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U+5143, 元
CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-5143

[U+5142]
CJK Unified Ideographs
[U+5144]
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Translingual

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Stroke order
 

Han character

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(Kangxi radical 10, +2, 4 strokes, cangjie input 一一山 (MMU), four-corner 10211, composition or )

Derived characters

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References

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  • Kangxi Dictionary: page 123, character 6
  • Dai Kanwa Jiten: character 1340
  • Dae Jaweon: page 258, character 3
  • Hanyu Da Zidian (first edition): volume 1, page 264, character 6
  • Unihan data for U+5143

Further reading

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Chinese

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simp. and trad.
 
Wikipedia has articles on:

Glyph origin

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Historical forms of the character
Shang Western Zhou Shuowen Jiezi (compiled in Han) Liushutong (compiled in Ming)
Oracle bone script Bronze inscriptions 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).

Pictogram (象形) – a figure with two lines for a head (one connected to body, one above it), emphasizing the head.

Etymology 1

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Possibly from Proto-Sino-Tibetan *m/s-gaw (head), with a noun-forming suffix *-n (Schuessler, 2003; STEDT). If so, cognate with (OC *ɡoːʔ, “ruler; lord; queen”), Tibetan མགོ (mgo, head; summit; beginning), མགོན (mgon, protector; master; lord), Garo sko (skull), Northern Tujia kho⁵⁵ pa⁵⁵ (head) (Schuessler, 2007; STEDT). (OC *ŋʷan, “source; origin; basic; primary”) and 黿 (OC *ŋoːn, *ŋon, “large turtle”) may be the same word (Schuessler, 2007). It may also be related to (OC *klun, “lord; prince; ruler”), (OC *ɢʷlinʔ, “magistrate; governor”), (OC *ɡoː, “marquis”) (Mei, 1985).

The name of the dynasty comes from the I Ching:

萬物 [Pre-Classical Chinese, trad.]
万物 [Pre-Classical Chinese, simp.]
From: I Ching, 11th – 8th century BCE, translated based on James Legge's version
Dà zāi qián yuán, wànwù zī shǐ, nǎi tǒng tiān. [Pinyin]
Vast is the ‘great and originating (power)’ indicated by Qian! All things owe to it their beginning: - it contains all the meaning belonging to (the name) heaven.

Part of the people with this surname are Xianbei descendants. It was changed from 拓跋 (Tuòbá) as ordered by Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei.

Pronunciation

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Note:
  • nyyon4 - vernacular;
  • yon4 - literary.
Note:
  • nguang5 - Shantou;
  • nguêng5 - Chaozhou;
  • ngang5 - used in 開元.
Note:
  • 6gnioe - vernacular;
  • 6yoe - literary.

  • Dialectal data
Variety Location
Mandarin Beijing /yan³⁵/
Harbin /yan²⁴/
Tianjin /yan⁴⁵/
Jinan /yã⁴²/
Qingdao /yã⁴²/
Zhengzhou /yan⁴²/
Xi'an /yã²⁴/
Xining /yã²⁴/
Yinchuan /yan⁵³/
Lanzhou /yɛ̃n⁵³/
Ürümqi /yan⁵¹/
Wuhan /yɛn²¹³/
Chengdu /yan³¹/
Guiyang /ian²¹/
Kunming /iɛ̃³¹/
Nanjing /yen²⁴/
Hefei /yĩ⁵⁵/
Jin Taiyuan /ye¹¹/
Pingyao /ye̞¹³/
Hohhot /ye³¹/
Wu Shanghai /ȵyø²³/
/ɦyø²³/
Suzhou /ɦiø¹³/
Hangzhou /ɦyõ²¹³/
Wenzhou /ȵy³¹/
Hui Shexian /ue⁴⁴/
Tunxi /ȵyɛ⁴⁴/
Xiang Changsha /yẽ¹³/
Xiangtan /yẽ¹²/
Gan Nanchang /ȵyɵn⁴⁵/
Hakka Meixian /ŋian¹¹/
Taoyuan /ŋien¹¹/
Cantonese Guangzhou /jyn²¹/
Nanning /yn²¹/
Hong Kong /jyn²¹/
Min Xiamen (Hokkien) /guan³⁵/
Fuzhou (Eastern Min) /ŋuoŋ⁵³/
Jian'ou (Northern Min) /ŋyiŋ³³/
Shantou (Teochew) /ŋuaŋ⁵⁵/
Haikou (Hainanese) /zuaŋ³¹/

