Grass fully cursive Regular non-cursive Regular script is considered the archetype for Chinese writing, and forms the basis for most printed forms. In addition, regular script imposes a stroke orderwhich must be followed in order for the characters to be written correctly.
The Chinese writing system is non-alphabetic. It applies a specific character to Chineese writing each meaningful syllable or each nonmeaningful syllabic that is part of a polysyllabic word.
History It is not known when Chinese writing originated, but it apparently began to develop in the early 2nd millennium bc. The earliest known inscriptions, each of which contains between 10 and 60 characters incised on pieces of bone and tortoiseshell that were used for oracular divination, date from the Shang or Yin dynasty 18th—12th century bcbut, by then it was already a highly developed system, essentially similar to its present form.
By bc the script included some 2, to 3, characters, most of which can be read to this day. By the end of the Zhou dynasty the dazhuan had degenerated to some extent.
The script was fixed in its present form during the Qin period — bc. The earliest graphs were schematic pictures of what they represented; the graph for man resembled a standing figure, that for woman depicted a kneeling figure.
It is now recognized that the system represents the Chinese language by means of a logographic script. Each graph or character corresponds to one meaningful unit of the language, not directly to a unit of thought.
Although it was possible to make up simple signs to represent common objects, many words were not readily picturable. To represent such words the phonographic principle was adopted.
A graph that pictured some object was borrowed to write a different word that happened to sound similar. With this invention the Chinese approached the form of writing invented by the Sumerians. However, because of the enormous number of Chinese words that sound the same, to have carried through the phonographic principle would have resulted in a writing system in which many of the words could be read in more than one way.
That is, a written character would be extremely ambiguous. The solution to the problem of character ambiguityadopted about bc during the reign of the first Qin emperor, Shihuangdiwas to distinguish two words having the same sound and represented by the same graph by adding another graph to give a clue to the meaning of the particular word intended.
Such complex graphs or characters consist of two parts, one part suggesting the sound, the other part the meaning. The system was then standardized so as to approach the ideal of one distinctive graph representing each morpheme, or unit of meaning, in the language.
The limitation is that a language that has thousands of morphemes would require thousands of characters, and, as the characters are formed from simple lines in various orientations and arrangements, they came to possess great complexity.
Not only did the principle of the script change with time, so too did the form of the graphs. The earliest writing consisted of carved inscriptions.You have the opportunity to contribute ways that you remember Chinese characters and photos of your Chinese writing as you learn from other students of Chinese.
Click the “Learn More” button next to any character to see what others have said about that character. Written Chinese (Chinese: 中文; pinyin: zhōngwén) comprises Chinese characters used to represent the Chinese language.
Chinese characters do not constitute an alphabet or a compact syllabary. Rather, the writing system is roughly logosyllabic ; that is, a character generally represents one syllable of spoken Chinese and may be a word on its own or a part of a polysyllabic word.
How can the answer be improved?Tell us how. You have the opportunity to contribute ways that you remember Chinese characters and photos of your Chinese writing as you learn from other students of Chinese.
Click the “Learn More” button next to any character to see . Chinese writing, basically logographic writing system, one of the world’s great writing systems.
Like Semitic writing in the West, Chinese script was fundamental to the writing systems in the East. Chinese writing, basically logographic writing system, one of the world’s great writing systems..
Like Semitic writing in the West, Chinese script was fundamental to the writing systems in the East. Until relatively recently, Chinese writing was more widely in use than alphabetic writing systems, and until the 18th century more than half of the world’s books were written in Chinese.