Re: Chinese writing systems
|From:||Douglas Koller, Latin & French <latinfrench@...>|
|Date:||Monday, November 4, 2002, 20:38|
>Florian Rivoal wrote:
>> Chinese people tend to confuse thoses prounoun when they speak
>> englsih, this would indicate they are not homophones, but the same
>> words. Yet, the writen form has three distinct characters.
>True. But, those extra forms were devised to be more like the European
>languages. There was originally just one written form.
Yes, in fact, the extra forms proliferated to a rather forced extent.
ta - he (with the person radical)
ta - she (with the woman radical)
ta - it (roof radical with a spoon (?) underneath)
ta - He (ref. to God, with the "holy thing" radical)
ta - it (with the cow radical, ref. to animals)
Still, it's all the same word. Even in current-day writing, you can
still see the person-radical "ta" used generically. Taken to
extremes, the second person pronoun "ni" has also evolved an extra
form with the female radical for "you" as a feminine person (I've
seen this mostly used in love ballads, however).