Shuōwén jiězì 說文解字
(6,761 words)

The Shuōwén jiězì 說文解字 [Explaining the unit characters and analyzing the compound characters], often referred to for convenience simply as the Shuōwén, is a 1st-century-CE character dictionary, the chief purpose of which is to explain the graphic structure of individual characters. The explanations that it presents are based on a first-level analytical classificatory scheme that accounts in principle for the structure of the Chinese writing system as it was understood at that time. The dictionary was compiled by the…

Cite this page
William G. BOLTZ, “Shuōwén jiězì 說文解字”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 21 November 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000379>
First published online: 2015



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