The Etymonic Determinatives of Wanq [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]

By Van Auken, Newell Ann | The Journal of the American Oriental Society, July-September 2002 | Go to article overview

The Etymonic Determinatives of Wanq [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]


Van Auken, Newell Ann, The Journal of the American Oriental Society


IF ONE WERE TO COME ACROSS the character [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in a modern Chinese text, he might note that the phonetic component is immediately apparent: [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] wang. And indeed the phonetic values associated with [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and correspond neatly both in modern Mandarin and in Old Chinese reconstruction, [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] wanq < mjang(H) < *mjang(s) and [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] wang

THE GRAPHS [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] AND [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] IN INSCRIBED AND MANUSCRIPT TEXTS

In the Western Jou bronze inscriptions the form [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [:[CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is far more common than [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [:[CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]]. The Jinwen guulin [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (JWGL) cites twenty-three occurrences of the bronze form corresponding to [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (entry 8-1118) but only two of the form corresponding to [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (entry 12-1621). (2) It is difficult to say which is earlier, based on the dates of the bronzes on which they are inscribed, since in many cases the vessels cannot be dated precisely. (3) We can only note that in the bronze inscriptions the graph [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] was predominant.

We can infer from the shell and bone inscriptions (SBI) that [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] was the earlier form, since the SBI graph [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] contains [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], which is a constituent of [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] but not of [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. In other words, [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] appears to be composed of the SBI graph [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] with the element [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] added. According to the analysis of Sheu Shenn [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (ca. 55-ca. 149) in the Shuowen jieetzyh [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (SWJTz), the graph [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is derived from [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], which functions in abbreviated form as the phonetic component of the graph (see below for full translation of t he SWJTz entry). All this evidence indicates that is the earlier of the two.

While in terms of its components, the SBI graph [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] corresponds to the kaeshu [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] form [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] modern scholars often transcribe it [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] or [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. …

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