Written Chinese (Chinese: 中文; pinyin: zhōngwén) comprises
Chinese characters (汉字/漢字; pinyin: Hànzì, literally "Han
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. The characters
themselves are often composed of parts that may represent physical
objects, abstract notions, or pronunciation. Literacy requires
the memorization of a great many characters: educated Chinese know
about 4,000. The large number of
Chinese characters has in part
led to the adoption of Western alphabets as an auxiliary means of
representing Chinese. (See also: Pinyin)
Chinese characters have been traced back to the late
Shang Dynasty about 1200–1050 BC, but the process of
creating characters is thought to have begun some centuries
earlier. After a period of variation and evolution, Chinese
characters were standardized under the
Qin Dynasty (221–206 BC).
Over the millennia, these characters have evolved into well-developed
styles of Chinese calligraphy. As the varieties of Chinese
diverged, a situation of diglossia developed, with speakers of
mutually unintelligible varieties able to communicate through writing
using Classical Chinese. In the early 20th century, Classical
Chinese was replaced in this role by written vernacular Chinese,
corresponding to the standard spoken language ("Mandarin"). Although
most other varieties of Chinese are not written, there are traditions
of written Cantonese, written
Shanghainese and written Hokkien, among
Chinese characters have been adopted into writing systems of
other neighbouring East Asian languages, but are currently used only
in Japanese and Korean, as Vietnamese is now written using alphabetic
1.1 Derivation of characters
2.1 Simplified and traditional Chinese
3.1 Other languages
5.2 Transliteration and romanization
6 See also
7.2 Works cited
8 Further reading
9 External links
Song Dynasty redaction of the Shuōwén Jiězì.
Written Chinese is not based on an alphabet or a compact syllabary.
Chinese characters are glyphs whose components may depict
objects or represent abstract notions. Occasionally a character
consists of only one component; more commonly two or more components
are combined to form more complex characters, using a variety of
different principles. The best known exposition of Chinese character
composition is the Shuowen Jiezi, compiled by
Xu Shen around 120 AD.
Xu Shen did not have access to
Chinese characters in their
earliest forms, his analysis cannot always be taken as
authoritative. Nonetheless, no later work has supplanted the
Shuowen Jiezi in terms of breadth, and it is still relevant to
etymological research today.
Derivation of characters
Chinese character classification
According to the Shuowen Jiezi,
Chinese characters are developed on
six basic principles. (These principles, though popularized by the
Shuowen Jiezi, were developed earlier; the oldest known mention of
them is in the Rites of Zhou, a text from about 150 BC.) The first
two principles produce simple characters, known as 文 wén:
象形 xiàngxíng: Pictographs, in which the character is a graphical
depiction of the object it denotes. Examples: 人 rén "person", 日
rì "sun", 木 mù "tree/wood".
指事 zhǐshì: Indicatives, or ideographs, in which the character
represents an abstract notion. Examples: 上 shàng "up", 下 xià
"down", 三 sān "three".
The remaining four principles produce complex characters historically
called 字 zì (although this term is now generally used to refer to
all characters, whether simple or complex). Of these four, two
construct characters from simpler parts:
會意/会意 huìyì: Logical aggregates, in which two or more parts
are used for their meaning. This yields a composite meaning, which is
then applied to the new character. E.g., 東/东 dōng "east", which
represents a sun rising in the trees.
形聲/形声 xíngshēng: Phonetic complexes, in which one
part—often called the radical—indicates the general semantic
category of the character (such as water-related or eye-related), and
the other part is another character, used for its phonetic value.
