Associative: 会意字

What is 会意字?

会意字是用两个或两个以上的独体字根据意义之间的关系合成一个字,综合表示这些构字成分合成的意义,这种造字法叫会意。用会意法造出的字是会意字。

会意字 are Associative compound characters.
Here is the original article《说文解字》中的会意字调查分析作者:李野尘

Associative in that the two parts of the Chinese characters with one part meaning, the other part about figure. Let's take the first example: xiū 休 rest
The left of this character xiū 休 rest is the radical of a person. The right part of this character means 'tree' (denoted by 木)
Hence it is like a man leaning against the tree, having a rest. Especially back in the ancient times, people worked in the field. When they rest, it is next to a tree. Using this Chinese character, you can think of this scenario instinctively. 

 The second example is  dàn 旦 daybreak or dawn.
There is an upper and lower part of the character. The Upper part is“rì 日 the sun,” and the lower part is like the horizon line 一 . This character is easily remembered when you think of the sun rises from the horizon (ie the line), thus it's daybreak.





The third example is  nán 男 male or man.
The upper part of this character is “tián 田 farm field ” and the lower part is “lì 力 strength,”  You can easily understand the meaning of this character if you consider that people working in the field with strength are mostly men.


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