Print

Print


>John Cowan wrote:

>It's morpho-syllabic: there is one representation for each syllable
>with a particular meaning.  If it were really logographic, there would be
>a different character for every word, which is certainly not the case.
>Most words are written with at least two characters.

>See http://www.zompist.com/yingzi/yingzi.htm .

I liked this site.  However, I found it somewhat misleading.  There are very
few characters
in Chinese that act in a fashion similar to the English morpheme '-er' or
'-ness'.  Most, if
not all, Chinese characters have an attached meaning, and can stand on their
own as a "word".
Thus, most of the two character "words" in Chinese are compounds like the
English word 'blackboard'.
I guess the real problem lies in whether we consider 'black' and 'board' to
be morphemes of the word
'blackboard', or whether we consider them to be two separate words
compounded together.  Either way,
while I think that Chinese is moving along a continuum from 'logographic' to
'morpho-syllabic', it
has yet to reach its final destination.

Dandy Taylor