See also: 𣎴 and 𤓯
U+4E0D, 不
CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-4E0D

[U+4E0C]
CJK Unified Ideographs
[U+4E0E]
U+F967, 不
CJK COMPATIBILITY IDEOGRAPH-F967

[U+F966]
CJK Compatibility Ideographs
[U+F968]

TranslingualEdit

Stroke order
 
Stroke order
 

Alternative formsEdit

Han characterEdit

(radical 1, +3, 4 strokes, cangjie input 一火 (MF), four-corner 10900, composition(GHTJK) or ⿻(V))

Usage notesEdit

This character is not to be confused with visually similar but unrelated 𣎴 (U+233B4) or 𤓯 (U+244EF).

Derived charactersEdit

DescendantsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • KangXi: page 76, character 15
  • Dai Kanwa Jiten: character 19
  • Dae Jaweon: page 149, character 4
  • Hanyu Da Zidian (first edition): volume 1, page 11, character 6
  • Unihan data for U+4E0D

ChineseEdit

simp. and trad.
alternative forms 𠀚
𠙐

Glyph originEdit

Historical forms of the character
Shang Western Zhou Warring States Shuowen Jiezi (compiled in Han)
Oracle bone script Bronze inscriptions Bronze inscriptions Chu Slip and silk script Qin slip script Small seal script
           





References:

Mostly from Richard Sears' Chinese Etymology site (authorisation),
which in turn draws data from various collections of ancient forms of Chinese characters, including:

  • Shuowen Jiezi (small seal),
  • Jinwen Bian (bronze inscriptions),
  • Liushutong (Liushutong characters) and
  • Yinxu Jiaguwen Bian (oracle bone script).

Pictogram (象形).

The character originated as a pictograph of the calyx of a flower. It was then composed into a phono-semantic character with the pictograph for mouth (), to form (OC *brɯʔ, *pɯʔ), representing “no” (negation). This composed meaning then spread back to the original character , making it a synonym of . A new character of (OC *po) was eventually created to represent the original meaning of calyx.

Following Shuowen’s interpretation, Karlgren and Wieger interpret it as a bird flying toward the sky (). The sky being the limit for the bird, thus the idea of negation.

EtymologyEdit

Old Chinese had two sets of negatives: the initial *p-series and the initial *m-series. is the prototype of the *p-series of negatives. Although it is the usual Literary Chinese negative attested from the oracle bone script down, its current usage is now confined to Mandarin dialects. In the oracle bone inscriptions, a total of five negative particles can be found: , , , and . With the exception of (discussed later), the remaining can be neatly organised into the following system:

*-V *-ɯd
*p-type negatives (< ?) (OC *pɯ, *pɯʔ, *pɯ') (OC *pɯd)
*m-type negatives (< Proto-Sino-Tibetan *ma) (OC *ma)
( (OC *ma))
(OC *mɯd)

Takahashi (1996) argued that the *m-type negatives are modal (i.e. negative verbs which are thought of as controllable by the Shang), whereas the *p-type negatives are non-modal (imply uncontrollability; actions which are beyond the control of living persons).

In the *p-series, usually goes with intransitive verbs in the oracle bone script, and (OC *pɯd) with transitive ones, although there are some glaring exceptions. Little or no pattern can be discerned in the *m-type category. Takahashi (1996) also proposed that the difference between the two vowel series was whether they preceded “stative, eventive, passive” (*-V series) or “non-stative, non-eventive, active” (*-ɯd series) verbs.

It is possible that the two parallel series of negatives in Old Chinese represent a fusion of the common Sino–Tibetan *ma (no, not) (carried by the eastward-migrating early Sino–Tibetans) and an indigenous negation system in Central China, and that the merger had been complete by the Shang times. Compare a similar system in Proto-Tai: *ɓawᴮ (not [strong form 1]), *boːᴮ (not [strong form 2]), *miːᴬ (not [weak form]); Thai บ่ (bɔ̀ɔ, (literary, archaic, dialectal) not).