Rime
Character
Reading # 1/1
Initial () (31)
Final () (66)
Tone (調) Level (Ø)
Openness (開合) Closed
Division () III
Fanqie
Baxter ngjwon
Reconstructions
Zhengzhang
Shangfang
/ŋʉɐn/
Pan
Wuyun
/ŋʷiɐn/
Shao
Rongfen
/ŋiuɐn/
Edwin
Pulleyblank
/ŋuan/
Li
Rong
/ŋiuɐn/
Wang
Li
/ŋĭwɐn/
Bernard
Karlgren
/ŋi̯wɐn/
Expected
Mandarin
Reflex
yuán
Expected
Cantonese
Reflex
jyun4
BaxterSagart system 1.1 (2014)
Character
Reading # 1/1
Modern
Beijing
(Pinyin)
yuán
Middle
Chinese
‹ ngjwon ›
Old
Chinese
/*[ŋ]o[r]/ (< nasal + uvular)
English head; first

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. 16145
Phonetic
component
Rime
group
Rime
subdivision
3
Corresponding
MC rime
Old
Chinese
/*ŋon/

Definitions

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  1. head
  2. first; primary; head; chief
  3. basic; fundamental
  4. origin; source
    Synonym: (yuán)
  5. meta-
  6. Classifier for yuan or dollars.
    alt. forms: (yuán)
  7. (mathematics) variable; unknown; element
      ―  xiāoyuán  ―  method of elimination (literally, “method of eliminating matrix elements”)
    [Classical Chinese]  ―  lì tiānyuán [Pinyin]  ―  Let x be the unknown variable in the equation.
      ―  zhǔyuán  ―  pivot
  8. (mathematics) element (an infinitesimal interval of a quantity, a differential)
    线  ―  xiànyuán  ―  line element
  9. (~朝) Yuan Dynasty
      ―  yuán  ―  Yuan dynasty theater
  10. (~日) (telegraphy) the thirteenth day of a month
  11. a surname
      ―  Yuán Hàowèn  ―  Yuan Haowen (Jin dynasty poet)
  12. (Taoism) kalpa, a cosmic or supreme cycle of 129,000 years
  13. (Hong Kong) Short for 元朗 (Yuánlǎng, “Yuen Long”).
  14. Alternate form for (contained in the name of 玄燁)
Synonyms
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  • (the Yuan dynasty):
See also
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Dynasties (朝代) in Chinese history
Name Time period Divisions
Xia
(~朝, ~代)
2070 – 1600 BCE
Shang
(~朝, ~代)
(~朝, ~代)
1600 – 1046 BCE
Zhou
(~朝, ~代)
1046 – 256 BCE Western Zhou
西周
Eastern Zhou
東周东周
Spring and Autumn period
春秋
Warring States period
戰國战国
Qin
(~朝, ~代)
221 – 206 BCE
Han
(~朝, ~代)
206 BCE – 220 C.E. Western Han
西漢西汉
Xin
(~朝)
Eastern Han
東漢东汉
Three Kingdoms
三國三国
220 – 280 C.E. Wei
Shu Han
蜀漢蜀汉
Wu
Jin
(~朝, ~代)
265 – 420 C.E. Western Jin
西晉西晋
Eastern Jin
東晉东晋
Southern and Northern dynasties
南北朝
420 – 589 C.E. Northern dynasties
北朝
Northern Wei
北魏
Western Wei
西魏
Eastern Wei
東魏东魏
Northern Zhou
北周
Northern Qi
北齊北齐
Southern dynasties
南朝
Liu Song
劉宋刘宋
Southern Qi
南齊南齐
Liang
(~朝, ~代)
Chen
(~朝, ~代)
Sui
(~朝, ~代)
581 – 618 C.E.
Tang
(~朝, ~代)
618 – 907 C.E.
Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms
五代十國五代十国
907 – 960 C.E.
Liao
(~朝, ~代)
907 – 1125 C.E.
Song
(~朝, ~代)
960 – 1279 C.E. Northern Song
北宋
Southern Song
南宋
Western Xia
西夏
1038 – 1227 C.E.
Jin
(~朝, ~代)
1115 – 1234 C.E.
Western Liao
西遼西辽
1124 – 1218 C.E.
Yuan
(~朝, ~代)
1271 – 1368 C.E.
Ming
(~朝, ~代)
1368 – 1644 C.E.
Qing
(~朝, ~代)
1636 – 1912 C.E.

