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U+5929, 天
CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-5929

[U+5928]
CJK Unified Ideographs
[U+592A]

Translingual[edit]

Stroke order
天-order.gif

Han character[edit]

(radical 37, +1, 4 strokes, cangjie input 一大 (MK), four-corner 10430, composition)

Derived characters[edit]

Descendants[edit]

References[edit]

  • KangXi: page 248, character 4
  • Dai Kanwa Jiten: character 5833
  • Dae Jaweon: page 500, character 2
  • Hanyu Da Zidian: volume 1, page 522, character 1
  • Unihan data for U+5929

Chinese[edit]

simp. and trad.
variant forms 𠀘
𠀡
𠀑
The sky over Guangdong.
The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests in Beijing's Temple of Heaven.
Wikipedia has articles on:
(Written Standard Chinese?)
Tian (English)

Glyph origin[edit]

Historical forms of the character
Shang Western Zhou Warring States Shuowen Jiezi (compiled in Han) Liushutong (compiled in Ming)
Bronze inscriptions Oracle bone script Bronze inscriptions Chu Slip and silk script Small seal script Transcribed ancient scripts
天-bronze-shang.svg 天-oracle.svg 天-bronze-shang.svg 天-silk.svg 天-seal.svg 天-bigseal.svg
Characters in the same phonetic series () (Zhengzhang, 2003) 
Old Chinese
*tʰiːm
*l̥ʰiːmʔ, *l̥ʰiːms
*tʰiːmʔ
*l̥ʰiːmʔ
*diːm
*qʰl'iːn
*qʰl'iːn, *qʰl'ɯːn
*qʰliːn
*zluːm, *hl'iːnʔ

A top line representing the level above a man with outstretched arms ( ()). Ancient representations of the character depicted a man with a large head, an anthropomorphic representation of heaven.

Original meaning of the word is “sky”. Such concept is difficult to depict with a pictogram, hence the current form. Perhaps influenced by the glyph, the character was frequently glossed in Old Chinese documents with (“crown of the head”), and such had led to incorrect hypotheses which regarded (tiān) as a derivation of or , “top (of the head/hill)”.

Etymology[edit]

This character was previously reconstructed to have a /*tʰ/-initial in Old Chinese, but this hypothesis has been largely discounted in recent reconstructions, in light of evidence from early Chinese accounts of dialectal pronunciations, transcription of other languages, as well as cognate/derived characters within Chinese, which has all pointed to a voiceless resonant initial /*l̥-/ in Old Chinese. The book Shiming showed that, by c. 200 CE, this initial had already produced dialectal variation in the pronunciation: People in central-western China pronounced it with the back of the tongue, like (MC henX), while people in eastern China pronounced it with the tip of the tongue, like (MC tʰɑnX). An old northwestern dialect variant survives as (MC hen, “God of the Zoroastrians”), and the word 天竺 (MC tʰen ʈɨuk̚, “India”) was used to transcribe Old Persian *Hind-uka ("India").

Further etymology is unknown. While it was reconstructed with a /*tʰ-/ initial, it was frequently compared with tengri, the name for God in early Turkic and Mongolic peoples' languages. This now appears unlikely. The only certain external cognate is the Central Bai (a language closely related to Chinese) word heinl (sky, heaven) /xẽ⁵⁵/.

Pronunciation[edit]


Note:
  • thiⁿ - vernacular;
  • thian - literary.
Note:
  • tin1 - vernacular;
  • tiêng1/tiang1 - literary.
  • Wu
  • Xiang

  • Rime
    Character
    Reading # 1/1
    Initial () (6)
    Final () (85)
    Tone (調) Level (Ø)
    Openness (開合) Open
    Division () IV
    Fanqie
    Reconstructions
    Zhengzhang
    Shangfang
    /tʰen/
    Pan
    Wuyun
    /tʰen/
    Shao
    Rongfen
    /tʰɛn/
    Edwin
    Pulleyblank
    /tʰɛn/
    Li
    Rong
    /tʰen/
    Wang
    Li
    /tʰien/
    Bernard
    Karlgren
    /tʰien/
    Expected
    Mandarin
    Reflex
    tiān
    BaxterSagart system 1.1 (2014)
    Character
    Reading # 1/2 2/2
    Modern
    Beijing
    (Pinyin)
    tiān xiān
    Middle
    Chinese
    ‹ then › ‹ xen ›
    Old
    Chinese
    /*l̥ˁi[n]/ /*l̥ˁi[n]/ (W dialect: l̥ˁ- > Hàn-time *xˁ- > MC x-)
    English heaven heaven

