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chrix

Unexpected readings of phonetic components

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realmayo

How about 盗? Why is this /dao4/? :x I always seem to forget this character....

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chrix

My kanji dictionary says, the upper part is not 次 orginally, but a character with a 三點水, which is the original form of 涎 xián "saliva". So even though it has nothing to do with 次 it is apparently still a "true" 會意 character (the lower part being 皿 "plate", the character describes a situation of food theft: someone sees food and starts to lust after it so much that they start salivating onto the plate)

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imron

On the topic of saliva, that reminds me, 唾 and 垂.

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chrix

yeah, that's another one of those double-alternations.

I've also noticed that often ch/zh or j (and rarely l) will alternate with y, like 驗 or 翌昱.

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Hofmann
My kanji dictionary says, the upper part is not 次 orginally, but a character with a 三點水, which is the original form of 涎 xián "saliva". So even though it has nothing to do with 次 it is apparently still a "true" 會意 character

The thing on top of 盗 is a variant of 㳄. It is composed of two dots left of 欠. In contrast, 次 is 二 left of 欠. Anyway, 盜 isn't a 形聲字.

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jbradfor

童 tong2

Wasn't sure whether 立 (li4) or 里 (li3) is the phonetic part, but in either case "li" is nothing like "tong".

Digging deeper, however, both chinese-characters.org and chineseetymology.org claim the bottom part is actually 重 (zhong4, chong2), which is much closer.

Which, perhaps, shows the "flaw" in learning the pronunciation based on the phonetic part, or at least a danger. Or is shows the importance in learning Etymology. I can't decide.

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trien27
Which, perhaps, shows the "flaw" in learning the pronunciation based on the phonetic part, or at least a danger. Or is shows the importance in learning Etymology. I can't decide.

Most of the time it works, but not always: some of these pronunciations were from ancient times and over time the "phonetic" didn't stick due to borrowing to other dialects which varied in pronunciation from the original dialect which was used to create that character. Sometimes the new word gets it's pronunciation from a similarly written character, which might look similar depending on the calligraphic form used.

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imron

Here's another good one 带 and 滞.

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chrix

jbradfor, some of those are Huiyi characters, so the pronunciations won't really be similar, and some have some historical bond, like 監 and 藍, and probably like 公 and 松 (if they really do or not is not that relevant to the learner, but they do rhyme).

带 and 滞 is nice, though this is another of those double-alternations, I'd put that a 6.

腎 shèn, this surprised me as the phonetic component is usually jian, but the place of articulation is identical, so it's not a big deviation (like 廈, though this is even poyinzi, having both xià and shà)

The place of articulation of 腎 and 臤 in Middle Chinese is different. 腎 starts with [ʑ] and 臤 starts with...a lot of velar stuff. 廈 and 夏 are both 胡雅切, which 王力 says is [ɣa]上聲.

any thoughts on shù?

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Hofmann

Starostin says, Preclassic Old Chinese 豆 d(h)ōs, 豎 dhoʔs (using his romanization system).

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chrix

While I personally don't trust Starostin's reconstructions, Schuessler unfortunately doesn't have an entry on 豎, though he does on 壴 zhù, maybe there's a connection there. Interesting enough 豎 is classified under the 豆 radical in the Kangxi, so this is either a misclassification (but what else would it be), or it's a 形聲會意...

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jbradfor

雄 xiong2

Pronounced nothing like 隹 (zhui1), or other characters with this as the phonetic.

However, chinese-characters.org claims that the phonetic is not 隹 but rather 厷 (gong1), which makes more sense.

Upon realizing that, however, it's rather obvious, since 厷 is not a radical, while 隹 is. So here is, I think, one case in which better knowledge of radicals, and recognizing them, is very helpful.

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chrix

this is where Japanese has a nice way of categorising radicals according to their position, so 隹 would be a tsukuri, not a hen, because it mainly appears on the right side.

Another thing I've noticed, many exceptions and 會意字 can be found when a radical is not used in its typical position, so if it's not used as a hen (left part) but as an upper part or lower part for instance. Need more data, of course, before I can say anything definitive, but that's been my impression so far.

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Glenn

Chinese doesn't have terms for hen and tukuri?

带 and 滞 is nice, though this is another of those double-alternations, I'd put that a 6.

Does anyone have a reason for the divergence? In Japanese they're both tai. It seems like the one that retained that reading (带) is used more than the one that didn't (if that's indeed what happened), which would seem to mean that there wasn't a change because of frequent use.

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chrix

Schuessler suggests that 滯 is related to 撤, and there are differences in the initial and medial to 帶 (and also to the final, if you go back to Archaic Chinese). So at one point in time the sounded roughly similar, so it's not a surprise they diverged in Mandarin.

There's no other characters with 帶 as a phonetic complement...

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Hofmann

There is ...gaddammit post truncated.

U+2862C but that is a variant of 遞.

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Glenn

I had completely forgotten what came before that, and was expecting 逓.

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chrix

On another thread, Hofmann posted an interesting article

There's a morphological alternation between -k entering tone and -ng ending. This makes sense as they are both the same place of articulation, but due to Mandarin losing its entering tones, this connection is now obscured:

廣 guǎng

擴 kuò (-k)

鄭 zhèng

擲 zhí (-k)

Characters and words don't necessarily are related, so some of these alternations apply to characters that don't share phonetic components:

盲 máng

陌 mò (-k)

匆 cōng

促 cù (-k)

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chrix

Hofmann, I was only looking at the GB character set, but thanks for pointing out that unprintable :D character.

imron, that's a good one. Unfortunately, 揩 is not in Schuessler, but I assume that it made more sense in Middle Chinese, where kǎi (平聲, the diacritic stands for vowel quality here) became jie, as for 皆 and most other characters with the same component.

So unaspirated k, originally voiced, often became j before certain vowels, like ǎi, hence also 加 假 甲. Of course explaining this historical sound divergence will not help the modern learner much, but it would explain all these k-j alternations.

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