I don’t have much time, but I would like to at least make a new post. So here I am going to show you another simplification. This one deals with the removal of a phonetic component to reduce stroke count.
So here is 獨(dú), which means “alone, independent, single”. It is a phono-semantic compound. On the left is 犬(quǎn), a pictogram of a dog, here used as the radical. The idea is that dogs are lone animals. On the right is 蜀(shǔ, the name of an ancient state). While its pronunciation has changed a lot over time, it still has kept its rhyme. Most characters that have 蜀 as their phonetic value are pronounced “zhu”(usually 3rd tone^^), “du”, “shu”, or “chu”. My next post will include more about pronunciation changes and similarities.
So, onto the simplified version.
So what happened? A part of the phonetic component was removed in order to reduce the number of strokes. This leaves us with 虫(chóng/huǐ, insect), which is not at all a phonetic or semantic component. We are now left with two pictograms and no pronunciation.
So what do you call a phono-semantic compound with no phonetic component? …I don’t know either…
Shuowen says: 犬相得而鬬也。从犬蜀聲。羊爲羣，犬爲獨也。一曰北嚻山有獨