The development from Old Chinese to Middle Chinese was not regular; the variant Middle Chinese readings with checked coda (–t) were an innovation not found in Old Chinese. The Modern Standard Mandarin pronunciation is from this checked coda one, but this word escaped from regular sound changes during its evolution to the modern pronunciation , owing to itself belonging to the popular stratum. The expected reading is fu (tone undetermined), with labiodentalisation. The rising-tone pronunciation had a Middle Chinese homophone (“not”), which is now primarily used in compounds, and demonstrates the regular development into modern f-. Another example of high-frequency words escaping regular sound changes is (OC *paʔ, *baʔ, “dad”), which resulted in a late coinage of ().

is cognate with other negation particles in the *p-type category:

  • (OC *pɯd, “not”);
  • (OC *pɯj, “not be; not”) – can be safely regarded as a fusion of (OC *pɯ, *pɯʔ, *pɯ', “not”) and (OC *ɢʷi, “to be”);
  • (OC *brɯʔ, *pɯʔ, “not; to be wrong”);
  • (OC *pɯjʔ, “it is not; to be not”); and
  • (OC *pɯjʔ, “it is not; to be not”).

Cognate with Thai บ่ (bɔ̀ɔ, (literary, archaic, dialectal) not) (Schuessler, 2007).

Pronunciation 1Edit


Note: Pronunciation changes to when followed by fourth-tone syllables (e.g. 不是).

Rime
Character
Reading # 1/3 2/3 3/3
Initial () (1) (1) (1)
Final () (136) (136) (60)
Tone (調) Level (Ø) Rising (X) Checked (Ø)
Openness (開合) Open Open Closed
Division () III III III
Fanqie
Reconstructions
Zhengzhang
Shangfang
/pɨu/ /pɨuX/ /pɨut̚/
Pan
Wuyun
/piu/ /piuX/ /piut̚/
Shao
Rongfen
/piəu/ /piəuX/ /piuət̚/
Edwin
Pulleyblank
/puw/ /puwX/ /put̚/
Li
Rong
/piu/ /piuX/ /piuət̚/
Wang
Li
/pĭəu/ /pĭəuX/ /pĭuət̚/
Bernard
Karlgren
/pi̯ə̯u/ /pi̯ə̯uX/ /pi̯uət̚/
Expected
Mandarin
Reflex
fōu fǒu fu
BaxterSagart system 1.1 (2014)
Character
Reading # 1/2
Modern
Beijing
(Pinyin)
Middle
Chinese
‹ pjuw ›
Old
Chinese
/*pə/
English not

Notes for Old Chinese notations in the Baxter–Sagart system:

* Parentheses "()" indicate uncertain presence;
* Square brackets "[]" indicate uncertain identity, e.g. *[t] as coda may in fact be *-t or *-p;
* Angle brackets "<>" indicate infix;
* Hyphen "-" indicates morpheme boundary;

* Period "." indicates syllable boundary.
Zhengzhang system (2003)
Character
Reading # 1/3 2/3 3/3
No. 1025 1029 1048
Phonetic
component
Rime
group
Rime
subdivision
0 0 1
Corresponding
MC rime
Old
Chinese
/*pɯ/ /*pɯʔ/ /*pɯ'/
Notes

