Re: CJKV ideographic, was Re: Perception that Unicode is 16-bit (was: Re: Surrogate space i

From: Richard Cook (rscook@socrates.Berkeley.EDU)
Date: Tue Feb 27 2001 - 14:10:28 EST

Kenneth Whistler wrote:
> Doug Ewell asked, on this hopelessly wandering thread:
> > (Is
> > there an English-language term for the subset of the CJK ideographic script
> > that is used by a given language, say, Japanese?)
> Well, since "kanji" by now has been borrowed into English, at least among
> a rather large class of specialists who are at least somewhat knowledgeable about
> Japanese, I would say that the relevant English-language phrase to cover
> this is "the Japanese kanji". I know, not a good, core English word like
> "alphabet" or "syllabary" or "abjad", is it. But wait. Hmmm. alpha, beta, gamma...
> syllaba, syllabae, syllabarum ... syllabé, syllabídzo ...
> *wanders off muttering to himself*

And not only "kanji". These terms are all used by specialists:

* 'Hanzi' in Beijing Chinese (with reference to "American English", "ha"
as in 'hard'; "zi" pronounced like "tsz" where "z" here represents a
vowel sound similar to English "z" with the tongue tip lowered slightly,
near also to English "r");
* 'Kanji' in Cantonese Chinese (kahn jee; "k" as in 'can', "a" as in
'father', "jee" as in 'jeep');
* 'Kanji' in Japanese (pronunciation similar to that in Cantonese);
* 'Hanja' in Korean (Han as in Beijing Chinese, "ja" as in English "jar";
* 'chuhan' in Vietnamese [real Chinese chars];
* 'chunom' in Vietnamese [similar to (i.e., analogical) Chinese characters].

But for core English vocabulary, I don't think "Chinese ideographs",
"Japanese ideographs", "Korean ideographs", or "Vietnamese ideographs"
would be objectionable terms to anyone ... that is, to anyone who
doesn't find the term "ideograph" objectionable.

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