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Children of Gaia. Get of Fenris. Glass Walkers. Red Talons. Shadow Lords. Silent Striders. Silver Fangs. White Howlers. Lodge of the Moon. Lodge of the Sun.
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Ananasi , spider. Apis , cow, moon bull. Bastet , cat. Camazotz , bat. Corax , raven, bird. Grondr , boar. Gurahl , bear. Kitsune , fox.
Nagah , snake. Nuwisha , coyote. Modern Chinese has many homophones ; thus the same spoken syllable may be represented by one of many characters, depending on meaning.
A particular character may also have a range of meanings, or sometimes quite distinct meanings, which might have different pronunciations.
Cognates in the several varieties of Chinese are generally written with the same character. In other languages, most significantly in Japanese and sometimes in Korean, characters are used to represent Chinese loanwords, to represent native words independently of the Chinese pronunciation e.
These foreign adaptations of Chinese pronunciation are known as Sino-Xenic pronunciations and have been useful in the reconstruction of Middle Chinese.
The most common process has been to form compounds of existing words, written with the characters of the constituent words.
Words have also been created by adding affixes , reduplication and borrowing from other languages.
Many characters have multiple readings, with instances denoting different morphemes, sometimes with different pronunciations.
In modern Standard Chinese, one fifth of the 2, most common characters have multiple pronunciations.
In the Old Chinese period, affixes could be added to a word to form a new word, which was often written with the same character.
In many cases the pronunciations diverged due to subsequent sound change. For example, many additional readings have the Middle Chinese departing tone, the major source of the 4th tone in modern Standard Chinese.
Another common alternation is between voiced and voiceless initials though the voicing distinction has disappeared on most modern varieties. This is believed to reflect an ancient prefix, but scholars disagree on whether the voiced or voiceless form is the original root.
For example,. Chinese characters represent words of the language using several strategies. A few characters, including some of the most commonly used, were originally pictograms , which depicted the objects denoted, or ideograms , in which meaning was expressed iconically.
The vast majority were written using the rebus principle , in which a character for a similarly sounding word was either simply borrowed or more commonly extended with a disambiguating semantic marker to form a phono-semantic compound character.
Pictograms are highly stylized and simplified pictures of material objects. Pictograms are primary characters in the sense that they, along with ideograms indicative characters i.
Over time pictograms were increasingly standardized, simplified, and stylized to make them easier to write. Furthermore, the same kangxi radical character element can be used to depict different objects.
Thus, the image depicted by most pictograms is not often immediately evident. That is, pictograms extended from literal objects to take on symbolic or metaphoric meanings; sometimes even displacing the use of the character as a literal term, or creating ambiguity, which was resolved though character determinants, more commonly but less accurately known as "radicals" i.
Also called simple indicatives, this small category contains characters that are direct iconic illustrations. Indicative characters are symbols for abstract concepts which could not be depicted literally but nonetheless can be expressed as a visual symbol e.
Also translated as logical aggregates or associative compounds, these characters have been interpreted as combining two or more pictographic or ideographic characters to suggest a third meaning.
In contrast, associative compound characters are common among characters coined in Japan. Rebus was pivotal in the history of writing in China insofar as it represented the stage at which logographic writing could become purely phonetic phonographic.
Chinese characters are used rebus-like and exclusively for their phonetic value when transcribing words of foreign origin, such as ancient Buddhist terms or modern foreign names.
The same rebus principle for names in particular has also been used in Egyptian hieroglyphs and Maya hieroglyphs.
Semantic-phonetic compounds or pictophonetic compounds are by far the most numerous characters.
These characters are composed of at least two parts. The semantic component suggests the general meaning of the compound character.
The phonetic component suggests the pronunciation of the compound character. Because Chinese is replete in homophones phonetic elements may also carry semantic content.
In some rare examples phono-semantic characters may also convey pictorial content. Each Chinese character is an attempt to combine sound, image, and idea in a mutually reinforcing fashion.
In this case it can be seen that the pronunciation of the character is slightly different from that of its phonetic indicator; the effect of historical sound change means that the composition of such characters can sometimes seem arbitrary today.
In general, phonetic components do not determine the exact pronunciation of a character, but only give a clue as to its pronunciation.
