Bidimensional expressions of fractions in Chinese

Abstract : A generic pattern of expression for fractions accounts for numerators and denominators , thus generally producing bidimensional numerical expressions. In Qin–Han mathematical texts, fractions were constructed as predicative phrases: the monodimensional expression 'denominator's name + fēn' of a unit fraction 1/n acted as subject, and the numerator's name acted as predicate. The morpheme zhī could be used as an optional marker of this predicative relation. Later evolutions were not linear, and reveal the effects of language planning and of free linguistic invention, finally giving rise to the inseparable fraction names of Contemporary Chinese.
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Rémi Anicotte. Bidimensional expressions of fractions in Chinese. Cahiers de linguistique - Asie Orientale, CRLAO, 2015, 44 (1), pp.36-56. ⟨http://www.brill.com/publications/journals/cahiers-de-linguistique-asie-orientale⟩. ⟨10.1163/19606028-00441p02⟩. ⟨hal-01191510⟩

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