From: Edward H. Trager (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Nov 29 2004 - 21:04:15 CST
On Monday 2004.11.29 16:30:06 -0800, Allen Haaheim wrote:
> >they often (not always) combine 1 or more radicals, with 1 or more strokes
> >that are not radicals themselves.
> Sorry Philippe, this is simply not true, and your email follows this with a
> few dubious statements. A Han character has one radical. That is, it can be
> catalogued under only one radical, exceptions before codification
> notwithstanding. The fact that other components in a given character may be
> used as radicals in other contexts is irrelevant and can only confuse
> matters here.
A Han character will always be classified under just one radical in,
for example, a dictionary. But there can be differences between
dictionaries. For most characters, such as the previously-mentioned
妊 (ren4 ㄖㄣ "pregnant"), it is very obvious to a literate speaker
of Chinese or Japanese that the radical is 女 (nu:3 ㄋㄩˇ woman). But for
a subset of characters, it is not so obvious, so much so that
dictionaries may contain a "Table of Characters that are difficult
to locate" (難檢字表). For example, "男" (nan2 ㄋㄢ "male") is a
simple character, but it is difficult to know whether the radical
used to find this character in a dictionary is "田" (field) or "力"
(power/strength) -- in this case, the radical is "田". Of course
a lot of modern dictionaries use pinyin or a similar phonetic system
which is great *if* you know the pronounciation: When you do not
know the pronounciation, then look up by radical followed by a count
of the remaining strokes after the radical is a traditional and
still commonly-used method.
- Ed Trager
> Allen Haaheim
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