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The Chinese names of the four directions

Abstract : It is shown that the Old Chinese terms for the four directions form two etymological pairs, one of which (north-south) relates to the notions of front and back (of the house: houses faced south in early China ) and the other (east-west) to notions of beginning vs. ceasing
movement, applied to the sun. The relevant word families are adumbrated, the morphology explained and Sino-Tibetan cognates established.
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Contributor : Laurent Sagart Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Saturday, July 22, 2006 - 2:11:49 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 3:57:18 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - 12:22:31 AM

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  • HAL Id : halshs-00087314, version 1

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Laurent Sagart. The Chinese names of the four directions. Journal of the American Oriental Society, 2004, 124 (1), pp.69-76. ⟨halshs-00087314⟩

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