Clavis Sinica

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The orthographic structure of Chinese can be considered from three levels: characters, components, and strokes. Characters can be subdivided into simple and compound characters.

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Chinese characters are monosyllabic, which means each character corresponds to one syllable. Unlike most other languages that are discrete in pronunciation,

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There exist 210 semantic components that are used for dictionary look-up and classification of characters, and each semantic component forms on average 20 composite semantic-phonetic characters,

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The pronunciation of Chinese Mandarin characters follows the official phonetic system called Pinyin which transcribes characters into the Latin alphabet.

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Phonetic components vary in regularity of correspondence between their sound value and that of the whole character, and this correspondence regularity for a given character and its phonogram is known as phonological regularity.