Exploring event structures in Hanzi radicals : an ontology-based approach

Chu-ren Huang, J.F. Hong, S.Y. Chen, Y.M. Chou

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic research


《说文解字》以意符作为汉字的构字要件并发展成部首分类基础。本文以《说文》意符的意义作为造字时所表达的基本概念,分析原意符与其所衍生的汉字的意义关系,建构一个完整的知识体系;并在亚里士多德的经验架构及后续Pustejovsky的"衍生词汇理论"的基础上,验证此假设。本研究厘清《说文》"艹"、五官类意符(目、耳、口、鼻、舌)与其所有从属字间的概念关系,建构"艹"、"五官类"基本概念带领的个别意符知识系统。本文研究显示以"艹"为意符的知识系统,所从属词汇与其性质相关;以"五官类"为意符的知识系统皆具共通性,并与五官类单字词的现代词义系统相符。||Shuowen Jiezi(《说文解字》) is organized according to the radical forms as semantic symbols.Characters are classified according to radicals,and their meanings cluster around the basic concept of the semantic symbol.Therefore,in this paper,we assume that Shuowen Jiezi radicals can reflect the conventionalized conceptualization when Chinese character orthography was invented.According to our analysis elaborating Generative Lexicon Theory by Pustejovsky(1995),we found that the ontology expressed by Hanzi radicals has already had the strong conceptual derivation and knowledge reasoning ability as described in the Generative Lexicon.In this study,we take as our research objects Chinese radical 艹 cao3 representing grass,and the radicals representing Five Sense Faculties in Shuowen Jiezi,namely 目 mu4("eye"),耳 er3("ear"),口 kou3("mouth"),鼻 bi2("nose"),and 舌 she2("tongue") which all belong to "body part"class in SUMO concepts.In addition,we assume that semantic symbols represent basic concepts,and identify the semantic relation between each derived character and its basic concept to construct a conventionalized ontology headed by that concept.Finally,we contrast the semantic symbol generative structure for the Five Sense Faculties with the modern senses of these single-character words in the Chinese WordNet.It is observed that the same set of derivational relations applies.
Original languageChinese (Simplified)
Pages (from-to)294-311
Number of pages18
Journal当代语言学 (Contemporary linguistics)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Chinese radicals
  • Ontology
  • Hanzi
  • Lexical semantics

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