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A diachronic analysis of the FIRE character

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Chinese radicals are the semantic components of Chinese charactersthat generally indicate major concepts and categories. Characters that share thesame radical may be semantically linked in various ways to the broad semanticcategory that the radical represents, and radicals may thus be considered a cate-gorization mechanism to distinguish lexical meanings. Given the fact that FIRE isan independent character that can also be used as a radical in composite char-acters, the question arises as to what extent the semantic developments of the FIREcharacter and the FIRE radical are similar, i.e. does the FIRE radical developindependently of the FIRE character? Against the background of this question, thispaper studies the diachronic semantic structure of the FIRE character, which willbe compared to the FIRE radical in composite characters in follow-up studies. Theanalysis shows that the overall diachronic development of the FIRE characterexhibits prototypical characteristics and a radial network structure.
Journal: Chinese Semiotic Studies
ISSN: 2198-9605
Issue: 1
Volume: 17
Pages: 1 - 44