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CUHK doesn't appear to answer my question, or expatiate how 耳 semantically appertains 耽. What notions semantically link "本義為耳大下垂" with 耽?

從「耳」,「冘」聲,本義為耳大下垂。《說文》:「耳大垂也。从耳,冘聲。《詩》曰:士之耽兮。」《淮南子‧墬形訓》:「夸父耽耳,在其北方。」高誘注:「耽耳,耳垂在肩上。」

Axel Schuessler didn't list 耽 by itself on ABC Etymological Dictionary of Old Chinese (2007), p 204. But apprise me if I overlooked it.

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  • 冘:冘豫不定 (宋本廣韻 & 康熙字典). Does this help?
    – r13
    Oct 9, 2021 at 1:26

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I guess 耳朵下垂 -> 下垂 -> 松弛垂坠 -> 拖延、延迟

https://www.pinshiwen.com/yuexie/shuojie/20200802282541.html

“耽”是会意兼形声字。小篆,从耳,从冘(表示像担子一样下垂),会意耳大而下垂之意,冘兼表声。隶变后楷书写作“耽”。

《说文·耳部》:“耽,耳大垂也。从耳,冘声。《诗》曰:‘士之耽兮。’”(耽,耳朵大而下垂(至肩)。从耳,冘声。《诗经》说:“男人们多快乐啊。”)

“耽”的本义为耳朵大而下垂。如《淮南子·地形》:“夸父耽耳,在其北方。”由耳朵下垂引申指拖延、延迟。如“耽搁”、“耽误”。通“酖”,指沉溺、迷恋。

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