chapter  19
10 Pages

Exploration on the relationship between Chinese characters and ergonomic affordances

The process through which people understand the world tends to begin with their surrounding objects and activities, and often involves becoming aware of the function and usage of their hands. The idea of “hand” constantly enters a person’s thoughts and consciousness, as it can be seen as a necessity of life, a culture connected to thoughts, and a symbol of representation. In Chinese writing systems including Chinese characters, the oracle bone script and Chinese bronze inscriptions, many characters are constructed partially with the symbol of手 (sou), which expresses thoughts and concepts richly associated with the hand. In the developmental history of Chinese characters, the hand has been continuously made more abstract and transformed into various symbols. Nevertheless, characters such as手 (shou), 爪 (zhua), 又 (you), 勺 (shao) and characters containing these parts share many characteristic features.