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The Quantitative Survey of Pictophonetic Character in Pre-Qin Days

Liu Zhiji Center for the studies on sinogram,East China Normal University,Shanghai 200062  
On the basis of quantitative survey of pictophonetic character including bone-inscriptions, bronze inscriptions, Chu and Qin bamboo-inscriptions and their components, by comparing the number of basic characters and the number of character components, this paper proves that character component of pictophonetic character has a tendency of simplification while developing. By comparing the number of phonetic signs and the number of meaning signs, it discloses category marking dominated over sound marking in the two developing paths of pictophonetic character. By comparing the composing ratio of phonetic signs and meaning signs in different types of inscriptions, it shows that different types of inscriptions have different tendency in selecting of character component, and these kinds of difference were caused not only by diachronic developing of character system, but also by the difference of document types.
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