The chinese writing system

After the communist takeover of China inwork on a comprehensive script reform was begun. After considering and rejecting proposals for the use of either Chinese characters or the Cyrillic alphabetthe Latin alphabet was chosen for use. The island of Taiwan has continued to prefer the earlier Wade-Giles romanization system, although a modified system that is orthographically somewhat between Pinyin and Wade-Giles has been in limited use there since about

The chinese writing system

Elephant Evolution of pictograms Chinese characters represent words of the language using several strategies. A few characters, including some of the most commonly used, were originally pictogramswhich depicted the objects denoted, or ideogramsin which meaning was expressed iconically.

The vast majority were written using the rebus principlein which a character for a similarly sounding word was either simply borrowed or more commonly extended with a disambiguating semantic marker to form a phono-semantic compound character.

Characters in this class derive from pictures of the objects they denote. Over time they have been standardized, simplified, and stylized to make them easier to write, and their derivation is therefore not always obvious.

Rebus was pivotal in the history of writing in China insofar as it represented the stage at which logographic writing could become purely phonetic phonographic.

The chinese writing system

These characters are composed of two parts: In most cases the semantic indicator is also the radical under which the character is listed in dictionaries.

The right-hand side in each case is a phonetic indicator. In this case it can be seen that the pronunciation of the character is slightly different from that of its phonetic indicator; the effect of historical sound change means that the composition of such characters can sometimes seem arbitrary today.

Characteristics Chinese Website Translation The Chinese Alphabet The Chinese writing system does not have an alphabetwhich is a set of characters that represent units of sound or phonemes. Instead, the Chinese writing system is made up of an unlimited set of characters or logographs that represent a unit of meaning or morpheme i.
Basic meaning The Chinese writing system is non-alphabetic. It applies a specific character to write each meaningful syllable or each nonmeaningful syllabic that is part of a polysyllabic word.

Many Chinese names of elements in the periodic table and many other chemistry-related characters were formed this way.

The term does not appear in the body of the dictionary, and is often omitted from modern systems.

The chinese writing system

The legend relates that on the day the characters were created, people heard ghosts wailing and saw crops falling like rain. Neolithic signs in China In recent decades, a series of inscribed graphs and pictures have been found at Neolithic sites in China, including Jiahu c.

Often these finds are accompanied by media reports that push back the purported beginnings of Chinese writing by thousands of years.

Oracle bone script Ox scapula with oracle bone inscription The earliest confirmed evidence of the Chinese script yet discovered is the body of inscriptions carved on oracle bones from the late Shang dynasty c.

Bythe source of the bones had been traced to a village near Anyang in Henan Provincewhich was excavated by the Academia Sinica between and Overfragments have been found.

The Shang king would communicate with his ancestors on topics relating to the royal family, military success, weather forecasting, ritual sacrifices, and related topics by means of scapulimancyand the answers would be recorded on the divination material itself.

Chinese bronze inscriptions The traditional picture of an orderly series of scripts, each one invented suddenly and then completely displacing the previous one, has been conclusively demonstrated to be fiction by the archaeological finds and scholarly research of the later 20th and early 21st centuries.

As early as the Shang dynasty, oracle-bone script coexisted as a simplified form alongside the normal script of bamboo books preserved in typical bronze inscriptionsas well as the extra-elaborate pictorial forms often clan emblems found on many bronzes.

The inscription cast in bronze on the vessel commemorates a gift of cowrie shells then used as currency in China from someone of presumably elite status in Zhou dynasty society. An inscription of some Chinese characters appears twice on the vessel.

The inscription comments on state rituals that accompanied court ceremony, recorded by an official scribe. Based on studies of these bronze inscriptions, it is clear that, from the Shang dynasty writing to that of the Western Zhou and early Eastern Zhouthe mainstream script evolved in a slow, unbroken fashion, until assuming the form that is now known as seal script in the late Eastern Zhou in the state of Qinwithout any clear line of division.Chinese characters (traditional Chinese: 漢字; simplified Chinese: 汉字; pinyin: hànzì; literally: "Han characters") are logograms developed for the writing of Chinese.

They have been adapted to write a number of other Asian languages. They remain a key component of the Japanese writing system, where they are known as kanji.

The Chinese use a very different writing system to English. English words are made up of a collection of letters that each has its own sound. The Chinese use logograms - where . Written Chinese is not based on an alphabet or syllabary, so Chinese dictionaries, as well as dictionaries that define Chinese characters in other languages, cannot easily be alphabetized or otherwise lexically ordered, as English dictionaries are.

Pinyin romanization: Pinyin romanization, system of romanization for the Chinese written language based on the pronunciation of the Beijing dialect of Mandarin Chinese. The gradual acceptance of Pinyin as the official transcription used in the People’s Republic of China signaled a .

Ancient Chinese writing evolved from the practice of divination during the Shang Dynasty ( BCE).

Evolution of the character

Some theories suggest that images and markings on pottery shards found at Ban Po Village are evidence of an early writing system but this claim has been challenged repeatedly.

Ban Po was. Written Chinese (Chinese: 中文; pinyin: zhōngwén) comprises Chinese characters used to represent the Chinese language. Chinese characters do not constitute an alphabet or a compact syllabary. Rather, the writing system is roughly logosyllabic ; that is, a character generally represents one syllable of spoken Chinese and may be a word on its own or a part of a polysyllabic word.

A Simple Explanation Of Chinese Characters