While some characters take the exact pronunciation of their phonetic component, others take only the initial or final sounds.
Xu Shen c. Many Chinese names of elements in the periodic table and many other chemistry-related characters were formed this way.
The smallest category of characters is also the least understood. The term does not appear in the body of the dictionary, and is often omitted from modern systems.
According to legend, Chinese characters were invented by Cangjie , a bureaucrat under the legendary Yellow Emperor.
The legend relates that on the day the characters were created, grain rained down from the sky and that night the people heard ghosts wailing and demons crying because the human beings could no longer be cheated.
In recent decades, a series of inscribed graphs and pictures have been found at Neolithic sites in China, including Jiahu c. Often these finds are accompanied by media reports that push back the purported beginnings of Chinese writing by thousands of years.
The earliest confirmed evidence of the Chinese script yet discovered is the body of inscriptions carved on bronze vessels and oracle bones from the late Shang dynasty c.
By , the source of the bones had been traced to a village near Anyang in Henan Province , which was excavated by the Academia Sinica between and Over , fragments have been found.
Oracle bone inscriptions are records of divinations performed in communication with royal ancestral spirits. The Shang king would communicate with his ancestors on topics relating to the royal family, military success, weather forecasting, ritual sacrifices, and related topics by means of scapulimancy , and the answers would be recorded on the divination material itself.
The traditional picture of an orderly series of scripts, each one invented suddenly and then completely displacing the previous one, has been conclusively demonstrated to be fiction by the archaeological finds and scholarly research of the later 20th and early 21st centuries.
As early as the Shang dynasty, oracle-bone script coexisted as a simplified form alongside the normal script of bamboo books preserved in typical bronze inscriptions , as well as the extra-elaborate pictorial forms often clan emblems found on many bronzes.
Based on studies of these bronze inscriptions, it is clear that, from the Shang dynasty writing to that of the Western Zhou and early Eastern Zhou , the mainstream script evolved in a slow, unbroken fashion, until assuming the form that is now known as seal script in the late Eastern Zhou in the state of Qin , without any clear line of division.
Seal script , which had evolved slowly in the state of Qin during the Eastern Zhou dynasty , became standardized and adopted as the formal script for all of China in the Qin dynasty leading to a popular misconception that it was invented at that time , and was still widely used for decorative engraving and seals name chops, or signets in the Han dynasty period.
However, despite the Qin script standardization, more than one script remained in use at the time.
For example, a little-known, rectilinear and roughly executed kind of common vulgar writing had for centuries coexisted with the more formal seal script in the Qin state , and the popularity of this vulgar writing grew as the use of writing itself became more widespread.
Proto-clerical script, which had emerged by the time of the Warring States period from vulgar Qin writing, matured gradually, and by the early Western Han period, it was little different from that of the Qin.
Contrary to the popular belief of there being only one script per period, there were in fact multiple scripts in use during the Han period.
By the late Eastern Han period, an early form of semi-cursive script appeared,  developing out of a cursively written form of neo-clerical script [c] and simple cursive.
Qiu gives examples of early semi-cursive script, showing that it had popular origins rather than being purely Liu's invention.
Regular script has been attributed to Zhong Yao c. Zhong Yao has been called the "father of regular script".
However, some scholars  postulate that one person alone could not have developed a new script which was universally adopted, but could only have been a contributor to its gradual formation.
The earliest surviving pieces written in regular script are copies of Zhong Yao's works, including at least one copied by Wang Xizhi.
It then matured further in the Eastern Jin dynasty in the hands of the "Sage of Calligraphy", Wang Xizhi , and his son Wang Xianzhi.
It was not, however, in widespread use at that time, and most writers continued using neo-clerical, or a somewhat semi-cursive form of it, for daily writing,  while the conservative bafen clerical script remained in use on some stelae, alongside some semi-cursive, but primarily neo-clerical.
It was not until the Northern and Southern dynasties that regular script rose to dominant status. Some call the writing of the early Tang calligrapher Ouyang Xun — the first mature regular script.
After this point, although developments in the art of calligraphy and in character simplification still lay ahead, there were no more major stages of evolution for the mainstream script.
