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Gharial

The 又 in 友

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Gharial

Would it be OK in your book to treat the 又 in 友 not only as a radical but also as a phonetic (albeit not a very productive one!), or do you think that the etymology available (e.g. Wieger, Karlgen, Harbaugh etc don't appear to treat it as a phonetic) should be strictly observed and not blurred at all (not even for arguably "practical purposes"), even in quite limited/"logical" cases like this would be?

Nah, what was I thinking! Characters in which 又 appears are hardly all pronounced in a you-like way, are they!

Still, it's good to keep learning lists shorter rather than longer, so 又 and 友 can share the same entry even if there's a danger that one will mistake the radical for a phonetic!

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chrix

wouldn't that depend on the purpose? Nothing is set in stone, and even Xu Shen's etymology was done after the fact. Character etymology can be a fuzzy field...

As far as the learner is concerned, long before your average learner will figure out the radical system, they will have mastered 友 completely, seeing as it seems to pop up in any beginner's textbook very early.

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Gharial

The purpose is that I'm now ordering all the OCD characters in a hopefully learnable order/framework.:D I take your point about the frequency and relative easiness of 友 (and indeed 又), but those have still got to be assigned their place in a "comprehensive character listing" (even if that repeats a few things learners will have already gleaned from e.g. an/my:):wink: earlier list-breakdown of radicals and radical-characters), and I'm trying to make it all as concise/entry-limited as possible.

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chrix

I actually never knew that 友 was 又部.. Well, that seems to be the traditional way of classifying it. Some more modern approaches might put it under the upper part, but whatever you do be consistent, explain your approach to the reader and when applicable provide a pronunnciation index.

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Gharial

Well, the top-left bit in 友 isn't as far as I know counted a radical (at least, not in the Kangxi system), so that only leaves the 又 part! So like I was implying, it would be natural to assume that 又 was the phonetic, and therefore (sort of like you have, Chrix8):)) that the radical must be the top part (or at least part of that top part LOL). Anyway, I am dealing only with simplified forms, and therefore using just the CASS 189-radical system, which ought to help keep things a bit simpler and easier for me at least!:D:wink:

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chrix

well there's others with one stroke only that would work too.

I never said that I regarded 又 as the phonetic. Actually I think this might be a 会意 character showing two hands, but I'm not sure (and it's not too relevant for me). It might help the learner to associae 又 and 友 but due to high frequency, I'm not convinced if this is actually useful...

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Gharial

Heh, I was trying alternative radical look-ups out for 友 in the OCD, Xinhua, Far East dictionary etc, but only 又 as radical seems to pan out (in paper dictionaries at least).

Yeah, sorry about the "You thought it was a phonetic", but I think the logic of what I was trying to generally say would quite likely apply to lesser students' (i.e. relative beginners') knowledge, perceptions and unaided interpretations/ thought processes.

You're right about the huiyi by the way - that seems to be how W, K and H all view it.

Anyway, not the most pressing/useful example then, but if/when I have more (but in more extensive chains) I'll perhaps run them by you here on the same thread probably.:)8)

Edited by Gharial

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Gharial

Hmm, I suppose I could also mention something (from a learner perspective, which I still feel I very much am!) about the "pure and simple" graphology involved. There is a non-trivial amount of knicker-twisting in Wieger certainly about whether the same modern form (i.e. that top-left part in 友 etc - and is there a copiable-pastable bit of font for this, or will I need to keep on typing 'that top-left part in 友 etc'?! LOL) is a left versus right hand etc (according to chicken-scratchings i.e. pre-modern character forms), but struggling through this I think (on behalf of all students even less determined than myself) WHAT DOES IT REALLY MATTER, Dr. L. Wieger, S.J., you dusty old professor you! I mean, I myself am tempted to just say that 'that top-left part in 友 etc' is simply a hand, and if need be (in this case, for sure) dub/compare it to a "right hand" (又) rotated 45 degrees anti/counter-clockwise (please see attached jpeg). Anyway, there's always a fair amount in whatever field of learning that could be done to streamline (simplify?) things a bit in order to better help learners, I feel.8)

3112_thumb.attach

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Altair

I think I fist learned 右 in the context of Japanese and read that the top left element was indeed a right hand and so written differently from the similar looking element in 左. I drew the first character with the horizontal stroke second and the second character with the horizontal stroke first, producing slightly differing shapes. Wenlin's etymology backs this up.

Wenlin also says that 友 originated as two identical right hands. I try to learn as much etymology as possible as my learning method and so would use something like: "one right hand and again (又) another right hand" as my mnemonic. In reality, I think learned this character long ago as simply one hand holding another and cannot remember what I considered the top element to be nor what stroke order I used.

Although this can be considered a useless detail, especially with the common Chinese stroke orders, it did help me with the character etymologies and helped to reinforce that there was some logic to the "chicken scratches."

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Gharial

Hi Altair! I myself had also noticed (mainly from the 'How to Write Kanji' appendix in the Kenkyusha/NTC kanji dictionary edited by Jack Halpern) that the Japanese stroke order for 'left' versus 'right' differs (though strangely not in Chinese - nciku etc), and it does make sense in that the first stroke of 工 is shorter/less wide than the top of the second stroke of 口 (as handwritten well, anyway!), but I'm not sure that the actual etmology is worth encumbering the student with...

