Chinese characters are commonly composed of two parts, a semantic indicating meaning and a phonetic indicating pronunciation. Indices of phonetic groups are included in the Unihan database. This short presentation displays individual groups in a grid for ready comparison.


This arrangement allows one to verify that phonetic similarities generally hold within each group in modern Mandarin, while also highlighting those characters that differ, sometimes greatly, from the rest of the group.

The phonetic groups come from the standard reference Ten Thousand Characters, Cantonese-Mandarin-English, An Analytic Dictionary, by G. Hugh Casey. Since this reference was produced in Hong Kong, it is organized primarily by Cantonese phonetics and contains older romanizations. The reworking here of the compiled data simplifies the comparison of Mandarin pinyin pronunciations.


Uploaded 2020.05.31 analyticphysics.com