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U+5929, 天
CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-5929

[U+5928]
CJK Unified Ideographs
[U+592A]

Translingual

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Stroke order
 

Han character

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(Kangxi radical 37, +1, 4 strokes, cangjie input 一大 (MK), four-corner 10430, composition )

Derived characters

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Descendants

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References

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  • Kangxi Dictionary: page 248, character 4
  • Dai Kanwa Jiten: character 5833
  • Dae Jaweon: page 500, character 2
  • Hanyu Da Zidian (first edition): volume 1, page 522, character 1
  • Unihan data for U+5929

Chinese

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simp. and trad.
alternative forms

Glyph origin

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Wikipedia has articles on:
  • (Written Standard Chinese?)
  • (Cantonese)
  • Tian (English)
 
The sky over Guangdong.
 
The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests in Beijing's Temple of Heaven.

A top line representing the level above a man with outstretched arms ( ()). Ancient representations of the character depicted a man with a large head, an anthropomorphic representation of heaven.

Original meaning of the word is “sky”. Such concept is difficult to depict with a pictogram, hence the current form. Perhaps influenced by the glyph, the character was frequently glossed in Old Chinese documents with (“crown of the head”), and such had led to incorrect hypotheses which regarded (tiān) as a derivation of or , “top (of the head/hill)”.

Etymology

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This character was previously reconstructed to have a /*tʰ/-initial in Old Chinese, but this hypothesis has been largely discounted in recent reconstructions, in light of evidence from early Chinese accounts of dialectal pronunciations, transcription of other languages, as well as cognate/derived characters within Chinese, which has all pointed to a voiceless resonant initial /*l̥-/ in Old Chinese. According to chapter 1 of Shiming, by c. 200 CE, this initial had already produced dialectal variation in the pronunciation: People in central-western China pronounced it with the back of the tongue, like (MC xenX), while people in eastern China pronounced it with the tip of the tongue, like (MC thanX). An old northwestern dialect variant survives as (MC xen, “God of the Zoroastrians”), and the word 天竺 (MC then trjuwk, “India”) was used to transcribe Old Persian *Hind-uka ("India").

Further etymology is unknown. During the time when this term was reconstructed with a /*tʰ-/ initial, it was frequently compared with tengri, the name for God in early Turkic and Mongolic peoples' languages. This now appears unlikely. The only certain external cognate is the Central Bai (a language closely related to Chinese) word heinl (sky, heaven) /xẽ⁵⁵/. Chen (1998) proposes cognation with 祁連 (OC *g'ieg-lian) and 赫連 (OC *khak-lian), transcriptions of a Xiongnu word for "sky", which he also relates to 昊天 (OC *g'ôg-hlin).

Pronunciation

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Note:
  • thiⁿ - vernacular;
  • thian/then - literary.
Note:
  • tin1 - vernacular;
  • tiêng1/tiang1 - literary (tiêng1 - Chaozhou).
    • (Leizhou)
      • Leizhou Pinyin: ti1 / tieng1
      • Sinological IPA: /tʰi³⁵/, /tʰieŋ³⁵/
Note:
  • ti1 - vernacular;
  • tieng1 - literary.

Rime
Character
Reading # 1/1
Initial () (6)
Final () (85)
Tone (調) Level (Ø)
Openness (開合) Open
Division () IV
Fanqie
Baxter then
Reconstructions
Zhengzhang
Shangfang
/tʰen/
Pan
Wuyun
/tʰen/
Shao
Rongfen
/tʰɛn/
Edwin
Pulleyblank
/tʰɛn/
Li
Rong
/tʰen/
Wang
Li
/tʰien/
Bernard
Karlgren
/tʰien/
Expected
Mandarin
Reflex
tiān
Expected
Cantonese
Reflex
tin1
BaxterSagart system 1.1 (2014)
Character
Reading # 1/2 2/2
Modern
Beijing
(Pinyin)
tiān xiān
Middle
Chinese
‹ then › ‹ xen ›
Old
Chinese
/*l̥ˁi[n]/ /*l̥ˁi[n]/ (W dialect: l̥ˁ- > Hàn-time *xˁ- > MC x-)
English heaven heaven

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. 12387
Phonetic
component
Rime
group
Rime
subdivision
1
Corresponding
MC rime
Old
Chinese
/*qʰl'iːn/

