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https://hanziyuan.net/#%E7%BC%BA

Scrolling down to the "Character decomposition 字形分解" section, we see

Compound 缺
from container 缶 fǒu and
phonetic foot-hand 夬叏 guài.

I don't understand what "夬叏" is. It seems from LINE Dict that they mean the same thing, but regardless of their meaning, it's supposed to be a phonetic component according to the explanatory page. But how could it be a phonetic component if they're pronounced "guài" and 缺 is pronounced "que"? It doesn't seem that the alternate pronunciation on that page is similar either. So, what does "phonetic-foot-hand" mean, and why is "guài" the phonetic component?

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  • Do not use Hanziyuan - the website has an impressive collection of glyphs that are, unfortunately, very confusingly and poorly annotated and categorised. The correct annotation and categorisation of glyphs are as important for learning as the glyphs themselves. Sometimes, trying to explain Hanziyuan's confusing annotations take as much effort as explaining the character itself. – dROOOze Nov 29 '20 at 19:39
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    What are some good alternatives that are similarly accessible? – David Dong Nov 29 '20 at 19:56
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「缺」 (Baxter-Sagart OC: /*Nə-[k]ʷʰˤet/, to damage/break vessels [pots, dishes, urns, etc.] > flawed, deficient, lacking) is comprised of semantic 「缶」 (clay jar) and phonetic 「夬」 (/*[k]ʷˤret-s/). That is, the phonetic component 「夬」 originally matched the pronunciation of 「缺」 much better, and this match occasionally survives in other characters like 「決」.

「夬」 itself now sounds much more like 「快」.


I don't understand what "夬叏" is

Confusing annotation by Hanziyuan #1: Randomly listing variant characters with absolutely no explanation.

「叏」 is the component-transcribed older form of 「夬」.



𡗒
4.1.2
合集21367
戰國

𡗒
2.260
包山竹簡
戰國・楚

叏
2.2
望山竹簡


叏
18.158
睡虎地秦簡
西漢

叏
老子・甲43
馬王堆帛書

隸定
叏

 

「叏」 originally depicted a hand 「又」 sporting a thumb ring (the archery accessory). The thumb was later emphasised as a vertical line and then detached to be part of the ring.

東漢

夬
易經
熹平石經


夬

 

Later on, the hand merged back with the emphasised thumb, but the middle finger of the hand became less emphasised and obscured, forming 「夬」.


what does "phonetic-foot-hand" mean

Confusing annotation by Hanziyuan #2: Attempting to list a meaning alongside a component whose purpose is phonetic, and also getting the meaning wrong through a misunderstanding of the decomposition.

Foot-hand is what Hanziyuan thinks the meaning of 「叏」 is, and phonetic indicates that 「叏」 is the phonetic component of 「缺」. The interpretation of 「叏」 as foot-hand comes from an incorrect decomposition of 「叏」 as 「夊」 (foot) and 「又」 (hand).


References:

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