Example: 晴 qíng "clear/fair (weather)", which is composed of 日
rì "sun", and 青 qīng "blue/green", which is used for its
In contrast to the popular conception of Chinese as a primarily
pictographic or ideographic language, the vast majority of Chinese
characters (about 95% of the characters in the Shuowen Jiezi) are
constructed as either logical aggregates or, more often, phonetic
complexes. In fact, some phonetic complexes were originally simple
pictographs that were later augmented by the addition of a semantic
root. An example is 炷 zhù "candle" (now archaic, meaning
"lampwick"), which was originally a pictograph 主, a character that
is now pronounced zhǔ and means "host", or The character 火 huǒ
"fire" was added to indicate that the meaning is fire-related.
The last two principles do not produce new written forms Instead, they
transfer new meanings to existing forms:
轉注/转注 zhuǎnzhù: Transference, in which a character, often
with a simple, concrete meaning takes on an extended, more abstract
meaning. Example: 網/网 wǎng "net", which was originally a
pictograph depicting a fishing net. Over time, it has taken on an
extended meaning, covering any kind of lattice; for instance, it can
be used to refer to a computer network.
假借 jiǎjiè: Borrowing, in which a character is used, either
intentionally or accidentally, for some entirely different purpose.
Example: 哥 gē "older brother", which is written with a character
originally meaning "song/sing", now written 歌 gē. Once, there was
no character for "older brother", so an otherwise unrelated character
with the right pronunciation was borrowed for that meaning.
Chinese characters are written to fit into a square, even when
composed of two simpler forms written side-by-side or top-to-bottom.
In such cases, each form is compressed to fit the entire character
into a square.
Main article: Stroke (CJK character)
Character components can be further subdivided into strokes. The
Chinese characters fall into eight main categories:
horizontal (一), vertical (丨), left-falling (丿), right-falling
(丶), rising (lower element of 冫), dot (、), hook (亅), and
turning (乛, 乚, 乙, etc.).
There are eight basic rules of stroke order in writing a Chinese
Horizontal strokes are written before vertical ones.
Left-falling strokes are written before right-falling ones.
Characters are written from top to bottom.
Characters are written from left to right.
If a character is framed from above, the frame is written first.
If a character is framed from below, the frame is written last.
Frames are closed last.
In a symmetrical character, the middle is drawn first, then the sides.
These rules do not strictly apply to every situation and are
Main articles: Horizontal and vertical writing in East Asian scripts
and Chinese punctuation
Vertical Chinese writing seen on a restaurant sign and bus stop in
Chinese characters conform to a roughly square frame and are not
usually linked to one another, so do not have a preferred direction of
writing. Traditionally Chinese text was written in vertical columns
which were read from top to bottom, right-to-left; the first column
being on the right side of the page, and the last column on the left.
Text written in
Classical Chinese also uses little or no punctuation,
with sentence and phrase breaks are determined by context and
rhythm. Vertical Chinese is still used for effect or where space
requires it, such as signs or on spines of books.
In modern times, the familiar Western layout, left-to-right horizontal
Chinese, has become more popular. Similar to Latin-letter text, the
horizontal rows are read from left to right, then top of the page to
the bottom. This is used especially in the People's Republic of China
(mainland China), where the government mandated left-to-right writing
in 1955. The government of the
Republic of China
Republic of China (Taiwan) followed
suit in 2004 for official documents. The use of punctuation has
also become more common, whether the text is written in columns or
rows. The punctuation marks are clearly influenced by their Western
counterparts, although some marks are particular to Asian languages:
for example, the double and single quotation marks (『 』 and 「
」); the hollow period dot (。), which is otherwise used just like
an ordinary period full-stop; and a special kind of comma called an
enumeration comma (、), which is used to separate items in a list, as
opposed to clauses in a sentence.
Street and shop signs are a particularly challenging aspect of written
Chinese layout, since they can be written either left-to-right, or
right-to-left (the latter can be thought of as the traditional layout
with each "column" being one character high), as well as from top to
bottom. It is not uncommon to encounter all three orientations on
signs on neighboring stores.
Main article: Chinese calligraphy
An ancient Chinese oracle bone.
