Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

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Variant Characters
(942 words)

Variant characters (yìtǐzì 異體字) are alternate forms of the same character: 峰/峯 fēng 'mountain top', 群/羣 qún 'group, flock', 册/冊 , 裏/裡 'inside'. While the term yìtǐzì has been – and still is – used in this sense by the general public in China, modern research prefers to deemphasize the character in favor of the word it represents in context. Accordingly, a variant is defined by the word it stands for, even if one would intuitively identify it as a different character on account of graphical properties. For this reason…

Cite this page
Imre GALAMBOS, “Variant Characters”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 04 March 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000438>
First published online: 2015

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