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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 (first edition): volume 1, page 522, character 1
  • Unihan data for U+5929

Chinese[edit]

simp. and trad.
alternative 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?)
  • (Cantonese)
  • 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

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 (tiêng1 - Chaozhou).
  • 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
      /   ―  tiān  ―  weather
      如果我們散步 [MSC, trad.]
      如果我们散步 [MSC, simp.]
      Rúguǒ tiān qíng, wǒmen jiù qù sànbù. [Pinyin]
      If the weather clears, we'll go for a walk.
    6. day (24 hours)
        ―  jīntiān  ―  today
        ―  míngtiān  ―  tomorrow
        ―  sān tiān  ―  three days
    7. day (as opposed to night)
        ―  báitiān  ―  daytime
    8. season
      [MSC, trad. and simp.]
      chūntiān, xiàtiān, qiūtiān, dōngtiān [Pinyin]
      spring, summer, autumn, winter
    9. nature
      /   ―  tiānzāi  ―  natural disaster
    10. natural; innate
        ―  tiānshēng  ―  innate
        ―  tiānxìng  ―  nature, personality
        ―  tiāncái  ―  genius

    Synonyms[edit]

    Compounds[edit]

    Descendants[edit]

    Sino-Xenic ():
    • Japanese: (てん) (ten)
    • Korean: (, cheon)
    • Vietnamese: thiên ()

    References[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]

    (あま) (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]

    (あめ) (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]

    (てん) (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]

    Etymology[edit]

    From Middle Chinese (MC tʰen). Recorded as Middle Korean  (Yale: thyen) in Hunmong Jahoe (訓蒙字會 / 훈몽자회), 1527.

    Hanja[edit]

    Korean Wikisource has texts containing the hanja:

    Wikisource

    (eumhun 하늘 (haneul cheon))

    1. Hanja form? of (sky; heaven).

    Synonyms[edit]

    Antonyms[edit]

    Compounds[edit]

    References[edit]

    • 국제퇴계학회 대구경북지부 (國際退溪學會 大邱慶北支部) (2007). Digital Hanja Dictionary, 전자사전/電子字典. [2]

    Vietnamese[edit]

    Han character[edit]

    : Hán Việt readings: thiên[1][2][3]
    : Nôm readings: thiên[1][2][3], thiêng[1]

    1. Hán tự form of thiên (sky; heaven).

    Compounds[edit]

    References[edit]