Chinese is one of the oldest continually used writing systems still in
use. The earliest generally accepted examples of Chinese writing
date back to the reign of the
Shang Dynasty king
Wu Ding (1250–1192
BC). These were divinatory inscriptions on oracle bones, primarily ox
scapulae and turtle shells. Characters were carved on the bones in
order to frame a question; the bones were then heated over a fire and
the resulting cracks were interpreted to determine the answer. Such
characters are called 甲骨文 jiǎgǔwén "shell-bone script" or
oracle bone script.
In 2003, some 11 isolated symbols carved on tortoise shells were found
at Jiahu, an archaeological site in the
Henan province of China, some
bearing a striking resemblance to certain modern characters, such as
目 mù "eye". Since the
Jiahu site dates from about 6600 BC, it
predates the earliest confirmed Chinese writing by more than
5,000 years. Dr Garman Harbottle, of the Brookhaven National
Laboratory in New York, US, who headed a team of archaeologists at the
University of Science and Technology of China, in Anhui province, has
suggested that these symbols were precursors of Chinese writing, but
Professor David Keightley, of the University of California, Berkeley,
US whose field of expertise is the origins of Chinese civilization in
the Neolithic and early Bronze Ages, employing archaeological and
inscriptional evidence, suggests that the time gap is too great for a
Left: Bronze 方樽 fāngzūn ritual wine container dated about 1000
BC. The written inscription cast in bronze on the vessel commemorates
a gift of cowrie shells in
Zhou Dynasty society. Right: Bronze 方彝
fāngyí ritual container dated about 1000 BC. An inscription of some
Chinese characters appears twice on the vessel, commenting on
state rituals that accompanied a court ceremony.
From the late Shang Dynasty, Chinese writing evolved into the form
found in cast inscriptions on
Chinese ritual bronzes
Chinese ritual bronzes made during the
Zhou Dynasty (c 1066–770 BC) and the Spring and Autumn
period (770–476 BC), a kind of writing called 金文 jīnwén "metal
script". Jinwen characters are less angular and angularized than the
oracle bone script. Later, in the
Warring States period
Warring States period (475–221
BC), the script became still more regular, and settled on a form,
called 六國文字/六国文字 liùguó wénzì "script of the six
Xu Shen used as source material in the Shuowen Jiezi.
These characters were later embellished and stylized to yield the seal
script, which represents the oldest form of
Chinese characters still
in modern use. They are used principally for signature seals, or
chops, which are often used in place of a signature for Chinese
documents and artwork.
Li Si promulgated the seal script as the
standard throughout the empire during the Qin dynasty, then newly
Seal script in turn evolved into the other surviving writing styles;
the first writing style to follow was the clerical script. The
development of such a style can be attributed to those of the Qin
Dynasty who were seeking to create a convenient form of written
characters for daily usage. In general, clerical script characters are
"flat" in appearance, being wider than the seal script, which tends to
be taller than it is wide. Compared with the seal script, clerical
script characters are strikingly rectilinear. In running script, a
semi-cursive form, the character elements begin to run into each
other, although the characters themselves generally remain separate.
Running script eventually evolved into grass script, a fully cursive
form, in which the characters are often entirely unrecognizable by
their canonical forms.
Grass script gives the impression of anarchy in
its appearance, and there is indeed considerable freedom on the part
of the calligrapher, but this freedom is circumscribed by conventional
"abbreviations" in the forms of the characters. Regular script, a
non-cursive form, is the most widely recognized script. In regular
script, each stroke of each character is clearly drawn out from the
others. Even though both the running and grass scripts appear to be
derived as semi-cursive and cursive variants of regular script, it is
in fact the regular script that was the last to develop.
Grass (fully 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 order, which must be followed in order for the
characters to be written correctly. (Strictly speaking, this
stroke order applies to the clerical, running, and grass scripts as
well, but especially in the running and grass scripts, this order is
occasionally deviated from.) Thus, for instance, the character 木 mù
"wood" must be written starting with the horizontal stroke, drawn from
left to right; next, the vertical stroke, from top to bottom; next,
the left diagonal stroke, from top to bottom; and lastly the right
diagonal stroke, from top to bottom.
