A SAGE Journal


A study on character forms and sentence samples of ‘yu (御)’ in oracle bone inscriptions

Kim Eun-hee 金殷嬉,Kim Hyeok 金赫

发布时间:2020-02-26    点击次数:


This study aims to classify the character forms of yu (御) found in jiagubuci (甲骨卜辞) and, based on character form classifi cation, to examine sentence examples (文例) and usages of yu (御) in oracle bone inscriptions. Of the diverse character forms of yu (御) extracted from Yinxu Jiagu Keci Leizuan (殷墟甲骨刻辞类纂), the basic form is ‘午+卩’, a combined form of the phonetic sign ‘wu (午)’ and semantic sign ‘jie (卩)’. With fi ndings from original structural semantics for the oracle bone yu (御) and the usage of Buci (卜辞), we argue that the original meaning of yu (御) is a ‘religious ritual performed to prevent and eliminate disasters’ or yuji (御祭). By categorizing graphical components, jiaguwen (甲骨文) yu (御) can be classifi ed into the following elements: A (‘午+卩’), B (‘午+女’), C (‘午+卩+示’), D (‘彳+午+卩’), E (‘彳+ 午+卩+止’), F (‘午+行’), G (‘午+卩+攵’), H (‘午+卩+行’), I (‘丮+攵’), and J (‘丮+攵+鱼’). A variety of character types for yu (御) in oracle bone inscriptions appear in diverse forms in accordance with leizu (类组) and are used in different ways with different character types according to buci (卜辞). Around 98% of the character types in selected character forms in oracle bone inscriptions fall into Type A (‘午+卩’), used to convey three meanings: ‘religious ritual,’ ‘to defend,’ and ‘to take care of some kind of task’. Of the Type A examples, over 95% mean ‘religious ritual’. In contrast, Type B and Type C (‘午+卩+示’) have a single meaning of ‘religious ritual’. From Type D through Type H, yu (御) has an added meaning of ‘a sign of movement (动作符号)’, whereas Type I and Type J characters mean ‘to defend (抵御)’, according to buci (卜辞).

【关键词】Oracle bone inscriptions, yu (御), original structural semantics, buci (卜辞), sentence samples (文例)

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