See also: and
U+4E4B, 之
CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-4E4B

[U+4E4A]
CJK Unified Ideographs
[U+4E4C]

Translingual

edit
Stroke order
 
Stroke order
 

Han character

edit

(Kangxi radical 4, 丿+3 in traditional Chinese and Korean, 丿+2 in mainland China and Japanese, 4 strokes in traditional Chinese and Korean, 3 strokes in mainland China and Japanese, cangjie input 戈弓人 (INO), four-corner 30307, composition )

Derived characters

edit

Descendants

edit

References

edit
  • Kangxi Dictionary: page 82, character 4
  • Dai Kanwa Jiten: character 125
  • Hanyu Da Zidian (first edition): volume 1, page 43, character 1
  • Unihan data for U+4E4B

Chinese

edit
simp. and trad.
alternative forms
𠔇
𡳿
nonstandard

Glyph origin

edit
Historical forms of the character
Shang Western Zhou Warring States Shuowen Jiezi (compiled in Han) Liushutong (compiled in Ming)
Oracle bone script Bronze inscriptions Chu slip and silk script Small seal script Transcribed ancient scripts
         



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).

Ideogrammic compound (會意会意) : (foot) + (the beginning place); compound meaning “to go”.

Etymology

edit
demonstrative pronoun "this; he; she; it"
From Proto-Sino-Tibetan *m-daj ~ m-di (that; this) (STEDT). Cognate with (OC *djeʔ, “this”), Tibetan དེ (de, that), Tibetan འདི ('di, this), Burmese ဒီ (di, this).
"to go; to proceed"
Cognate with (OC *djɯ, “time; season”) (> (OC *djɯn, “date; time”)), (OC *tjɯs, “goal”), (OC *kjɯʔ, “foot”) (> (OC *kjɯʔ, “to stop”)), Burmese (ca., to start; to begin) (Schuessler, 2007).

Pronunciation

edit


Rime
Character
Reading # 1/1
Initial () (23)
Final () (19)
Tone (調) Level (Ø)
Openness (開合) Open
Division () III
Fanqie
Baxter tsyi
Reconstructions
Zhengzhang
Shangfang
/t͡ɕɨ/
Pan
Wuyun
/t͡ɕɨ/
Shao
Rongfen
/t͡ɕie/
Edwin
Pulleyblank
/cɨ/
Li
Rong
/t͡ɕiə/
Wang
Li
/t͡ɕĭə/
Bernard
Karlgren
/t͡ɕi/
Expected
Mandarin
Reflex
zhī
Expected
Cantonese
Reflex
zi1
BaxterSagart system 1.1 (2014)
Character
Reading # 1/2 2/2
Modern
Beijing
(Pinyin)
zhī zhī
Middle
Chinese
‹ tsyi › ‹ tsyi ›
Old
Chinese
/*tə/ /*tə/
English go to (3p object pronoun; attributive particle)

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 # 1/1
No. 17188
Phonetic
component
Rime
group
Rime
subdivision
0
Corresponding
MC rime
Old
Chinese
/*tjɯ/

Definitions

edit

  1. (literary) to go
    1. (obsolete) to sprout; to come about
  2. (obsolete) this; these
  3. (literary) Genitive or attributive marker
    1. Indicates that the previous word has possession of the next one.
      生命  ―  shēngmìng zhī dào  ―  the way of life/life's way
      北部灣——欽州 [MSC, trad.]
      北部湾——钦州 [MSC, simp.]
      Běibùwān zhī xīng — Qīnzhōu [Pinyin]
      star of the Gulf of Tonkin-- Qinzhou
    2. Indicates that the previous word modifies the next one.
      尺寸  ―  chǐcùnzhīgōng  ―  a minor contribution
    3. particle indicating that the preceding element is specialised or qualified by the next
  4. (archaic) Particle infixed in a subject-predicate construct acting as a nominalizer or indicating a subordinate clause.
  5. (literary) The third-person pronoun: him, her, it, them, when it appears in a non-subject position in the sentence.
    取而代  ―  qǔ'érdàizhī  ―  to take the place of (the aforementioned subject)
    我們不能 [MSC, trad.]
    我们不能 [MSC, simp.]
    Wǒmen bùnéng duì cǐ shì tīngzhīrènzhī. [Pinyin]
    We cannot pass this matter by without protest.
    制定××公布 [MSC, trad.]
    制定××公布 [MSC, simp.]
    Zī zhìdìng × × fǎ, gōngbù zhī. [Pinyin]
    The Law on XX is hereby enacted and promulgated.
    (Standard enacting formula on Taiwanese Presidential Orders)

Usage notes

edit

Remember that Chinese grammar is more about reducing ambiguity and less about following rules. The other meanings of this word all stem from the 3rd pronoun and demonstrative meaning (except the "to go" meaning which is unrelated). It roughly means "him, it, this" > "his, its" > "'s"/qualifier. Compare (OC *ɡɯ, “he, his, its”) > Min Nan possessive 個.

Juxtaposition alone can indicate possession or qualification in Chinese even without this word. The actual purpose of this word is to act like a comma to group the words before it as a noun clause and prevent what comes after from being interpreted as the object of a verb. Consider "上山道" whence "上之山道" (mountain road that is up there) and "上山之道" (road for climbing a mountain). Like , unambiguous and popular compounds like 食品 (shípǐn) drop the (zhī). Other grammatical characters also work by enforcing a grouping of words. Modern Chinese fossilizes this word and uses instead, which originated from either 之 or (OC *tjaːʔ, “one who > relativiser”), and took on the "'s"/qualifier meaning.

(zhī) as a pronoun, functions like a noun determiner while (rán) is a verb determiner. Consider "食此藥!若不食, 將死" which would mean "Eat this medicine! If you don't [eat] this (like if you eat some other medicine), you'll die" and contrast "食此藥!不(=若不食), 將死" which would mean "Eat this medicine! If you don't do this (or if you do something else), you'll die."

Synonyms

edit

Compounds

edit