1887
Writing Systems and Linguistic Structure
  • ISSN 1387-6732
  • E-ISSN: 1570-6001
USD
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes

Abstract

This article attempts to analyze the causes of the irregular readings of Chinese characters both in Mandarin and in Sino-Korean (i.e. Korean pronunciations of Chinese characters). Cultural taboo, avoidance of confusion and residues of historical and/ or regional sound changes are the main causes for irregular readings in Mandarin. Semantic readings, euphony, mismatched palatalization, confusion and erroneous readings are the main reasons in Sino-Korean, among many others. This article also examines how well the graph of a Chinese character conveys the sound if it is a phonetic compound, which consists of a phonetic element and a semantic element. The discussion highlights that the function of conveying the exact pronunciation of a Chinese character is not straightforward although DeFrancis (1984b: 19) suggests that “Chinese is basically a phonetic system of writing of the syllabic type.”
Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1075/wll.12.2.04eom
2009-01-01
2019-10-15
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/wll.12.2.04eom
Loading
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): characters , Chinese , discrepancies , erroneous readings , graphs , irregular readings , Mandarin , Sino-Korean and sounds

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error