Simplified and traditional Chinese
Main articles: Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Debate on
traditional and simplified Chinese characters
In the 20th century, written Chinese divided into two canonical forms,
called simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese. Simplified Chinese
was developed in mainland China in order to make the characters faster
to write (especially as some characters had as many as a few dozen
strokes) and easier to memorize. The
People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China claims
that both goals have been achieved, but some external observers
disagree. Little systematic study has been conducted on how simplified
Chinese has affected the way Chinese people become literate; the only
studies conducted before it was standardized in mainland China seem to
have been statistical ones regarding how many strokes were saved on
average in samples of running text.
The simplified forms have also been criticized for being inconsistent.
For instance, traditional 讓 ràng "allow" is simplified to 让, in
which the phonetic on the right side is reduced from 17 strokes to
just three. (The speech radical on the left has also been simplified.)
However, the same phonetic is used in its full form, even in
simplified Chinese, in such characters as 壤 rǎng "soil" and 齉
nàng "snuffle"; these forms remained uncontracted because they were
relatively uncommon and would therefore represent a negligible stroke
reduction. On the other hand, some simplified forms are simply
long-standing calligraphic abbreviations, as for example 万 wàn "ten
thousand", for which the traditional Chinese form is 萬.
Simplified Chinese is standard in the mainland of China,
Traditional Chinese is retained in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan
and overseas Chinese communities (except
Singapore and Malaysia).
Throughout this article, Chinese text is given in both simplified and
traditional forms when they differ, with the traditional forms being
Tomb of Fu Hao, c. 1200 BC, containing some 200 bronze vessels with
109 inscriptions in oracle bone script of Fu Hao's name.
At the inception of written Chinese, spoken Chinese was monosyllabic;
that is, Chinese words expressing independent concepts (objects,
actions, relations, etc.) were usually one syllable. Each written
character corresponded to one monosyllabic word. The spoken
language has since become polysyllabic, but because modern
polysyllabic words are usually composed of older monosyllabic words,
Chinese characters have always been used to represent individual
For over two thousand years, the prevailing written standard was a
vocabulary and syntax rooted in Chinese as spoken around the time of
Confucius (about 500 BC), called Classical Chinese, or 文言文
wényánwén. Over the centuries,
Classical Chinese gradually acquired
some of its grammar and character senses from the various dialects.
This accretion was generally slow and minor; however, by the 20th
Classical Chinese was distinctly different from any
contemporary dialect, and had to be learned separately. Once
learned, it was a common medium for communication between people
speaking different dialects, many of which were mutually
unintelligible by the end of the first millennium AD. A Mandarin
speaker might say yī, a
Cantonese yāt, a
Shanghainese iq, and a
Hokkien chit, but all four will understand the character <一>
to mean "one".
Chinese languages and dialects vary by not only pronunciation, but
also, to a lesser extent, vocabulary and grammar. Modern written
Chinese, which replaced
Classical Chinese as the written standard as
an indirect result of the
May Fourth Movement
May Fourth Movement of 1919, is not
technically bound to any single variety; however, it most nearly
represents the vocabulary and syntax of Mandarin, by far the most
widespread Chinese dialectal family in terms of both geographical area
and number of speakers. This version of written Chinese is called
Vernacular Chinese, or 白話/白话 báihuà (literally, "plain
speech"). Despite its ties to the dominant Mandarin language,
Vernacular Chinese also permits some communication between people of
different dialects, limited by the fact that Vernacular Chinese
expressions are often ungrammatical or unidiomatic in non-Mandarin
dialects. This role may not differ substantially from the role of
other linguae francae, such as Latin: For those trained in written
Chinese, it serves as a common medium; for those untrained in it, the
graphic nature of the characters is in general no aid to common
understanding (characters such as "one" notwithstanding). In this
Chinese characters may be considered a large and inefficient
phonetic script. However, Ghil'ad Zuckermann’s exploration of
phono-semantic matching in
Standard Chinese concludes that the Chinese
writing system is multifunctional, conveying both semantic and
The variation in vocabulary among dialects has also led to the
informal use of "dialectal characters", as well as standard characters
that are nevertheless considered archaic by today's standards.
