Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

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Numerical Superstition
(1,938 words)

The polyvalent character of numbers in Chinese thought is a remarkable phenomenon. It differs in its form from other cultural traditions because of a phonetic and graphic dimension. Efficient techniques for manipulating numbers in divinatory procedures and numerological systems are well documented in the historical sources since the earliest artifacts bearing inscriptions with Chinese characters. Based on correlative cosmological theories for classifying time and space, each number is associated…

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Andrea BRÉARD, “Numerical Superstition”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 29 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000019>
First published online: 2015

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