Although most simplified Chinese characters in use today are the result of the works moderated by the government of the People's Republic of China PRC in the s and 60s, the use of some of these forms predates the PRC's formation in Caoshu , cursive written text, was the inspiration of some simplified characters, and for others, some are attested as early as the Qin dynasty — BC as either vulgar variants or original characters.
One of the earliest proponents of character simplification was Lufei Kui , who proposed in that simplified characters should be used in education.
In the years following the May Fourth Movement in , many anti-imperialist Chinese intellectuals sought ways to modernise China as quickly as possible.
Traditional culture and values such as Confucianism were challenged and subsequently blamed for their problems.
Soon, people in the Movement started to cite the traditional Chinese writing system as an obstacle in modernising China and therefore proposed that a reform be initiated.
It was suggested that the Chinese writing system should be either simplified or completely abolished. Recent commentators have claimed that Chinese characters were blamed for the economic problems in China during that time.
In the s and s, discussions on character simplification took place within the Kuomintang government, and a large number of the intelligentsia maintained that character simplification would help boost literacy in China.
The People's Republic of China issued its first round of official character simplifications in two documents, the first in and the second in In the s and s, while confusion about simplified characters was still rampant, transitional characters that mixed simplified parts with yet-to-be simplified parts of characters together appeared briefly, then disappeared.
Apart from Chinese ones, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese normative medium of record-keeping, written historical narratives and official communication are in adaptations and variations of Chinese script.
Currently, the only non-Chinese language outside of China that regularly uses the Chinese script is Japanese. Chinese characters adapted to write Japanese words are known as kanji.
Chinese words borrowed into Japanese could be written with Chinese characters, while native Japanese words could also be written using the character s for a Chinese word of similar meaning.
Most kanji have both the native and often multi-syllabic Japanese pronunciation, known as kun'yomi, and the mono-syllabic Chinese-based pronunciation, known as on'yomi.
Because Chinese words have been borrowed from varying dialects at different times, a single character may have several on'yomi in Japanese.
Written Japanese also includes a pair of syllabaries known as kana , derived by simplifying Chinese characters selected to represent syllables of Japanese.
The syllabaries differ because they sometimes selected different characters for a syllable, and because they used different strategies to reduce these characters for easy writing: the angular katakana were obtained by selecting a part of each character, while hiragana were derived from the cursive forms of whole characters.
In times past, until the 15th century, in Korea, Literary Chinese was the dominant form of written communication prior to the creation of hangul , the Korean alphabet.
Much of the vocabulary, especially in the realms of science and sociology, comes directly from Chinese, comparable to Latin or Greek root words in European languages.
However, due to the lack of tones in Modern Standard Korean,  as the words were imported from Chinese, many dissimilar characters and syllables took on identical pronunciations, and subsequently identical spelling in hangul.
In South Korea, hanja have become a politically contentious issue, with some urging a "purification" of the national language and culture by abandoning their use.
Efforts to re-extend Hanja education to elementary schools in the were met with generally negative reaction from the public and from teachers' organizations.
In South Korea, educational policy on characters has swung back and forth, often swayed by education ministers' personal opinions.
At present, middle and high school students grades 7 to 12 are taught 1, characters,  albeit with the principal focus on recognition, with the aim of achieving newspaper literacy.
There is a clear trend toward the exclusive use of hangul in day-to-day South Korean society. Hanja are still used to some extent, particularly in newspapers, weddings, place names and calligraphy although it is nowhere near the extent of kanji use in day-to-day Japanese society.
A lot of westerners can't tell the difference between Chinese and Japanese - and there is a reason for that.
Chinese characters and even whole words were borrowed by Japan from the Chinese language in the 5th century.
Much of the time, if a word or character is used in both languages, it will have the same or a similar meaning.
However, this is not always true. Language evolves, and meanings independently change in each language. See this: Japanese Bath House This dictionary uses the EDICT and CC-CEDICT dictionary files.
We also offer custom wall scrolls in small, medium, and an even-larger jumbo size. Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.
There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.
Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.
The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top calligraphers in all of China.
Pseudo-Augustine, writing in the 12th century, follows Augustine of Hippo's argument that no physical transformation can be made by any but God, stating that " Marie de France 's poem Bisclavret c.
