Radicals in Cave Script

I thought that it might be interesting to see which of the characters that Xu Shen classified as radicals¹ (the roots, or building blocks of the Chinese Script), are present in the ‘texts’ that the Cave Script Translation Project has deciphered to date.

A table listing the radicals (in pdf format) can be downloaded by clicking on the icon below.

I have identified 55 out of Xu Shen’s 540, which is roughly ten per cent. I am aware of the existence of a few other characters, which will eventually take the total above ten percent.

My understanding is that only a tiny proportion of the ‘texts’ that I call Cave Script are in the public domain. If that is the case, then I would expect the count of radicals used to increase.

I look forward to further finds, and to the insights that this will give us into the history of symbolic communication.

A List of the SWJ Radicals Identified to Date
Version 1: March 2013
SWJ Radical in CS.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 349.4 KB


Note: 1. Xu Shen, 121: Shuowen Jiezi (Explaining and Analyzing Characters): Source: http://www.shuowenjiezi.com/