11

I just learned the character 丸 and naturally noticed that it is similar to 九 with the additional 点.

Is there any interesting connection between these two characters or is it just a random coincidence ?

17

「九」 and 「丸」 are not related. As @user3306356 points out, 「丸」 is probably related to 「夗」.


商朝
甲骨文
九
2.1
合集6057
西周
金文
九
作冊夨令簋
集成4300
戰國
金文
九
東周左𠂤壺
集成9640

小篆
九
九部
說文解字

楷書
九

 

「九」 depicts an arm showing the hand, a bent wrist, and elbow, indicating the original meaning elbow. This word is now written as 「肘」 (Baxter-Sagart OC: /*t-[k]<r>uʔ/).

The meaning nine (/*[k]uʔ/) for 「九」 is a phonetic loan.


「丸」 is derived from 「夗」.

「夗」 (/*[ʔ]o[r]ʔ/) was originally a picture of an animal or person curled up in a foetal position, extended to mean twisting and turning in bed and then crooked, winding (now written 「宛」).

「夗」 or its derivatives later started being used for different senses. 「丸」 (/*[ɢ]ʷˤar/) was corrupted from 「夗」 to specifically represent the sense curl up and roll > ball, round object.

The glyph evolution and corruption process is as follows:

商朝
甲骨文
夗
1799
殷虛文字乙

楷書
夗

 

西周
金文
⿱夗口
能匋尊
集成5984

隸定文字
⿱夗口

 

西周
金文
enter image description here
仲義父鼎
集成2542

隸定文字
⿱宀⿱夗口

 


小篆
丸
丸部
說文解字

晉朝
篆刻
丸
晉烏丸率善
篆刻大字典


楷書
丸

 


References:

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4

「丸」has more to do with「夗」than it does with「九」.

「丸」is a derivative character of「夗」.

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    These questions are difficult to demonstrate the answer to without pictures, aren't they :p – dROOOze Apr 15 at 14:52
  • 4
    @dROOOze I'm sure you could write up a much better answer than this one. – Mo. Apr 15 at 15:11

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