    Notes for Old Chinese notations in the Baxter–Sagart system:

    * Parentheses "()" indicate uncertain presence;
    * Square brackets "[]" indicate uncertain identity, e.g. *[t] as coda may in fact be *-t or *-p;
    * Angle brackets "<>" indicate infix;
    * Hyphen "-" indicates morpheme boundary;

    * Period "." indicates syllable boundary.
    Zhengzhang system (2003)
    Character
    Reading # 1/1
    No. 12387
    Phonetic
    component
    Rime
    group
    Rime
    subdivision
    1
    Corresponding
    MC rime
    Old
    Chinese
    /*qʰl'iːn/

    Definitions[edit]

    1. sky; heavens; heavenly; celestial
      •   ―  tiānkōng  ―  sky
        ―  Tiān hēi le.  ―  It's getting dark.
    2. (mythology or religion) heaven as the abode of the gods or the blessed departed; heavenly.
      •   ―  shàngtiān  ―  to go up to the sky; to go to heaven
      •   ―  tiān  ―  Heaven's will
    3. (mythology or religion) Heaven as an impersonal deity, often translated as God.
      •   ―  tiānzhǔ  ―  God
      •   ―  lǎotiān  ―  god
      •   ―  Wǒ de tiān a!  ―  Oh my God!
      •   ―  Tiān zhù zì zhù zhě.  ―  God helps those who help themselves.
    4. top; overhead
      • /   ―  tiānqiáo  ―  footbridge
      •   ―  tiānchuāng  ―  sunroof
    5. weather; climate
    6. day (24 hours)
        ―  jīntiān  ―  today
        ―  míngtiān  ―  tomorrow
        ―  sān tiān  ―  three days
    7. day (as opposed to night)
        ―  báitiān  ―  daytime
    8. season
    9. nature
    10. natural; innate
      •   ―  tiānshēng  ―  innate
      •   ―  tiānxìng  ―  nature, personality
      •   ―  tiāncái  ―  genius

    Synonyms[edit]

    Dialectal synonyms of 天氣 (“weather”) [map]
    Variety Location Words
    Formal (Written Standard Chinese) 天氣
    Mandarin Beijing 天兒天氣
    Taiwan 天氣
    Harbin 天氣
    Shenyang 天頭
    Hailar 天氣
    Ulan Hot 天頭
    Tongliao 天頭
    Chifeng 天氣
    Bayanhot 天氣
    Jinan 天兒天氣
    Muping 天氣
    Luoyang 天氣
    Jiedian 天氣
    Xi'an 天氣
    Qingdao 天兒
    Zhengzhou 天氣
    Xining 天氣兒天氣
    Xuzhou
    Yinchuan 天氣
    Lanzhou 天氣
    Ürümqi 天氣
    Wuhan 天道天氣
    Huanggang 天頭
    Chengdu 天氣
    Guiyang 天氣
    Liuzhou 天氣天時
    Kunming 天氣
    Yangzhou 天氣
    Nanjing 天氣
    Hefei 天氣
    Cantonese Guangzhou 天氣天時天候
    Hong Kong 天氣天時天候
    Shunde 天氣
    Foshan 天時
    Zhongshan 天時
    Dongguan 天時天氣
    Hong Kong (Weitou) 天候天時
    Doumen (Shangheng Tanka) 天時
    Taishan 天時天氣
    Kaiping 天時
    Shaoguan 天時
    Yunfu 天氣
    Yangjiang 天時天氣
    Xinyi 天氣
    Lianjiang 天氣
    Danzhou
    Kuala Lumpur 天時天氣
    Ho Chi Minh City 天時
    Gan Nanchang 天氣天色
    Lichuan 天氣天頭
    Pingxiang 天氣
    Hakka Meixian 天氣天色天時
    Xingning 天時
    Huidong 天時
    Qujiang 天時
    Xiaosanjiang 天時
    Changting 天時
    Pingyu 天時
    Wuping 天時
    Liancheng 天時
    Yudu 天氣
    Ruijin 天氣
    Shicheng 天頭
    Shangyou 天色
    Miaoli (N. Sixian) 天時天氣
    Liudui (S. Sixian) 天時天氣
    Hsinchu (Hailu) 天時天氣
    Dongshi (Dabu) 天時天氣
    Zhuolan (Raoping) 天時天氣
    Yunlin (Zhao'an) 天氣
    Hong Kong 天時
    Sabah 天時
    Senai 天時
    Singkawang 天時天氣
    Huizhou Jixi 天公
    Jin Taiyuan 天氣
    Xinzhou 天氣
    Baochang 天氣
    Jining 天氣
    Hohhot 氣候
    Baotou 天氣
    Dongsheng 天氣
    Linhe 天氣
    Haibowan 天氣
    Min Bei Jian'ou 天氣天時
    Min Dong Fuzhou 天氣天時
    Fuqing 天氣
    Matsu 天氣
    Min Nan Xiamen 天時天氣
    Quanzhou 天時天氣
    Zhangzhou 天時天氣
    Chaozhou 天時天氣
    Haifeng 天時
    Johor Bahru 天時
    Wenchang 天氣
    Haikou 天時
    Puxian Min Putian 天時
    Xianyou 天時
    Pinghua Nanning 天氣
    Shehua Fu'an 天性
    Fuding 天氣
    Luoyuan 天性
    Sanming 天氣
    Shunchang 天氣
    Hua'an 天氣
    Wu Shanghai 天氣
    Suzhou 天氣
    Hangzhou 天空
    Wenzhou 天色天時
    Chongming 天色
    Danyang 天氣天光
    Jinhua 天公天氣
    Ningbo 天價
    Xiang Changsha 天色天氣
    Shuangfeng 天氣
    Loudi 天色
    Dialectal synonyms of (“day (24 hours)”) [map]
    Variety Location Words
    Classical Chinese
    Formal (Written Standard Chinese)
    Mandarin Beijing
    Taiwan
    Cantonese Guangzhou
    Hong Kong
    Taishan
    Gan Nanchang
    Hakka Meixian
    Miaoli (N. Sixian)
    Liudui (S. Sixian)
    Hsinchu (Hailu)
    Dongshi (Dabu)
    Zhuolan (Raoping)
    Yunlin (Zhao'an)
    Jin Taiyuan
    Min Dong Fuzhou
    Min Nan Xiamen
    Quanzhou
    Zhangzhou
    Taipei
    Kaohsiung
    Tainan
    Taichung
    Hsinchu
    Lukang
    Sanxia
    Yilan
    Kinmen
    Magong
    Penang
    Wu Shanghai
    Wenzhou
    Xiang Changsha