DefinitionsEdit

  1. not (preceding verbs and adjectives)
    這個 / 这个  ―  Zhège hǎo.  ―  This is not good.
    /   ―  ài nǐ.  ―  He does not love you.
  2. no (answer to a yes-no question)
    日本人不是 [MSC, trad.]
    日本人不是 [MSC, simp.]
    Nǐ shì rìběnrén ma? , wǒ bùshì. [Pinyin]
    Are you Japanese? No, I'm not.
  3. Used with (jiù) to indicate the first of two alternatives.
    每天上班就是義工一點兒休息時間沒有 [MSC, trad.]
    每天上班就是义工一点儿休息时间没有 [MSC, simp.]
    Tā měitiān shì shàngbān, jiùshì qù zuò yìgōng, yīdiǎnr xiūxī de shíjiān dōu méiyǒu. [Pinyin]
    Everyday, he either goes to work or volunteers, not leaving any time for rest.
  4. (colloquial) Question particle placed at the end of the sentence.
  5. (colloquial) Intensifying particle often used with (hǎo).
  6. (archaic) Meaningless particle used in poems and other texts.
SynonymsEdit
Usage notesEdit
  • The tone changes from fourth to second tone when followed by a fourth-tone syllable.
  • When negating the verb (yǒu) (to have), (méi) is used instead of (i.e. 沒有没有 (méiyǒu), rather than *不有).
  • The word no does not have a translation in Chinese. To answer "no" to a yes/no question (either "affirmative-negative questions" (正反問句正反问句) or a (ma) question), you have to use the verb of the question in negative form, i.e. preceded by (or by (méi) in the case of (yǒu)).
    認識認識 [MSC, trad.]
    认识认识 [MSC, simp.]
    Nǐ rènshí tā ma? rènshí. [Pinyin]
    Do you know him? No.
    認識認識 [MSC, trad.]
    认识认识 [MSC, simp.]
    Nǐ rèn rènshí tā? rènshí. [Pinyin]
    Do you know [not know] him? No.
    • If there is no verb to negate in the context, 不是 (bùshì) is used.
    • "No" can be translated by (fǒu) alone, but this is formal and not normally used in standard Chinese.
    • When a verb is two characters long, truncating it to the first character before may sound more natural, as in the example above (認識认识 as opposed to 認識認識认识认识)
  • 不 is similar to a verb prefix that forms a stative verb with the verb to be negated. Therefore the predicates of the sentences that contain the new compound verbs can not be modified by the perfective aspect marker (le), which modifies only dynamic verbs.
    當兵 / 当兵  ―  dāngbīng le.  ―  I am no longer a soldier.
    • When appears in a sentence, it usually functions as a marker of "currently relevant state" instead. See the sentence above and notice that it does not mean "I have not become a soldier".

Pronunciation 2Edit



Rime
Character
Reading # 2/3
Initial () (1)
Final () (136)
Tone (調) Rising (X)
Openness (開合) Open
Division () III
Fanqie
Reconstructions
Zhengzhang
Shangfang
/pɨuX/
Pan
Wuyun
/piuX/
Shao
Rongfen
/piəuX/
Edwin
Pulleyblank
/puwX/
Li
Rong
/piuX/
Wang
Li
/pĭəuX/
Bernard
Karlgren
/pi̯ə̯uX/
Expected
Mandarin
Reflex
fǒu

DefinitionsEdit

  1. (archaic) Alternative form of (fǒu, “negation and question particle”).

Pronunciation 3Edit



Rime
Character
Reading # 1/3
Initial () (1)
Final () (136)
Tone (調) Level (Ø)
Openness (開合) Open
Division () III
Fanqie
Reconstructions
Zhengzhang
Shangfang
/pɨu/
Pan
Wuyun
/piu/
Shao
Rongfen
/piəu/
Edwin
Pulleyblank
/puw/
Li
Rong
/piu/
Wang
Li
/pĭəu/
Bernard
Karlgren
/pi̯ə̯u/
Expected
Mandarin
Reflex
fōu
BaxterSagart system 1.1 (2014)
Character
Reading # 1/2
Modern
Beijing
(Pinyin)
Middle
Chinese
‹ pjuw ›
Old
Chinese
/*pə/
English not

Notes for Old Chinese notations in the Baxter–Sagart system:

* Parentheses "()" indicate uncertain presence;
* Square brackets "[]" indicate uncertain identity, e.g. *[t] as coda may in fact be *-t or *-p;
* Angle brackets "<>" indicate infix;
* Hyphen "-" indicates morpheme boundary;

* Period "." indicates syllable boundary.
Zhengzhang system (2003)
Character
Reading # 1/3
No. 1025
Phonetic
component
Rime
group
Rime
subdivision
0
Corresponding
MC rime
Old
Chinese
/*pɯ/

DefinitionsEdit

  1. A surname​.

Pronunciation 4Edit


DefinitionsEdit

  1. Original form of (, “calyx”).

CompoundsEdit