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The old four tones are
ping, I shang, ‡ c'hü, A ju.
These are marked in this work 1, 2, 3, 4.
When the upper and lower series of initial letters, k, t, p, s, etc., g, d, b, z, etc., are distinguished from each other, the four tones become eight.
Tone class 1 becomes 1 and 5.
Tone class 2 becomes 2 and 6.
Tone class 3 becomes 3 and 7.
Tone class 4 becomes 4 and 8.
This arrangement suits the native syllabic dictionaries of Canton, Amoy, and Fucheu, and the pronunciation of the old middle dialect, as exemplified in the dialects of Shanghai and Ningpo.
There was no c'hi sheng in the time of the classics.
In Sir Thomas Wade's system, tone class 5 becomes 2, 2 becomes 3, and
3 becomes 4.
The subdivision of ping sheng in Chinese dictionaries constructed on the old system, into upper and lower, was early made for convenience in binding, and has nothing to do with difference in intonation.
Later, when the Mandarin dialect was formed, a real subdivision of ping sheng into two classes, each characterized by a peculiar intonation, had already taken place.
The subdivision of shang and hia ping in Wu fang yuen yin and other Mandarin dictionaries is real,
I, a, o, u, as in Italian.
Ü, ö, as in German.
Final e as in the English "then."
Medial e, not having i or y before it, as a in "America."
The vowel is like e in "ladle."
In t, t's, an aspirate follows t in each case.
In k', p' an aspirate follows k and p.
In ch' an aspirate follows t and precedes sh.
STUDY OF THE CHINESE CHARACTERS.
ORIGIN OF CHINESE WRITING. ITS THREE FOUNDERS.
DISTINCTION BETWEEN WEN
AND Tsï. WHAT ARE RADICALS? WHAT ARE PHONETICS? LIST OF RADICALS
AS NOW used.
THE native tradition points to B.C. 2700 as the time when writing was invented in China. The histories of that country systematically refer all civilized inventions to a native origin. Since, however, it is incredible that weaving, pottery, metallurgy, astronomical observation, the calendar, the use of the plough, of boats, and the cultivation of wheat, barley, rice, and millet, should all have sprung up in China without foreign help, it must be allowed to be quite possible that writing, like other intellectual results of man's activity, may have been brought to China from some other country. Those who brought the early discoveries of civilization to China may well have been the Chinese themselves.
The reputed founder of Chinese writing was Tsang kie, who is described in fabulous accounts as minister under the Emperor Hwang ti, and distinguished by possessing four eyes and the countenance of a dragon, i.e. he possessed marvellous wisdom and great loftiness of thought.
Other accounts ascribe it to Fu hi, who made the eight symbols of divination by lines, and invented a system for records and official communications, which took the place of the older method by knotted
cords. From this beginning sprang the written character and the first books.1
Another story says that under the Emperor Hwang ti, B.C. 2697, two ministers, Tsü sung and Tsang kie, transformed the eight symbols of Fu hi into a more complete system, and drew pictures resembling the foot-prints of birds.
The tradition of the first invention of writing is seen then to hover with uncertainty over three names, and is beyond the reach of more exact inquiry or any certain confirmation of date or person.
Among the characters, the prominent distinction existing between the pictorial and the phonetic led to two names almost from the first. The pictorial characters were called Wen. Wen, or mun, means beautiful, striped, ornamented with various colours. The latter and more numerous class of phonetically formed characters are called Tsi (Preface to Sw).
The ideographic characters may be most conveniently illustrated by the two hundred and fourteen radicals of Kang hi's dictionary. The word 'radical' is misleading. The Chinese equivalent pu means classes, and corresponds in use to our words 'kingdom' in natural history, and 'orders' and 'species' in botany and zoology.
The radicals were reduced in number by the Chinese lexicographers from about nine hundred to a few more than two hundred in the seventeenth century. They occur in the same form nearly as in Kang hi in the Cheng tsï tung and Tsï hwei, works which were in circulation half a century earlier.
The following list of radicals is taken from Kang hi's dictionary. Though far from including all the ideographic characters, which, indeed, are said to be two thousand in number, it presents a very full illustration of the mode in which those characters were made.
It should be kept in mind that they have been modified to suit modern writing in the Kiai shu form.
The tendency of the modern extension of education has been to simplify forms and to diminish the number of variations.
This remark, however, needs limitation. A multitude of old forms were indeed simplified, the labour of writing was much shortened by the use of the modern hair pencil, and diminution in the number
1 Shang shu sü, Preface to Book of History quoted in Kh. Fu hi's period was B.C 2852 to R.C. 2738.
of strokes was in many cases effected. But short-hand writing, ornamental caligraphy, and the tendency to add new radicals to characters once destitute of them, have, on the other hand, multiplied forms beyond all precedent.
The present two hundred and fourteen radicals are the result of three great modifications. They are fewer and more simple than those of the Li shu, as these are fewer and more simple than those of the Chwen wen, and as the radicals of the Chwen wen are simpler than those of the Ku wen.
The radicals of the Ku wen are the nearest in shape we can obtain to the original ideographs of the inventors of writing.
is derived from the Amoy sound chit, where ch represents t. Sw. Picture of an idea (chi shi). Sw says the Kw of this radical has R. 56. Tt insists that the single stroke is more ancient and that the addition of ye, "to shoot," is modern.
Opposite in direction to the strokes of Fu hi and to the characters , E. The same as kan, "an upright stem or trunk of anything." First found in Sw, and a result of the study of the characters by Hü shu chung, its author.
"A dot," "the flame of a lamp or candle." Picture of the object. Used in modern writing as a comma to mark sentences.
R. 4. p'ie, p'it.
A downstroke inclined from right to left.
Probably formed by contraction from some more complex character, like it in sound. For example, it may be the left-hand stroke of A pat, "eight." Inclined downwards from left to right, it is called put, but by some this form is called na, for nap, as if it came from Aju, nip, "enter."