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It forms part of the phonetic 1016, Tsian, "to steal away," "abscond." The name probably originates in the verb teu, “to steal," old form tut. The most prominent characteristic of the rat and mouse is thieving. "They are clever thieves."-Kwy. If this be correct, a final t has been lost.
Derived from tsi, “self," and bi, “give," phonetic 498. The last of these is composed of a field and two hands below it. The hands suggest giving. They appear clearly in the Chwen wen.
R. 210.ts'i, dit, "even."
More than any
Corn, when mature, has an even appearance. other produce of the soil, it grows to a common average height. This radical is a picture of ears of corn of uniform height. P. 934.
R. 211.c‘hi, t'it, “ teeth.”
The rude square is the mouth, and the inclosed strokes the teeth. The phonetic value of the upper four strokes is tik, but it does not occur in old forms, and is therefore modern. Mongol. shidun, "teeth."
A fabulous winged animal that has four legs with claws and a scaly skin. It mounts in the air after lying hidden in marshes and rivers. Since dom means "to rise," the chief idea is here. It is large or small, hidden or revealed, long or short. At the spring equinox it mounts in the sky, at the autumn equinox it descends and hides itself. In the Chinese dragon there seems to be no prominent resemblance to the serpent. An identification of the ideas which revolve round the old Chinese dragon with those which revolve round the serpent of Persia and the worship connected with it appears forced. P. 989.
This animal was used anciently for divining. The shell was heated, and the marks which appeared on it, read by certain rules, were viewed as portents of coming events.
R. 214. yo, dak, "flute."
A picture of a bamboo flute having three holes for producing harmonious sounds.
From pin, "rank," "order," and flun, "law," "discourse," "reason," R. man being omitted.
The same word as ti, dik, “flute," "fife." The dik is pierced with seven holes. P. 1013.
GENERAL VIEW OF THE CHINESE PICTURE WRITING.
LINES, SHAPES AND COVERINGS. NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL OBJECTS. MAN AND HIS RELATIONS AND CIRCUMSTANCES. PARTS OF THE BODY. ANIMALS. NAMES OF PLANTS AND AGRICULTURE. IMPLEMENTS, CLOTHING, AND THE USEFUL ARTS. MEASURES. METALS. QUALITIES OF OBJECTS.
AMONG the 214 radicals there are 28 lines, shapes or coverings. There are 23 inanimate objects of nature. Man and his relations occupy 23 radicals, and the parts of the body 33 more. There are 15 names of animals, 13 names of plants, 25 names of implements, clothing, etc., 6 names of measures, 17 names of colours and other qualities, and 29 names of verbs.
The use of simple natural shapes, such as the mouth, nose, eye, ear, hand, foot, as well as the shape of branches, trees, grass, caves, holes, rivers, the bow, the spear, the knife, the tablet, the leaf; these formed, in addition to pictures of animals, much of the staple of the Chinese ideographs.
Attention should be drawn to the fact that the mouth and the hand play an exceptionally important part in the formation of the symbols.
Men were more accustomed then than now to the language of signs, by the use of these organs. Perhaps three-twentieths of the existing characters are formed by their help as one element.
This large use of the mouth and hand in forming characters is, as we may very reasonably suppose, only a repetition of what took place when the words themselves were made.
There is likely to be a primitive connexion between demonstratives and names for the hand, because the hand is used in pointing.
Words descriptive of ideas that are most easily expressed by the mouth, such as a pit, fall into a pit, totality, compression, disappearance, roundness, may be found to terminate in m or p, because these are labial letters formed by the lips, as would be done in the primitive gesture language. Possibly Chinese researches may thus throw light on the origin of words. The intellectual task of forming the characters was in several respects a renewal of the original task of forming words themselves. The classification of ideas could not but be in these two successive undertakings somewhat similar both in its controlling principles, and in the proportional extent of its parts. Observe further, for example, that guttural letters are found extensively in words expressive of acts and things which the action of the throat easily pictures. Such are kan "tube," gap "press," gut "throat," kok "cough," sik "sigh," kap "grasp," gam "hold firmly." Throat letters naturally represent throat action. Labial letters do the same for labial action. Dental letters occur when dental action has to be described. They may be combined in various ways. Unfortunately the connexions of words and their objects are obscured through the growth of language. At first a word was as nearly as possible pictorial. It is very important that attention should be drawn to the conditions of those times anterior to linguistic history, when language was a true idealism, every word the clear and expressive sign of some natural sound, and the human sensations in the hour of their juvenile freshness and truthful sharpness were assisted in the formation of language by an intellectual faculty which only acted in accordance with the unartificial laws of nature.
It is easy to trace the process of symbol making in the words used for the crenelated top of city walls, which are ya and c'h, both meaning "teeth," and both being pictures of the object, and further, when the former is found also to be used for tree buds and to bud. Such instances of word creation show how considerable has been the prevalence of analogy and the association of ideas. The picture writing of the Chinese is to a large extent a continuation of the process of forming analogies to which the human mind had already become accustomed in the earlier stages of the history of language.
Another instance of this analogy is in the treatment of species. Almost all fish are spoken of in Chinese with the word fish subjoined. Thus li yü "carp," is never called li only, unless preceded by a
qualifying word. The same thing is done in the written character. The radical for fish is added. It is natural to the human mind to distinguish species and genus, and it is the province of language to give it expression. The eye sees the object, and therefore the species is first mentioned in Chinese. The mind then refers it to its genus from a habit of generalizing. It is on this account the word for genus follows.
Among the first radicals are several strokes and lines representing numbers. The dot (3), inclined line (4), bent line (5), horizontal line (1), perpendicular line (2), hooked line (6), all are represented, together with the numbers one, two, eight, and ten. To these may be added two pairs of strokes crossing each other obliquely, R. 89, and wen, the common word for the written character as a product of the caligrapher's art, and as a collection of symbolic pictures (67). Several of these are rather modern than ancient, and are the result of contraction. Thus chu, a dot, was originally the picture of a flame, and called tok.
Simple shapes, such as a branch, a joint of bamboo, and of other grasses, an upright stem, a circle, a square, a hand, a foot, a sphere, a wheel, and so forth, all found their way into the written symbols. Most of them occur among the radicals, and very many among the phonetics.
Natural and artificial objects requiring symbols are drawn pictorially. A few strokes are enough. In making a written symbol, what need of elaboration? A short conventional mark agreed upon is sufficient if only it be recognized by readers.
Three downstrokes parallel to each other were adopted as the sign for water. The two side strokes were broken in the middle. An upright stem and two cross strokes, or one cross stroke and two inclined strokes, to indicate branches, form the symbol for a tree. In every case the common name of the object became the recognized symbol.
Wood may assume in Chinese symbols the shape of a staff, a tablet, 91; a bow, 57; a spoon, 21; a shield, 51; a bedstead, 90; a gate, 63; a door, 169; incense, 186.
Earth, 32, and stone, 112; jade stone, 96; a tile or earthen vessel, 98; potash, 197; pottery, 121, and metal kim, 167, represent the mineral kingdom. Fire is delineated by a few strokes representing ascending flames and sparks, 86.