Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Amazing Chinese Characters (202) Leaf - 叶(葉)

The shell bone script of character Leaf is

Which is a tree with leaves on the top of the branches.

I have to point out the fact: it is listed as Leaf in 《象形字典》- Dictionary of Pictography, but Fruit in 《在线汉语字典》- Online Dictionary of Chinese. So it is disputable on if the character is Leaf or Fruit. 

The bronze script of the character is

There are three ones above, all have 木 - Wood on the bottom, the top leaves are different.

The big seal script of the character is

The top has three dots on the branches, which are indicators to emphasize what the character means: the leaves on the branches, not anything else.

The small seal script of the character is

The top leaves are more than old scripts, total 4 leaves. Also the leaves are formed by straight horizontal or vertical lines.

The clerical script of the character is

The top two leaves become a Grass Head radical, the middle one becomes 世, means Life here. 

The song typeface for traditional character is

Same as clerical script.

The song typeface for simplified character is

It is totally no any similarity to the old scripts. I googled the web, found that the 叶 is actually a different character from 葉, it means Cooperate/Help/Assist. Its pronunciation was close each other in ancient time, and in Shanghai and surrounding area now. So the experts who were in charge of simplification of Chinese merged 葉 into 叶. So in  traditional Chinese 叶 and 葉 are both used in different meanings, in simplified Chinese 叶 is Leaf, the meaning of Cooperate/Help/Assist disappeared.

The simplification is one of the worst, making more confusion.

葉 or 叶 as Leaf,  Pinyin is Ye4.

叶 as Cooperate/Help/Assist, Pinyin is Xie2.


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