After touching the world around fully, people began to think about abstract ideas, such as feelings inside, numbers, certain voices. In order to express these more complicated meanings, there came indications.
Indications is abstract characters formed with indicating signs. Sometimes people couldn't draw some details of an object, so they add a sign on a pictograph.
Pointing out "above" and "below" is not an easy job. The grass is above the earth and below the tree. Pictographs can't be used to describe the abstract meaning. Look at these characters: You may not express your feeling very clearly, but surely you will remember them. They are "above" and "below" in Chinese. They are indications.
"above" and "below"
The number of indications is very small, only 1.63% in the ancient Chinese characters.
Try to understand the indicative signs in the characters below:
|Objects||Spoon, Pulse on the wrist, Blood, Root-Trunk-Top, String|
|Voices||Moo~ Baa~ Bang! Speak|
People seldom create new indicative characters later. Sometimes they add indicative signs only to make one character differ from another. For instance, the character "jade" and "king" looked like each other at first:
Later, people add a little sign on "jade". After all, "the king is the only"!