New PDF release: Asia's Orthographic Dilemma

By William C. Hannas

ISBN-10: 0824818423

ISBN-13: 9780824818425

This paintings examines using chinese language characters in East Asia. It tackles the problem from many alternative views, alongside the way in which deflating numerous well known fallacies.

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Extra resources for Asia's Orthographic Dilemma

Example text

Although some of a character’s sounds may retain a marginal connection with its shape, other sounds had none to begin with. Japanese, moreover, tend to play games with these relationships, letting two or more characters, each in one of its phonetic guises, represent a word phonetically without regard to the meaning of the characters individually, or they do the opposite: assign characters on the basis of their meanings to an etymologically unrelated term where none of the characters’ individual pronunciations play any role at all in identifying the word’s sound.

If Qian’s school was the precursor of the People’s Republic’s “first batch” of simplified forms promulgated in 1956, which largely followed tradition, Chen’s willingness to regularize changes throughout the inventory and, finally, to propose changes that were wholly without precedent characterized the government’s next two attempts at simplification in 1964 and 1977. Shanghai, meanwhile, seems to have had its own reform movement, separate from the two main currents described above. In 1935, Chen Wangdao and others began agitating for what they called “off-the-top-ofthe-hand characters” (shõutóuzì).

Moreover, it could only partly accommodate the large number of Japanese grammar particles and morphological affixes. Japanese 37 Here the Japanese ran into the same problem the Sumerians and Egyptians had confronted trying to depict grammatical relations with semantic signs. Their solution was the same: to use the symbols phonetically, without regard for the original meanings. ” The second character, however, is used for its Japanese sound ki, to represent an attributive suffix in Japanese that is also pronounced ki.

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Asia's Orthographic Dilemma by William C. Hannas


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