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All starts with Chinese Characters.

1. 惜[xī]

Signific element (left side)—忄. It represents 心(heart, mind, feeling, intention), so the sense of 惜is related to mind,feeling and intention, e.g.爱惜(cherish, care for tenderly), 吝惜(spare, stint), 惋惜(have pity on somebody, feel sorry for somebody).

Read more: Lesson 9 Partial-Pictographs: Signific Element on the Left and Phonetic Element on the Right...

The picto-phonetic method of creating characters uses the combination of a phonetic component and a semantic component to construct a character. The phonetic indicates the pronunciation of the character, and the semantic component indicates the meaning. The combination of the two parts together thus provides both the pronunciation and meaning of the character.

Read more: Lesson 8 Partial-Pictographs 部分象形

1. 犬 {Play}[quǎn]

oracle script: pictograph0231a pictograph0231b pictograph0231c pictograph0231d

bronze script: pictograph0232a pictograph0232b

small seal script: pictograph0233

Its primitive sense is a dog. The pictograph is like the shape of the dog with the head, legs and tail, e.g. 猎犬(hunting dog), 警犬(police dog).

From this primitive sense, a metaphorical extended sense is derived — loyally serve to someone, e.g. 犬马之劳 (serve like a dog or a horse).

Read more: Lesson 4 Intact Pictographs: Pictographic Characters Describing Animals 表示动物的象形字
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