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On Monday 23 April 2007 8:22 am, caeruleancentaur wrote:
> Because logograms cannot be alphabetized, how are they ordered?  There 
> are Chinese dictionaries, aren't there?
> 
> I have a book, "A Guide To Remembering Japanese Characters," by 
> Kenneth G. Henshall.  It contains "the 1,945 characters prescribed by 
> the Japanese Ministry of Education for everyday use."  The first 996 
> are arranged according to the six-grade system used in Japanese 
> schools.  Then there is a General Use section.  But I don't understand 
> how the characters are arranged within each section.
> 
> Is there some standard way by which the Chinese arrange the logograms?
> 
> What I want to do is develop a writing system for Senjecas similar to 
> Japanese: the use of a logogram for the root of the word, along with 
> letters for prefixes, suffixes, particles, etc.
> 
> Charlie
> 
There are 214 (I think) subcomponents of Chinese characters called radicals. 
These are sorted by the number of strokes in the most complicated form of the 
radical (most of them have shorthand forms used when they are combined in 
characters).  There are rules for deciding which chunk of a complex character 
is the radical. I sometimes still guess wrong.

Characters in the family of a given radical are sorted by number of additional 
strokes they contain besides the radical. 

The sorting of, for example, 3-stroke radicals (there are a bunch of those) or 
additional strokes, has to do with the geometry of the strokes. But mostly I 
find I just get used to where things are if I'm using the serious kanji 
dictionaries for a while. I think that side of things mostly matters to the 
people who make the dictionaries.
-- 
Elyse Grasso

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