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Chinese Language Forums - Chinese Etymology Institute • View topic - WW (019) --- 形 聲 and 會 意 , part four

WW (019) --- 形 聲 and 會 意 , part four

WW (019) --- 形 聲 and 會 意 , part four

Postby Tienzen » Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:55 pm

Now, we have learned one way to distinguish the type of the words. If,
1. the word meaning arises from the phonetic value of its sound tag, it should be a 形 聲 (phonetic loan) word,
2. the word meaning arises from the semantic value of its sound tag via an inferring process, it should be a 會 意 (sense determinators) word in general.

That is, the word type is determined by the way of how its meaning arises instead of its word form, as many 會 意 words do have an explicit sound tag. And, there is a very special sub-group of the 會 意 words which do have the word form identical to a 形 聲 word, such as, 傢, 俱.


In fact, the word 形 in 形 聲 means a concrete object, not a concept. So, 魚 (fish), 鳥 (bird), 犬 (dog), 木 (word or tree) and 玉 (jade) are all concrete objects. And, the following words are all 形 聲 words.
犬 (dog), 狗 (dog), 猈 (dog with short shinbone), 獀 (hunting dog), 狐 (fox), 獅 (lion), etc..
木 (word or tree), 樹 (tree in general), 幹 (tree trunk), 葉 (tree leaves), 樁 (tree stump), etc..
玉 (jade), 玟 (文 jade), 珂 (可 jade), 瑱 (真 jade), 碧 (bluish green jade), etc..


On the contrary, although the 人 (person) word do represent a concrete subject, it, often, points out a conceptual space. Thus, the 人 radical in the words 傢, 俱 does not point to a concrete subject but to something about 人 (human).
傢 (about home) is 人 (human) + 家 (home).

俱 (furniture) is 人 (human) + 具 (tool, gadget, device, equipment, instrument , utensil, etc.)
So, 傢 俱 is the gadget in the home. These two words have the word forms identical to the 形 聲 words, but their word meanings arise from the semantic value of their sound tag. Furthermore, their meanings arise from a very special inferring process, pointing (指 事). In fact, they are 指 事 字 (pointed word), not 指 事 文 (pointed ideograph).


指 事 文 is a single pictograph symbol, which is an ideograph. 指 事 字 is a composed word. Is there any 象 形 字(pictographic word)? The answer is No. All 字 are composed symbols and are not ideographs anymore. There are only 象 形 文.
Tienzen
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