Dissertation > Language, writing > Chinese > Philology > Chinese characters constructed

A Study of All Character Radicals Related to ‘Hand’in Shuowen

Author ZhangXiuFang
Tutor XuShan
School Suzhou University
Course Chinese Philology
Keywords Hand Jiaguwen(甲骨文) Shuowen (《说文》) radicals in Chinese characters research
CLC H122
Type Master's thesis
Year 2005
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Shuowen (《说文》) written by Xu Shen in Han Dynasty marks the beginning of studies on Chinese characters. Analyzing forms and explaining meanings, it has made great contribution to philology and phonetics. This paper is an exploration to Shuowen’s radicals in Chinese characters related to ’Hand’. As can be seen, many other character radicals concerning ’Hand’ have already come into being in Jiaguwen(甲骨文) Period, the use of which in oracle inscription shown on tortoise shells or animal bones of Shang Dynasty reflects in various degrees the condition of manual labor at that time. In Shuowen Period, special radicals on ’Hand’ have appeared. In his works, Xu arranged those radicals on ’Hand’ in Bushou’order and analyzed the pronunciation, form and meaning of the characters under each radical column, from which we can understand the characteristics of this works. Duan Yucai ,one of the four famous scholars of the study on Shuowen, made a deep research on this book and commented on Xu’s study on radicals and characters related to ’Hand’. This paper firstly analyses radicals regarding ’Hand’ in the inscriptions on bones or tortoise shells of the Shang Dynasty so as to explain the relation between the number, position and function of ’Hand’.Then,a generalization and analysis is made on the explanation of radicals and characters related to ’Hand’ in Shuowen and Duan’s works. And we also make an analysis on characters and order in special radical ’Hand’.From studying and analyzing these parts,it can be seen that all radicals related to ’Hand’show different features,in some radicals,the meaning related to ’Hand’disappeared,such as You(又),someappeared only as radicals,such as Gong (廾) .Under this condition, character ’Hand’came into being ,not only having the meaning of ’Hand’,but creating new characters by being connected with other radicals as radicals.so the use of character ’Hand’ took the place of other radicals related to ’Hand’,from we can see the development and replacement of all radicals related to ’Hand’.

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