.


By definition, language is verbal. Without a verbal part, it is not a complete language. A wholly developed language also has a written part. In English, the written is the direct expression of the verbal. In Chinese, the written has its own expression, but it tries to accommodate the verbal. The merge between the two is not direct or perfect. The rules that I showed in this new etymology are the most complete rules available.

Ling wrote: ... Chinese grew and developed without a general consideration for phonetics.


1. There are words constructed with the phonetics as the major component, such as, the phonetic loan words (形 聲).

2. Even the sense-determinator words (會 意) carry the sound tags.

3. In the word borrowing (假 借), the phonetic plays a major role.

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"


This might actually have happened. But, for the system as it is now, it acquired the ability to accommodate “all” dialects.

Ling wrote:This suggests that a knowledge of phonetic roots was not widespread in China, or else the phonetic root would have been changed to change the sound of the character.

The phonetic roots (sound modules) in this new Chinese etymology are organized by me. But for most of native Chinese, they do have a set of sound words of their own, although not organized.

For native Chinese, the sound of a word is not standardized while no one challenges the way how it is pronounced in the dictionary. There are sayings for every Chinese kid of how to pronounce a word,
Having side (radical), sound it out as the side, 有 邊 讀 邊
Without the side, sound it out with the top or bottom parts, 無 邊 讀 上 下
Without the top nor bottom, sound it out with the middle part, 沒 有 上 下 讀 中 間
Without the middle, sound it out any which way I like. 沒 有 中 間 自 己 編.

Every Chinese lives with these simple rules for his whole life without any difficulty to communicate with any other Chinese. If one pronounces a word significantly different from others, there are ways to figure the problem out. I will not discuss those ways here at this moment.



Ling wrote:I'm sorry but I can't seem to get beyond
PHONETICS


There are many great issues in this new Chinese etymology. If you truly cannot get beyond the phonetics, the best choose for you is to drop it and to move on. After learned all others, this might not be an issue anymore. If it is still an issue then, you will have a stronger base for a deeper research on the issue.
Tienzen
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Re: WW (033) --- The mutations of Chinese characters

Postby Ling » Fri May 25, 2012 11:56 am

Thank you Tienzen,

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).
Ling
 
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Re: WW (033) --- The mutations of Chinese characters

Postby Tienzen » Fri May 25, 2012 6:19 pm

Ling wrote:Thank you Tienzen,

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.


Exactly, yes.

Ling wrote:I shall get back to you with my solution as soon as it is finished (unfortunately a year, I fear).


That will be great. Looking forward to it.
Tienzen
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