Cantonese is unique among non-Mandarin regional languages in having a
written colloquial standard, used in
Hong Kong and overseas, with a
large number of unofficial characters for words particular to this
language. Written colloquial
Cantonese has become quite popular in
online chat rooms and instant messaging, although for formal written
Cantonese speakers still normally use Vernacular
Chinese. To a lesser degree
Hokkien is used in a similar way in
Taiwan and elsewhere, although it lacks the level of standardization
seen in Cantonese. However, the Ministry of Education of the Republic
of China is currently releasing a standard character set for Hokkien,
which is to be taught in schools and promoted amongst the general
Main article: Chinese family of scripts
Chinese characters were first introduced into Japanese sometime in the
first half of the first millennium AD, probably from Chinese products
imported into Japan through Korea. At the time, Japanese had no
native written system, and
Chinese characters were used for the most
part to represent Japanese words with the corresponding meanings,
rather than similar pronunciations. A notable exception to this rule
was the system of man'yōgana, which used a small set of Chinese
characters to help indicate pronunciation. The man'yōgana later
developed into the phonetic syllabaries, hiragana and katakana.
Chinese characters are called hànzì in Mandarin, after the Han
Dynasty of China; in Japanese, this was pronounced kanji. In modern
written Japanese, kanji are used for most nouns, verb stems, and
adjective stems, while hiragana are used for grammatical elements and
miscellaneous words that have no common kanji rendition; katakana are
used for transliteration of loanwords from other languages, the names
of plants, animals and certain scientific or technical words,
onomatopoeia and emphasis. The Jōyō kanji, a list of kanji for
common use standardized by the Japanese government, contains 2,136
characters—about half the number of characters commanded by literate
The role of
Chinese characters in Korean and Vietnamese is much more
limited. At one time, many
Chinese characters (called hanja) were
introduced into Korean for their meaning, just as in Japanese.
Today, Korean is written almost exclusively using the
with a small number of Chinese characters. Each square block character
Hangul symbols, or letters, that together represent a
syllable. Similarly, the use of Chinese and Chinese-styled
characters in the Vietnamese chữ nôm script has been almost
entirely superseded by the Latin-based Vietnamese alphabet.
Chinese characters are still actively used in South Korea today,
mostly for signs, newspapers, books, and government
Chinese characters are also used within China to write non-Han
languages. The largest non-Han group in China, the Zhuang, have for
over 1300 years used Chinese characters. Despite both the introduction
of an official alphabetic script in 1957 and lack of a corresponding
official set of Chinese characters, more
Zhuang people can read the
Zhuang logograms than the alphabetic script.
Over the history of written Chinese, a variety of media have been used
for writing. They include:
Bamboo and wooden slips, from at least the thirteenth century BC
Paper, invented no later than the second century BC
Silk, since at least the Han dynasty
Stone, metal, wood, bamboo, plastic and ivory on seals.
Since at least the Han dynasty, such media have been used to create
hanging scrolls and handscrolls.