When his treacherous wife stole his clothing needed to restore his human form, he escaped the king's wolf hunt by imploring the king for mercy and accompanied the king thereafter.
His behaviour at court was gentle, until his wife and her new husband appeared at court, so much so that his hateful attack on the couple was deemed justly motivated, and the truth was revealed.
This lai a type of Breton sung-poem follows many themes found within other werewolf tales - the removal of clothing and attempting to refrain from the consumption of human flesh can be found in Pliny the Elder, as well as in the second of Gervase of Tilbury's werewolf stories, about a werewolf by the name of Chaucevaire.
Marie also reveals to us the existence of werewolf belief in Breton and Norman France, by telling us the Franco-Norman word for werewolf: garwulf, which, she explains, are common in that part of France, where " The German word werwolf is recorded by Burchard von Worms in the 11th century, and by Bertold of Regensburg in the 13th, but is not recorded in all of medieval German poetry or fiction.
While Baring-Gould argues that references to werewolves were also rare in England, presumably because whatever significance the "wolf-men" of Germanic paganism had carried, the associated beliefs and practices had been successfully repressed after Christianization or if they persisted, they did so outside of the sphere of literacy available to us , we have sources other than those mentioned above.
In , Martin Luther used the form beerwolf to describe a hypothetical ruler worse than a tyrant who must be resisted. The Germanic pagan traditions associated with wolf-men persisted longest in the Scandinavian Viking Age.
The Scandinavian traditions of this period may have spread to Kievan Rus' , giving rise to the Slavic "werewolf" tales.
The 11th-century Belarusian Prince Vseslav of Polotsk was considered to have been a werewolf, capable of moving at superhuman speeds, as recounted in The Tale of Igor's Campaign :.
Vseslav the prince judged men; as prince, he ruled towns; but at night he prowled in the guise of a wolf. From Kiev, prowling, he reached, before the cocks crew, Tmutorokan.
The path of Great Sun, as a wolf, prowling, he crossed. For him in Polotsk they rang for matins early at St. Sophia the bells; but he heard the ringing in Kiev.
The situation as described during the medieval period gives rise to the dual form of werewolf folklore in Early Modern Europe.
On one hand the "Germanic" werewolf, which becomes associated with the witchcraft panic from around , and on the other hand the "Slavic" werewolf or vlkolak , which becomes associated with the concept of the revenant or "vampire".
The "eastern" werewolf-vampire is found in the folklore of Central and Eastern Europe, including Hungary, Romania and the Balkans, while the "western" werewolf-sorcerer is found in France, German-speaking Europe and in the Baltic.
There were numerous reports of werewolf attacks — and consequent court trials — in 16th-century France.
In some of the cases there was clear evidence against the accused of murder and cannibalism , but none of association with wolves; in other cases people have been terrified by such creatures, such as that of Gilles Garnier in Dole in , there was clear evidence against some wolf but none against the accused.
Werewolvery was a common accusation in witch trials throughout their history, and it featured even in the Valais witch trials , one of the earliest such trials altogether, in the first half of the 15th century.
Likewise, in the Vaud , child-eating werewolves were reported as early as A peak of attention to lycanthropy came in the late 16th to early 17th century, as part of the European witch-hunts.
A number of treatises on werewolves were written in France during and Werewolves were sighted in in Anjou , and a teenage werewolf was sentenced to life imprisonment in Bordeaux in Henry Boguet wrote a lengthy chapter about werewolves in In the Vaud, werewolves were convicted in and in A treatise by a Vaud pastor in , however, argued that lycanthropy was purely an illusion.
After this, the only further record from the Vaud dates to it is that of a boy who claimed he and his mother could change themselves into wolves, which was, however, not taken seriously.
At the beginning of the 17th century witchcraft was prosecuted by James I of England , who regarded "warwoolfes" as victims of delusion induced by "a natural superabundance of melancholic".
The only part of Europe which showed vigorous interest in werewolves after was the Holy Roman Empire. At least nine works on lycanthropy were printed in Germany between and In the Austrian and Bavarian Alps, belief in werewolves persisted well into the 18th century.
Until the 20th century, wolf attacks on humans were an occasional, but still widespread feature of life in Europe.
