发表于 2016-11-24 03:00:30
- 14 posts
- Location:Asheville, NC
Posted 09 November 2016 - 12:16 PM
This is a very interesting question. From your list we can see that the variant forms of the terms in your list share similar meanings with one another. I would argue that because the meanings are the same, the differences are practically superficial. Many of the terms in your list are in traditional forms, while others are in simplified forms. The simplification of Chinese characters and the preservation of their traditional forms is an important linguistic and cultural aspect of culturally-Chinese societies and diasporas across the globe. In mainland China, Chinese characters have been systematically simplified, while communities such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, and overseas diasporas have preserved the traditional characters.
The simplification of characters in mainland China has decreased the scope of 异体字 usage in written Chinese in the mainland, whereas non-mainland areas have a wider array of 异体字 that can be used for specific words due to their preservation of traditional Chinese characters. Large communities such as Hong Kong and Taiwan probably have their own standards of which traditional characters among an array of 异体字 to use in specific situations (for example, in Taiwan 慾 is often used in nouns, while 欲 is typically used in verbs, they share the same meaning but are used in different situations. In mainland China it has all been simplified to 欲). Chinese diasporas across the globe, such as communities in San Francisco or New York (including predominately non-Mandarin speaking ones), often use traditional Chinese and have no government-determined standard of which traditional characters to use in a given situation, bar the constraints of the language and their educational background in the written Chinese language. I'm not saying that smaller communities make up ?characters, but what they use in certain situations may be slightly different from those used Taiwan and Hong Kong. Another aspect to research would be the influence of dialect-specific characters (such as those found in Cantonese) and their influence on the writings (such as shop names or advertisements) used in diasporic communities, since they differ drastically from the characters and written language used in Taiwan and Hong Kong.
I do not have much knowledge on Korean Hanja, but I do have knowledge on Japanese Kanji. We know that Japan imported Chinese characters into their writing during ancient times, and over the years many characters were developed in Japan that did not originate from Japan, but were unique to Japan. During the last century Japan systematically simplified a portion of daily use Kanji that preserves a lot of the traditional forms of Chinese characters, while some resemble the simplified characters found in mainland China. I often like to think of Japanese Kanji as a midpoint between traditional and simplified Chinese, with its own characteristics. I am also not to sure behind the reason behind Japan's systematic simplification of its Kanji, whether it was to increase literacy, or to unify the written forms of Kanji found throughout the different areas and cities in Japan, or both. It would be interesting to know if Hanja went through a similar unification and simplification process that Chinese characters found in mainland China and Japan went through. Maybe I should read about that.
All throughout various countries in Asia where Chinese profoundly affected the native written language, we find that these countries adopted classical written Chinese and adapted it to fit their linguistic needs. Vietnam developed a written syllabary based off of classical Chinese characters, but to a native speaker of Chinese a lot of these characters are hard to understand because they were developed in Vietnam.
In conclusion, I believe that the differences in the list you made are merely superficial, and subtle at best. The Chinese character has been adopted by various Asian countries and has changed throughout history. Chinese characters have evolved differently throughout history in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, diasporas, and other areas, so it is reasonable that some places may have slightly different ways to write a specific character.
This is just my opinion. If you are interested you could research the history of the development and changes of Chinese Characters throughout history and different cultures.