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tooironic

醉 - drunk etymology

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chrix

At least according to Xu Shen (also supported by the Qing era annotator of the Shuo Wen Jie Zi) this is both a 會意 and a 形聲 character. This might be true graphemically, but for the etymology of the character we would need to find out in what form where it was first used in, i.e. whether it was created with the radical first or not. The earliest characters largely started out as monograms and later added a radical for differentiation since the rebus principle (write words that sound the same but have different meaning AND/OR words that sound differently but have similar meaning) quickly led to confusion.

According to Schuessler, there's no connection lexically. There's a clear connection to 啐, as Ancient Chinese had a lot of these voiced-voiceless alternations and prefixes/suffixes etc.

So another question is, are you talking about the character or the word? Sorry for not making it simpler, but things just aren't...

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tooironic
So another question is, are you talking about the character or the word?

Both.

Sorry for not making it simpler, but things just aren't...

Again, please, I implore you, dumb it down for the non-linguists here. As far as I know, Wiktionary is a dictionary, not an etymology or linguistics textbook.

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chrix

And as far as I know most dictionaries don't include etymological information because researching this kind of information is a pain in the *ss, you're lucky if dictionaries mention the definition from Xu Shen.

So if you do want to include it in wiktionary, I'd need to know exactly what kind of info you're after. I mean what purpose does etymological information serve in wiktionary, what are people there looking for (wrt to the etymology of the character)?

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tooironic

To quote myself, for the purposes of Wiktionary, it's really just about explaining the components of the character and how to read meaning from them. It needn't be more complicated than that. Wiktionary's coverage of Mandarin definitions for 字 is hopeless as it is; there's no point spending time coming up with a pedantic etymology for every character we define.

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chrix

All right, fair enough, then go with the folk etymology provided by Xu Shen:

- "wine is finished" (there's some nuances involved with that, but it should be enough, right, and it will save me headaches to get through all that discussion by the annotator in Classical Chinese on what exactly Xu Shen means by that)

- 酉 as semantic element, 卒 as phonetic element

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chrix

Sorry, for the above, this is just for the character. For the word, go with what Schuessler says, namely that this word is related with another "To taste, drink' 啐 cuì", but most certainly NOT with 卒 "finish".

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tooironic

Thanks. I've added it now. By the way, you give "to taste, drink" as a definition of 啐 cuì, but Wenlin only lists "to spit"..?

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chrix

It doesn't mean that in Classical Chinese, there it just means "drink, taste". It must be a subsequent semantic change. As an etymological dictionary, Schuessler will only have the earliest attested meanings, I suppose .

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