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Re: Chinese writing systems

From:Douglas Koller, Latin & French <latinfrench@...>
Date:Monday, November 4, 2002, 20:38
Nik writes:

>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). Kou