An idea is explored in Sabine Baring-Gould 's work The Book of Werewolves is that werewolf legends may have been used to explain serial killings.
Perhaps the most infamous example is the case of Peter Stumpp executed in , the German farmer, and alleged serial killer and cannibal , also known as the Werewolf of Bedburg.
In Asian Cultures [ which? See werecats. Common Turkic folklore holds a different, reverential light to the werewolf legends in that Turkic Central Asian shamans after performing long and arduous rites would voluntarily be able to transform into the humanoid "Kurtadam" literally meaning Wolfman.
Since the wolf was the totemic ancestor animal of the Turkic peoples, they would be respectful of any shaman who was in such a form. Some modern researchers have tried to explain the reports of werewolf behaviour with recognised medical conditions.
Dr Lee Illis of Guy's Hospital in London wrote a paper in entitled On Porphyria and the Aetiology of Werewolves , in which he argues that historical accounts on werewolves could have in fact been referring to victims of congenital porphyria , stating how the symptoms of photosensitivity , reddish teeth and psychosis could have been grounds for accusing a sufferer of being a werewolf.
However, Woodward dismissed the possibility, as the rarity of the disease ruled it out from happening on a large scale, as werewolf cases were in medieval Europe.
Woodward focused on the idea that being bitten by a werewolf could result in the victim turning into one, which suggested the idea of a transmittable disease like rabies.
Lycanthropy can also be met with as the main content of a delusion, for example, the case of a woman has been reported who during episodes of acute psychosis complained of becoming four different species of animals.
The beliefs classed together under lycanthropy are far from uniform, and the term is somewhat capriciously applied. The transformation may be temporary or permanent; the were-animal may be the man himself metamorphosed; may be his double whose activity leaves the real man to all appearance unchanged; may be his soul , which goes forth seeking whomever it may devour, leaving its body in a state of trance ; or it may be no more than the messenger of the human being, a real animal or a familiar spirit , whose intimate connection with its owner is shown by the fact that any injury to it is believed, by a phenomenon known as repercussion, to cause a corresponding injury to the human being.
Werewolves were said in European folklore to bear tell-tale physical traits even in their human form. These included the meeting of both eyebrows at the bridge of the nose, curved fingernails, low-set ears and a swinging stride.
One method of identifying a werewolf in its human form was to cut the flesh of the accused, under the pretense that fur would be seen within the wound.
A Russian superstition recalls a werewolf can be recognised by bristles under the tongue. According to some Swedish accounts, the werewolf could be distinguished from a regular wolf by the fact that it would run on three legs, stretching the fourth one backwards to look like a tail.
Various methods for becoming a werewolf have been reported, one of the simplest being the removal of clothing and putting on a belt made of wolfskin, probably as a substitute for the assumption of an entire animal skin which also is frequently described.
Ralston in his Songs of the Russian People gives the form of incantation still familiar in Russia. In Italy, France and Germany, it was said that a man or woman could turn into a werewolf if he or she, on a certain Wednesday or Friday, slept outside on a summer night with the full moon shining directly on his or her face.
In other cases, the transformation was supposedly accomplished by Satanic allegiance for the most loathsome ends, often for the sake of sating a craving for human flesh.
And they do dispose themselves as very wolves, in worrying and killing, and most of humane creatures. The phenomenon of repercussion, the power of animal metamorphosis , or of sending out a familiar , real or spiritual, as a messenger, and the supernormal powers conferred by association with such a familiar, are also attributed to the magician , male and female, all the world over; and witch superstitions are closely parallel to, if not identical with, lycanthropic beliefs, the occasional involuntary character of lycanthropy being almost the sole distinguishing feature.
In another direction the phenomenon of repercussion is asserted to manifest itself in connection with the bush-soul of the West African and the nagual of Central America ; but though there is no line of demarcation to be drawn on logical grounds, the assumed power of the magician and the intimate association of the bush-soul or the nagual with a human being are not termed lycanthropy.
The curse of lycanthropy was also considered by some scholars as being a divine punishment. Werewolf literature shows many examples of God or saints allegedly cursing those who invoked their wrath with lycanthropy.
Such is the case of Lycaon , who was turned into a wolf by Zeus as punishment for slaughtering one of his own sons and serving his remains to the gods as a dinner.