Compounds

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Descendants

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Sino-Xenic ():
  • Korean: 원(元) (won)
  • Vietnamese: nguyên ()
  • English: yuan
  • Etymology 2

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    For pronunciation and definitions of – see (“circle; circular; round; etc.”).
    (This character is the draft (1955) first-round simplified and second-round simplified form of ).
    Notes:

    References

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    Japanese

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    Kanji

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    (grade 2 “Kyōiku” kanji)

    Readings

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    Compounds

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    Etymology 1

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    Kanji in this term
    もと
    Grade: 2
    kun’yomi
    Alternative spellings



    ⟨mo2to2/moto/

    From Old Japanese. Cited to the Kojiki of 712 CE.[1] From Proto-Japonic *mətə. Cognate with Okinawan (mutu).

    Pronunciation

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    Noun

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    (もと) (moto

    1. cause, origin
    2. basis, foundation
    3. cost
      (もと)がとれる
      moto ga toreru
      to be able to cover the cost
    4. (finance) capital
      2000円(にせんえん)(もと)()
      nisen-en no moto o toru
      to get one's 2000 yen's worth
      (literally, “to take the 2000 yen principal”)
    5. principal

    Derived terms

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    Prefix

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    (もと) (moto-

    1. former, erstwhile
      (もと)カレ(もと)カノ
      motokare, motokano
      former boyfriend, former girlfriend
      プロジェクト(もと)(たん)(とう)(しゃ)()(なか)()
      purojekuto no moto tantōsha no Tanaka-shi
      former project manager Tanaka

    Etymology 2

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    Kanji in this term
    げん
    Grade: 2
    kan’on

    From the Middle Chinese-derived reading of the kanji characters.

    Proper noun

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    (げん) (Gen

    1. the Yuan dynasty (1271–1368)

    Noun

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    (げん) (gen

    1. yuan (currency)
      Synonym: ユアン

    Etymology 3

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    From (はじ) (hajime, beginning).

    Pronunciation

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    Proper noun

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    (はじめ) (Hajime

    1. a male given name

    References

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    1. ^ Shōgaku Tosho (1988) 国語大辞典(新装版) [Unabridged Dictionary of Japanese (Revised Edition)] (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan, →ISBN
    2. 2.0 2.1 Matsumura, Akira, editor (2006), 大辞林 [Daijirin] (in Japanese), Third edition, Tokyo: Sanseidō, →ISBN

    Korean

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    Hanja

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    (eumhun 으뜸 (eutteum won))

    1. Hanja form? of (chief).

    Okinawan

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    Alternative forms

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    Kanji

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    (grade 2 “Kyōiku” kanji)

    Readings

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    Compounds

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    Etymology

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    Kanji in this term
    むとぅ
    Grade: 2
    kun’yomi
    Kanji in this term
    むーとぅ
    Grade: 2
    kun’yomi

    From Proto-Ryukyuan *moto, from Proto-Japonic *mətə. Cognate with mainland Japanese (moto).

    Noun

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    (むとぅ) or (むーとぅ) (mutu or mūtu

    1. cause, origin
    2. basis, foundation
    3. cost
    4. origin
    5. (finance) capital
    6. principal

    Vietnamese

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    Han character

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    : Hán Nôm readings: nguyên, nguyễn

    1. source, origin, base
    2. a family name