    Compounds[edit]


    Japanese[edit]

    Japanese Wikipedia has an article on:
    Wikipedia ja

    Kanji[edit]

    (grade 1 “Kyōiku” kanji)

    1. heavens, sky

    Readings[edit]

    Compounds[edit]

    Etymology 1[edit]

    Kanji in this term
    あま
    Grade: 1
    kun’yomi

    From Old Japanese. A bound form only appearing in compounds.[1][2] Compare the formation of (ma, bound form in compounds) and (me, standalone form), (ta, bound form in compounds) and (te, standalone form).

    Pronunciation[edit]

    Noun[edit]

    (hiragana あま, rōmaji ama)

    1. (archaic) the sky, the heavens
    2. the area above a kitchen stove:
      1. where the smoke collects in an old kitchen using a wood-burning stove
      2. a shelf or shelves above the stove
    3. (archaic) heaven
    Derived terms[edit]

    Etymology 2[edit]

    Kanji in this term
    あめ
    Grade: 1
    kun’yomi

    ⟨ame2 → */aməj//ame/

    From Old Japanese as a sound shift from ama above.[1] Likely derived by fusion of ama + (i, emphatic nominative particle), similar to the derivation of other words such as (kami, from kamu + i), (me, from ma + i), etc.

    Pronunciation[edit]

    Noun[edit]

    (hiragana あめ, rōmaji ame)

    1. (archaic) the sky, the heavens
    2. (archaic) heaven
    3. (archaic) the roof of a palace
    Idioms[edit]
    Derived terms[edit]

    Etymology 3[edit]

    Kanji in this term
    てん
    Grade: 1
    on’yomi

    From Middle Chinese (MC tʰen, “sky; heavens”). Compare modern Mandarin reading tiān.

    Pronunciation[edit]

    Noun[edit]

    (hiragana てん, rōmaji ten)

    1. the sky, the heavens
    2. heaven
    3. (metaphorically) the gods, providence, fate
       (てん) (あた)
      ten no atae
      gift from the gods
    Idioms[edit]
    Derived terms[edit]

    References[edit]

    1. 1.0 1.1 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
    2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
    3. 3.0 3.1 1998, NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 (NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: NHK, →ISBN

    Korean[edit]

    Hanja[edit]

    (eumhun 하늘 (haneul cheon))

    1. sky; heaven; Godhead; tao; etc.

    Synonyms[edit]

    Antonyms[edit]

    Compounds[edit]


    Vietnamese[edit]

    Han character[edit]

    (thiên)

    1. sky, heavens