Written Chinese

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Written Chinese

Postby themyth on Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:24 pm

Written Chinese (Chinese: 中文; pinyin: zhōngwén) comprises Chinese characters (漢字/汉字 hànzì) used to represent the Chinese language, and the rules about how they are arranged and punctuated. Chinese characters do not constitute an alphabet or a compact syllabary. Rather, the writing system is roughly logosyllabic; that is, a character generally represents one syllable of spoken Chinese and may be a word on its own or a part of a polysyllabic word. The characters themselves are often composed of parts that may represent physical objects, abstract notions,[1] or pronunciation.[2]
Various current Chinese characters have been traced back to the late 商 Shāng Dynasty about 1200–1050 BCE,[3][4][5] but the process of creating characters is thought to have begun some centuries earlier.[6] After a period of variation and evolution, Chinese characters were standardized under the 秦 Qín dynasty

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