Because the majority of modern Chinese words contain more than one
character, there are at least two measuring sticks for Chinese
literacy: the number of characters known, and the number of words
known. John DeFrancis, in the introduction to his Advanced Chinese
Reader, estimates that a typical Chinese college graduate recognizes
4,000 to 5,000 characters, and 40,000 to 60,000 words. Jerry
Norman, in Chinese, places the number of characters somewhat lower, at
3,000 to 4,000. These counts are complicated by the tangled
development of Chinese characters. In many cases, a single character
came to be written in multiple ways. This development was restrained
to an extent by the standardization of the seal script during the Qin
dynasty, but soon started again. Although the
Shuowen Jiezi lists
10,516 characters—9,353 of them unique (some of which may already
have been out of use by the time it was compiled) plus 1,163 graphic
Jiyun of the Northern Song Dynasty, compiled less than
a thousand years later in 1039, contains 53,525 characters, most of
them graphic variants.
Main article: Chinese dictionary
Written Chinese is not based on an alphabet or syllabary, so Chinese
dictionaries, as well as dictionaries that define Chinese characters
in other languages, cannot easily be alphabetized or otherwise
lexically ordered, as English dictionaries are. The need to arrange
Chinese characters in order to permit efficient lookup has given rise
to a considerable variety of ways to organize and index the
A traditional mechanism is the method of radicals, which uses a set of
character roots. These roots, or radicals, generally but imperfectly
align with the parts used to compose characters by means of logical
aggregation and phonetic complex. A canonical set of 214 radicals was
developed during the rule of the
Kangxi Emperor (around the year
1700); these are sometimes called the Kangxi radicals. The radicals
are ordered first by stroke count (that is, the number of strokes
required to write the radical); within a given stroke count, the
radicals also have a prescribed order.
Chinese character falls (sometimes arbitrarily or incorrectly)
under the heading of exactly one of these 214 radicals. In many
cases, the radicals are themselves characters, which naturally come
first under their own heading. All other characters under a given
radical are ordered by the stroke count of the character. Usually,
however, there are still many characters with a given stroke count
under a given radical. At this point, characters are not given in any
recognizable order; the user must locate the character by going
through all the characters with that stroke count, typically listed
for convenience at the top of the page on which they occur.
Because the method of radicals is applied only to the written
character, one need not know how to pronounce a character before
looking it up; the entry, once located, usually gives the
pronunciation. However, it is not always easy to identify which of the
various roots of a character is the proper radical. Accordingly,
dictionaries often include a list of hard to locate characters,
indexed by total stroke count, near the beginning of the dictionary.
Some dictionaries include almost one-seventh of all characters in this
Other methods of organization exist, often in an attempt to address
the shortcomings of the radical method, but are less common. For
instance, it is common for a dictionary ordered principally by the
Kangxi radicals to have an auxiliary index by pronunciation, expressed
typically in either hanyu pinyin or zhuyin fuhao. This index
points to the page in the main dictionary where the desired character
can be found. Other methods use only the structure of the characters,
such as the four-corner method, in which characters are indexed
according to the kinds of strokes located nearest the four corners
(hence the name of the method), or the Cangjie method, in which
characters are broken down into a set of 24 basic components.
Neither the four-corner method nor the
Cangjie method requires the
user to identify the proper radical, although many strokes or
components have alternate forms, which must be memorized in order to
use these methods effectively.
The availability of computerized Chinese dictionaries now makes it
possible to look characters up by any of the indexing schemes
described, thereby shortening the search process.
Transliteration and romanization
Main articles: Chinese romanization, Xiao'erjing, Pinyin, Zhuyin,
Wade-Giles, and Gwoyeu Romatzyh
Chinese characters do not reliably indicate their pronunciation, even
for one dialect. It is therefore useful to be able to transliterate a
dialect of Chinese into the
Latin alphabet or the Perso-Arabic script
Xiao'erjing for those who cannot read Chinese characters. However,
transliteration was not always considered merely a way to record the
sounds of any particular dialect of Chinese; it was once also
considered a potential replacement for the Chinese characters. This
was first prominently proposed during the May Fourth Movement, and it
gained further support with the victory of the Communists in 1949.
