I just arrived in this warm community and am glad to find a stackexchange about Chinese language. I merely began to learning Chinese and find it really exciting, yet many of uses and conventions are neither so clear to me, nor really explained -- or even underlined -- in my learning books and websites.
So here is my question: I feel a bit confused concerning the different sinograms relatives to the language and the speech. Here is what I induce from tremendously few examples and a lot of mystical extrapolations:
- 说 (shuo1) means "to talk, to speak, to say" (i.e. talking in a general, theoretical way, referring to the idea/potentiality of speaking)
- 话 (hua4) means "dialect, spoken word" (i.e. talking in a practical, pragmatic way, referring to the act/practical skill of speaking)
- 语 (yu3) means "language" (i.e. the abstract building which is a language, endowed with its rules and theories)
Here I compared the three with two probable bias:
- I assume sinograms to have a proper meaning by itself, which seems to rarely be the case
- I propose the translations treating them sometimes as nouns, sometimes as verbs, even if it seems to be an irrelevant distinction in Chinese
Thus I add two more general questions about the Chinese language:
- Are sinograms really used sometimes by themselves and understood like that, or do they only carry a meaning when cristalized in a "word" ? (That is to say : is my question relevant or is it more a meta-question for linguists and language anthropologists ?)
- Do those three have "preferred" grammatical functions ? That 说 more often used as a verb and 语 more as a noun ? Or is my comparison of significations meaningful ?
谢谢 and sorry for the possible lack of precision :)