Last modified on 25 June 2014, at 10:06

Talk:字

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Need CantoneseEdit

A Cantonese section is needed. 24.93.190.134 08:26, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Done. 204.11.189.94 12:06, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

EtymologyEdit

I removed the following {{unreferenced}} etymology from the entry. I updated the IPA characters as I did so. - -sche (discuss) 03:47, 9 October 2012 (UTC)


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Phono-semantic compound (形聲): semantic  (roof) + phonetic  (child). Also Ideogrammic compound (會意) – to give birth (child at home).

字 字 字
Oracle bone script Bronze inscriptions Large seal script Small seal script

Modern /tsz̩˥˩/, Middle Chinese /dzɨ/ 去 (Pulleyblank), Old Chinese */zlɯ/ (Zhengzhang Shangfang), */dzjəgh/ (Li Fanggui). Original sense (1): "to become pregnant, to give birth to, to nurture, to love" has essentially become obsolete. The sense (2) "letter, character" is either from a different root or a derivation from the sense "to produce, to generate".

Cognate characters include: (1) (zǐ, OC *sɯʔ, "child, son"), (cí, OC *, "to be kind, loving"), (zī, OC *, "to nourish, to grow"); (2) (cí, OC *ljɯ, "word, term"), (cí, OC *ljɯ, "word, from testimony"). Possible Sino-Tibetan cognates (Quan Guangzhen, 1996):


Middle ChineseEdit

The Middle Chinese readings do not make sense as they use a strange alphabet. Alternatives for normal people should be included as well. Also, Stimson's Middle Chinese readings should be addded. They are as follows:

  • dzhiə̀, dzhiə̀

204.11.189.94 12:06, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

They are in IPA, not some strange alphabet. They are automatically generated using the position of this character in the rime books. Stimson's Middle Chinese readings are not documented anywhere and are usually not considered a mainstream reconstruction system in Middle Chinese linguistics. Wyang (talk) 12:43, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Most people cannot make any sense of them, so the alternative of a real-world transliteration should be provided as an alternative (as we do not use only IPA for Mandarin readings, but also provide Hanyu pinyin, which is very easy to understand; the same goes for basically every other language we document here, including Sanskrit, Arabic, Korean, etc.). 204.11.189.94 12:59, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

I have been adding Stimson readings because the Unihan database uses them and it is one of the only sets of Middle Chinese readings available online, at least that I know of. If you can recommend a better or more reliable database, perhaps you could add a link to that, or, better yet, link it in every character entry the way the Unihan entries are already. 204.11.189.94 13:02, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

The Unihan reading is not the only one found online. ytenx, eastling are a lot better. Wyang (talk) 13:39, 2 May 2014 (UTC)