Immediately afterward, the mainland government began two parallel
programs relating to written Chinese. One was the development of an
alphabetic script for Mandarin, which was spoken by about two-thirds
of the Chinese population; the other was the simplification of the
traditional characters—a process that would eventually lead to
simplified Chinese. The latter was not viewed as an impediment to the
former; rather, it would ease the transition toward the exclusive use
of an alphabetic (or at least phonetic) script.
By 1958, however, priority was given officially to simplified Chinese;
a phonetic script, hanyu pinyin, had been developed, but its
deployment to the exclusion of simplified characters was pushed off to
some distant future date. The association between pinyin and Mandarin,
as opposed to other dialects, may have contributed to this
deferment. It seems unlikely that pinyin will supplant Chinese
characters anytime soon as the sole means of representing Chinese.
Pinyin uses the
Latin alphabet, along with a few diacritical marks, to
represent the sounds of Mandarin in standard pronunciation. For the
most part, pinyin uses vowel and consonant letters as they are used in
Romance languages (and also in IPA). However, although 'b' and 'p',
for instance, represent the voice/unvoiced distinction in some
languages, such as French, they represent the unaspirated/aspirated
distinction in Mandarin; Mandarin has few voiced consonants. Also,
the pinyin spellings for a few consonant sounds are markedly different
from their spellings in other languages that use the
for instance, pinyin 'q' and 'x' sound similar to English 'ch' and
Pinyin is not the sole transliteration scheme for
Mandarin—there are also, for instance, the zhuyin fuhao, Wade-Giles,
Gwoyeu Romatzyh systems—but it is dominant in the
Chinese-speaking world. All transliterations in this article use
the pinyin system.
Mainland Chinese Braille
Taiwanese braille (Taiwanese Mandarin)
Chinese input methods for computers
^ a b Wieger (1915).
^ a b DeFrancis (1984), p. 84.
^ a b DeFrancis (1968).
^ a b Norman (1988), p. 73.
^ a b Ramsey (1987), p. 143.
^ William G. Boltz, Early Chinese Writing, World Archaeology, Vol. 17,
No. 3, Early Writing Systems. (Feb., 1986), pp. 420–436 (436).
^ David N. Keightley, "Art, Ancestors, and the Origins of Writing in
China", Representations, No. 56,
Special Issue: The New Erudition.
(Autumn, 1996), pp. 68–95 (68).
^ John DeFrancis: Visible Speech. The Diverse Oneness of Writing
^ a b c Norman (1988), pp. 64–65.
^ a b Norman (1988), p. 63.
^ a b Norman (1988), pp. 65–70.
^ a b DeFrancis (1984), pp. 155–156.
^ a b Simon Ager (2007). "Japanese (Nihongo)". Omniglot. Retrieved
^ a b c Ramsey (1987), p. 153.
^ Schuessler (2007), p. 9.
^ Norman (1988), p. 67.
^ a b c d Wieger (1915), pp. 10–11.
^ Lu Xun (1934). "An Outsider's Chats about Written Language".
^ Wieger (1915), p. 30.
^ Björkstén (1994), p. 52.
^ Björkstén (1994), pp. 31–43.
^ Björkstén (1994), pp. 46–49.
^ Liang Huang; et al. (2002). Statistical Part-of-Speech Tagging for
Classical Chinese. Text, Speech, and Dialogue: Fifth International
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^ Norman (1988), p. 80.
^ BBC News journalists (4 May 2004). "
Taiwan Law Orders One-Way
Writing". BBC. Retrieved 2007-09-05. Official Taiwanese documents can
no longer be written from right to left or from top to bottom in a new
law passed by the country's parliament
^ Ping-gam Go (1995). Understanding Chinese Characters (Third
Edition). Simplex Publications. pp. P1–P31.
^ Norman (1988), p. ix.
^ Paul Rincon (2003). "Earliest Writing Found in China". BBC.
^ McNaughton & Ying (1999), p. 24.
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WrittenChinese.Com English to Chinese Dictionary Includes example
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