Edited by Gharial

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trien27

友 is combined with both the left and right hands.

[top part of 友, which is indeed a radical = from 左, meaning "left hand"]

[又, is the right hand, not the phonetic of 友.]

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Gharial

Can I ask what your sources are, Trien27?:)

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trien27

That's what my teacher said when I learned Chinese. My teacher's from Taiwan.

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Gharial

Well, if we believed everything that our teachers told us, we'd know that the Japanese prefer to say 'shiranai' rather than 'shirimasen' because with the latter people might think you are saying 尻.:lol: (Actually, I read that one in Jay Rubin's Making Sense of Japanese (original title Gone Fishin')).

But seriously, it's not that I want to say your teacher is wrong and I am right, but rather, simply that I don't think this is something that it's worth being particularly dogmatic about, and sometimes the more detail there is, the more diminishing the returns for the student.

I would however maintain that the radical for 友 is pretty much 又 only (not that I'll be supplying details of radicals for characters in this third part of the materials I'm writing - the previous part 2 will have taught the 189 CASS radicals pretty thoroughly, so students should be able to spot them in characters, and the focus of the third part will be more on phonetics anyway!), if only because modern simplified dictionaries like the OCD don't list 友 under 一, 丿 or any supposed combo-radical of the two (which as I said before doesn't appear to exist in the CASS or even the Kangxi radical lists - and no, it isn't counted as 十 , before anyone asks (not that that 'anyone' would include you, Trien, or Chrix!)). And by the same reasoning, 左 is found only under 工 in the OCD at least.

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Gharial

Actually I thought I should not be too dogmatic:D and therefore check about that whole radical business, and this is what I found:

T.K.Ann includes the top-left part of characters like 友 among his 170 radicals, but Cracking the Chinese Puzzles is hardly a standard reference work, in the Abridged single-volume paperback edition has no index at all, and would seem a slightly eccentric and not exactly completely easy work to get along with generally.

Then, the first edition of the Han-Ying Cidian (on which the Oxford/CP Concise, OCD etc are based) has 227 radicals, a relatively high number which allows a slightly more unusual range of radicals (including our 'top-left part of characters like 友') than even the Kangxi's 214 includes; one will therefore search in vain for 友 under 又 in this older Han-Ying Cidian.

However, subsequent editions of the Han-Ying have been arranged according to the CASS 189-radical system; I'm not sure about the very latest edition, but even if it has switched to e.g. the Unified 201-radical system, that is still appreciably less radicals than 227, and neither the 189 or 201 (or indeed and again the Kangxi) have the 'top-left part of characters like 友' as a radical, meaning we are nowadays effectively back to square one again: having only a relatively small number of radicals, and thus needing to make do with 又 as the radical in this particular 友 instance.8):)

Edited by Gharial

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YuehanHao

Just posting a website reference some readers might be interested in that I thought is relevant to this discussion:

http://www.chineseetymology.org/CharacterASP/CharacterEtymology.aspx?characterInput=%E5%8F%8B&submitButton1=Etymology

This site shows what are purportedly early versions of the character 友, showing the two hands that were discussed above. From the meaning of the character, it seemed appropriate to think of one hand as one's own, and the other of one's friend, in the sense of working together, although it seems doubtful anyone could know for certain what the inventors were thinking.

Over time characters were simplified many times and radicals were invented to provide organization. Although I am dull enough to be interested in etymology, I confess my level of dedication doesn't rise to the level of intricacies of the radical organization system. But I did wonder, could part of the reason that 又-containing characters may not have a strong phonetic correlation be that, over time, different shapes were simplified and combined to 又? There is some evidence for thinking this way when considering recent character simplification, and while I have seen one or two data points, I don't have enough knowledge to speculate into earlier times.

约翰好

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Hofmann

Hmmm...it appears that most samples from that site have two right hands. From that, the stroke order would normally be the 丿 first, yet this character is written 一 first. I conclude that this is an exception to the right/left hand stroke order rule.

(What's the rule? Right hand is on top of 右. Left hand is on top of 左. Right hand is 丿 first. Left hand is 一 first.)

that the Japanese stroke order for 'left' versus 'right' differs (though strangely not in Chinese - nciku etc)

That's because the Chinese standards have their heads farther up their asses than the Japanese standard regarding stroke order.

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Gharial

Again, I can't see the point in encumbering the average student with exceptions. Having the same stroke order for both top bits (in 'left' and 'right') follows and abides by the general "horizontal before vertical" rule.

Edited by Gharial

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trien27
That's because the Chinese standards have their heads farther up their asses than the Japanese standard regarding stroke order.

Wrong!

Wikipedia has been wrong in the first place. That's why it wasn't credible as a source!

Same with stroke order.

People still argue about stroke order: It's correct from the Chinese point of view. The Japanese has mixed things up: They combine standard and different calligraphic stroke orders!!!

In Kaishu, for both "left" & "right", the first stroke = 一 , then second stoke = 丿.

But if in caoshu or other calligraphic styles, it might have 丿as the first stroke, then 一 as the second stroke.

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Hofmann
Wrong!...It's correct from the Chinese point of view.

Do not declare what the Chinese point of view is unless you are all Chinese people. This from 11:25 and this explain the stroke order of 右 and similar characters. These are both Chinese sources. How do your sources explain the stroke order?

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