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Anfang as chinese / Cordwainer Smith [Was "Old French"]

From:Stephen Mulraney <ataltanie@...>
Date:Wednesday, July 17, 2002, 1:07
Jeff wrote:

> I don't think I'd want to imitate ammonium ... could it be something as > prosaic as records room?
Maybe, I don't know the first thing (ok, the second) about Cordwainer Smith, or the context this occurs in. Here's a bit more detail on those two lexical entries. An X means a chinese char I can't produce (well I can, but I broke something about the system's configuration and don't feel like fixing it now), an a ~ means the character for the headword an4: (noun) 1. case; law case: X~ clear up a criminal case. 2. record; file: X~XX be on record (or file). 3. a plan submitted for consideration; proposal: X~ proposal; motion. XXX~ a draft resolution. Also there's an entry under this char "an4juan4": "records, files, archives" fang2: (noun) 1. house: X~ bungalow. X~ a building of two or more storeys. 2. room: X~ study. X~ guest room. X~ ward.
>lists (polysyllabic) words, under their first character. There's one >"anfang" listed, meaning "lay, place", which is the > second "an" (where, how)
> plus the final "fang"
Yep. In fact, many of the polysyllabic words under this headword have in common the notion of "a place", though there's a handfull of other ones with meanings from "ampoule" (a sound-borrowing, "an1bu4") to "good health" I tend to think of chinese multisyllable words as having the the intersection of the meanings of all their components. Plus a bit. stephen