Re: Hanzi trad-simp folding and z-variants

From: Stephan Stiller <>
Date: Sun, 09 Jun 2013 04:29:32 -0700

> The way the Cheung-Bauer list was compiled certainly hard to see how
> most of the characters would be in widely known.

I'd need to look at C&B again for accurate numbers, but to some extent
it's simply because some syllable-morphemes are listed with many
different attested possibilities. So one really wouldn't expect to need
all ≈1000 characters in there.

There is a tricky aspect to this, though: the left-addition of "o" (or a
mouth radical) leaves the exact number a bit open and allows for a
larger count. Do you write some Cantonese-only syllable-morpheme as "X"
or "⿰口X"/"oX"? (Most of the latter combinations are in fact in C&B,
but, anyways, it's hard to give a precise answer to the "how many
Cantonese characters" question.) Here is an example: 嚿 vs 舊 for the
measure word gau6 ("lump"). Depending on whom you ask, you might even
find a strong opinion. Most people will probably say that "嚿 is
better", but the fact that you find 舊 (because it's more
straightforward to type) means that in a way it's descriptively correct.
There are cases where the variant without a mouth would be regarded as
more common or natural, because the version with a mouth radical is
typographically rare.

> With Zhuang Sawndip I have examining texts from different locations
> and eras, that there exists both evidence of transmission from
> generation to generation, of progression and also of unstability.
Just curious: what is a rough character count?

Received on Sun Jun 09 2013 - 06:32:29 CDT

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