Taiwan independence posters in polysyllabic characters

« previous post | next post »

Lisa in Toronto found these posters in Taipei at Cafe Macho in November. They say #newyearnewnation in one corner.

There are two posters, each with a disyllabic character:

dúlì 獨立 ("independence")
jiànguó 建國 ("found [a new] nation")

Together they form a two-character quadrisyllabic phrase:

dúlì jiànguó 獨立建國 ("independent founding of a new nation; independent statehood")

Earlier posts:


  1. Neil Dolinger said,

    February 22, 2018 @ 1:43 pm

    While I am jazzed by the idea of polysyllabic hanzi, I question whether we can call these characters unless they are used in a sentence, or at least in a context less ephemeral than New Years decorations. Referring back to one of the previous articles, if I saw 圕 used in signage on a library, I would look at that as functional enough to be called a character. Perhaps I am being overly prescriptive, but it seems useful for linguistics to make a distinction between functional writing systems and visual arts. Love to see what other people think about this.

  2. Victor Mair said,

    February 23, 2018 @ 2:35 pm

    As I have pointed out elsewhere, polysyllabic characters have been extensively used in personal correspondence and in popular publications (e.g., the quadrisyllabic word for "socialism"), in Buddhist texts (e.g., the word for "Bodhisattva"), and stretching all the way back through the medieval period to the oracle bone inscriptions. They are to be found even in official dictionaries in recent decades (e.g., the word for "kilowatt").

RSS feed for comments on this post