Definitions

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  1. sky; heavens; heavenly; celestial
      ―  tiānkōng  ―  sky
      ―  Tiān hēi le.  ―  It's getting dark. (lit. The sky is becoming black)
  2. (mythology or religion) heaven as the abode of the gods or the blessed departed; heavenly
      ―  shàngtiān  ―  to go up to the sky; to go to heaven
      ―  tiān  ―  Heaven's will
  3. (mythology or religion) Heaven as an impersonal deity; often translated as God
      ―  tiānzhǔ  ―  God (in the Catholic tradition)
      ―  lǎotiān  ―  Heaven, Tian; God (Deity of the Zhou)
      ―  Wǒ de tiān a!  ―  Oh my God!
      ―  Tiān zhù zì zhù zhě.  ―  God helps those who help themselves.
  4. top; overhead
      ―  tiānqiáo  ―  footbridge
      ―  tiānchuāng  ―  sunroof
  5. weather; climate
      ―  Tiān hěn lěng.  ―  It's very cold.
    如果我們散步 [MSC, trad.]
    如果我们散步 [MSC, simp.]
    Rúguǒ tiān qíng, wǒmen jiù qù sànbù. [Pinyin]
    If the weather clears, we'll go for a walk.
  6. day (24 hours)
      ―  jīntiān  ―  today
      ―  míngtiān  ―  tomorrow
      ―  sān tiān  ―  three days
  7. day (as opposed to night)
      ―  báitiān  ―  daytime
      ―  sān tiān liǎng yè  ―  three days and two nights
  8. period of time in a day
    五更  ―  wǔgèngtiān  ―  just before dawn
      ―  Tiān bù zǎo le.  ―  It's getting late.
  9. season
    [MSC, trad. and simp.]
    chūntiān, xiàtiān, qiūtiān, dōngtiān [Pinyin]
    spring, summer, autumn, winter
    黃梅黄梅  ―  huángméitiān  ―  rainy season
  10. nature
      ―  tiānzāi  ―  natural disaster
  11. natural; innate
      ―  tiānshēng  ―  innate
      ―  tiānxìng  ―  nature, personality
      ―  tiāncái  ―  genius
  12. (Hong Kong) Short for 天水圍天水围 (Tiānshuǐwéi, “Tin Shui Wai”).

Synonyms

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Compounds

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Descendants

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Sino-Xenic ():
  • Japanese: (てん) (ten)
  • Korean: 천(天) (cheon)
  • Vietnamese: thiên ()

References

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Japanese

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Japanese Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia ja

Kanji

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(grade 1 “Kyōiku” kanji)

  1. heavens, sky

Readings

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Compounds

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Etymology 1

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Kanji in this term
あま
Grade: 1
kun’yomi

From Old Japanese. A bound form only appearing in compounds.[1][2] Compare the formation of (ma, bound form in compounds) and (me, standalone form), (ta, bound form in compounds) and (te, standalone form).

Pronunciation

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Noun

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(あま) (ama

  1. (archaic) the sky, the heavens
  2. the area above a kitchen stove:
    1. where the smoke collects in an old kitchen using a wood-burning stove
    2. a shelf or shelves above the stove
  3. (archaic) heaven
Derived terms
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Etymology 2

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Kanji in this term
あめ
Grade: 1
kun’yomi

⟨ame2 → */aməj//ame/

From Old Japanese as a sound shift from ama above.[1] Compare (kami, kan-, kamu-, god), (me, ma-, eye), etc. Ultimately from Proto-Japonic *amay.

Pronunciation

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Noun

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(あめ) (ame

  1. (archaic) the sky, the heavens
  2. (archaic) heaven
  3. (archaic) the roof of a palace
Derived terms
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Idioms
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Etymology 3

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Kanji in this term
てん
Grade: 1
on’yomi

From Middle Chinese (MC then, “sky; heavens”). Compare modern Mandarin reading tiān.

Pronunciation

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Noun

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(てん) (ten

  1. the sky, the heavens
  2. heaven
  3. (Buddhism) a deva or devi
    Hyponym: 天女 (tennyo)
    (てん)(どう)
    tendō
    the world of heavenly gods; the world of devas
    (てん)()
    tenbu
    devas; the class of heavenly gods
    (だい)(こく)(てん)
    Daikokuten
    Mahakala
    (literally, “the Great Black Deva”)
    (べん)(ざい)(てん)
    Benzaiten
    Saraswati
    (literally, “the Eloquent Devi”)
  4. (figurative) the gods, providence, fate
    (てん)(あた)
    ten no atae
    gift from the gods
  5. (printing, of a page) the top margin
    Antonym:
    Hypernym: マージン
Derived terms
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Idioms
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Affix

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(てん) (ten

  1. the sky, the heavens
  2. heaven
  3. Short for 天ぷら (tenpura).

References

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  1. 1.0 1.1 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 2.2 Matsumura, Akira, editor (2006), 大辞林 [Daijirin] (in Japanese), Third edition, Tokyo: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  3. 3.0 3.1 NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute, editor (1998), NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 [NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary] (in Japanese), Tokyo: NHK Publishing, Inc., →ISBN

Korean

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Etymology

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From Middle Chinese (MC then).

Historical Readings
Dongguk Jeongun Reading
Dongguk Jeongun, 1448 (Yale: thyèn)
Middle Korean
Text Eumhun
Gloss (hun) Reading
Hunmong Jahoe, 1527[2] 하ᄂᆞᆯ〮 (Yale: hànól) (Yale: thyèn)

Pronunciation

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Hanja

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Korean Wikisource has texts containing the hanja:

Wikisource

(eumhun 하늘 (haneul cheon))

  1. Hanja form? of (sky; heaven).

Compounds

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References

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  • 국제퇴계학회 대구경북지부 (國際退溪學會 大邱慶北支部) (2007). Digital Hanja Dictionary, 전자사전/電子字典. [3]

Vietnamese

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Han character

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: Hán Việt readings: thiên[1][2][3]
: Nôm readings: thiên[1][2][3], thiêng[1]

  1. chữ Hán form of thiên (sky; heaven).

Compounds

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References

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