History of chinese writing

Each new year was marked by the characteristics of one of the 12 zodiac animals: The entire attention of the household was fixed on the celebration.

History of chinese writing

The Chinese writing system is non-alphabetic. It applies a specific character to write 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; History of chinese writing 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.

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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.

Characteristics

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.

Before the beginning of the Christian Era the script came to be written with brush and ink on paper.Rebus was pivotal in the history of writing in China insofar as it represented the stage at which logographic writing could become purely phonetic (phonographic).

The art of writing Chinese characters is called Chinese calligraphy. It is . The Cambridge History of Ancient China, by Michael Loewe and Edward L. Shaughnessy, says the likely date for the earliest oracle bones is about B.C., corresponding with the reign of King Wu Ding.

This speculation is based on the earliest reference to the origins of writing. Writing & History History is impossible without the written word as one would lack context in which to interpret physical evidence from the ancient past. Writing records the lives of a people and so is the first necessary step in the written history of a culture or civilization.

History of chinese writing

Feb 04,  · Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in China. In , Chinese New Year begins on February 16 and marks the beginning of the Year of the Dog. Tied to the Chinese lunar calendar, the. 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, including works of speculative thought, historical writings of a kind, and novels, along with writings on government and law.

The Chinese writing system is one of the oldest known written languages – some of the earliest examples of ancient Chinese writing date back to over 4, years ago.

History of writing - Wikipedia