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Glenn

擧・挙・舉・举

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Glenn

I've been wondering this for a while now. All of the above are (probably obviously) the same character in different forms. I believe the first one is probably the 康熙字體, and I've also seen it in Korean contexts, the second is the Japanese 新字体, the third 繁體字, and the fourth 简体字. I understand how the top cluster could become the three strokes in the simplified versions, but what I don't get is the 手 becoming that 橫橫豎 thing (is there a way to type that?). 手 makes infinitely more sense to me, although I realize that may not mean anything in reality, so I was curious to know why it ceased to be part of the official form in Chinese. Did this just happen naturally over time in people's writing and it was used so overwhelmingly more commonly than the 手 version that they just decided to officially adopt it? Or am I just missing something in what it (the 橫橫豎 thing) means and how it works in the character?

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anonymoose

Well, this probably doesn't answer your question, but don't forget that 扌 is a 提手旁.

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Glenn

Is that what that's supposed to be in there? If so that sure would make a whole lot more sense.

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Hofmann

If you look at 金文, 大篆, and 小篆 for 手, you'll see that it's three strokes. The bend at the top of the vertical-ish stroke becomes the first stroke of 手 in 隸書 (and 楷書). In 舉, that bend is often omitted in 大篆, and therefore 隸書 and 楷書.

Furthermore, I think the underlying form of both the thing at the bottom of 舉 and 扌 are the same.

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Glenn

Oh wow, so it's actually the older form. Do you think 手 came along later to make the meaning of the component clearer in 舉?

By "I think the underlying form of both the thing at the bottom of 舉 and 扌 are the same" do you mean to say that they're both 手? That is, 扌and the bottom part of 舉 are allographs of 手? Or did you mean something else?

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Hofmann

Have you ever noticed that 手 rarely occurs with other components? And if it does, do you find it awkward to write? Because I do.

Thing at the bottom of 舉 and 扌 can be though of as allographs of an underlying form

23itag7.png

. This is why when one writes 扌, the first stroke should be short, unlike 木 on the left of things, where the first stroke can be long. 手 can be thought of as a variant of that.

WTF, you might say. Think of it this way. How often do you see 玉 with the dot together with other components? Almost never. Therefore you can say that the underlying form is 王, and a dot is added only when it occurs alone. The same with that which I linked to above. The difference is that you can sometimes see it written as 手 when it occurs together with other components.

(BTW, this kind of stuff is what Chinese calligraphy is all about, not what the the common misconceptions portray it to be. It is linguistics if it is anything, not a bunch of esoteric shamanistic "brush dancing.")

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Glenn

Yes, I have noticed that, and when it does it always seems to be at the bottom of them (擊 and 攣 come to mind). About writing them, well... I tend to have problems writing well in general, as my ex-girlfriend so kindly told me one day ("you have bad (Japanese) handwriting. It's bad in English too.").

Now I get what you meant by the underlying form and why you didn't just say it was an allograph. The case of 玉 and 王 is interesting too. I guess this is another case where it's only (or mostly only) different when it's on the left side and compressed? 璧 and 璽 come to mind as a case similar to 手.

This is interesting. I've watched a few videos on 書法 on YouTube, plus some of the 每日一題每日一字, but my Mandarin isn't good enough to get what's going on in those. I'd be interested in learning more (I've checked out some of the differences in styles, like 隸書 and 楷書, and they can be unexpected (to me)), but I don't think I'm quite at that level yet. Anyway, thanks! This has been enlightening.

[Edit] Oh yeah, so this would be the same as in 奉, 捧, and 棒, I take it. That's good to know too.

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hbuchtel
Have you ever noticed that 手 rarely occurs with other components? And if it does, do you find it awkward to write? Because I do.

Why do you find it awkward to write?

The first character I thought of when I read the above line was 拿, which is quite natural to write (as the last stroke of 口 goes to the right, and the first stroke of 手 comes from the right).

There are other examples of the same sequence of strokes, as in 聖 (again the last stroke of 口 goes to the right, and the first stroke of 壬* comes from the right).

Are you thinking about other characters, or do you find these ones awkward as well?

*in some examples of this character it uses 王, and other use 壬 (maybe this is not a good example?) . . . also interesting is that the modern simplified version of the character (圣) removes the first stroke of 王/壬, just as what happens when converting 手 to 扌.

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Hofmann

I find it awkward because it's a tall component with a hook at the bottom, so I can't just pull the last stroke down long.

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aristotle1990

Hofmann, your post there just measurably increased my appreciation for Chinese calligraphy. I'll probably never go study it seriously, but definite kudos, man.

Also, your avatar is brilliant. Did you make that yourself or get it from somewhere? Mind sharing a larger version? ;)

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Hofmann

I don't have it anymore. It was something I made as a prank to play on FOBs.

Nevermind. There was an image saved on my Facebook.

sg1l4g.jpg

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hbuchtel
I find it awkward because it's a tall component with a hook at the bottom, so I can't just pull the last stroke down long.

Oh, ok. I thought you were hinting that there was something about the awkwardness of writing 手 that (during the evolution of the language) led to it being simplified into 扌.

Are you writing with a pen or a brush?

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Glenn

I didn't see this until I blew it up, but the 王 (or is it 玉?) has gone missing from 聽. In fact, so has the 一 on the right side between 罒 and 心. This is the form that's used in Japanese these days, but I've never seen it in Chinese, so I was a bit surprised to find it there. Is it a common form in calligraphy?

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Hofmann

hbuchtel,

I'm not sure what you're asking. To determine the awkwardness of a character, I think I imagine writing it in my head.

I think I have "spidey senses" for things that are awkward to write, and a lot of the time it goes off, I can find common, alternate ways of writing the character that are less awkward. I haven't thought about characterizing it yet.

Glenn,

聴 is a common form. <--period The Japanese Ministry of Education adopted this as standard.

Interesting that you didn't say anything about 黃.

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Glenn

I just looked at it again. The only thing that caught my eye at first was that the horizontal line in 艸 didn't go all the way through (is that horns or something?). I totally missed that it's closer to 黄 than 黃.

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