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Qi

The meaning of «qi»

In traditional Chinese culture, qi or ch'i (/ˈtʃiː/ CHEE simplified Chinese: 气; traditional Chinese: 氣; pinyin: qì qì) is believed to be a vital force forming part of any living entity.[1] Qi translates as "air" and figuratively as "material energy", "life force", or "energy flow".[2] Qi is the central underlying principle in Chinese traditional medicine and in Chinese martial arts. The practice of cultivating and balancing qi is called qigong.

Believers of qi describe it as a vital force, the flow of which must be unimpeded for health. Qi is a pseudoscientific, unverified concept,[2][3] which has never been directly observed, and is unrelated to the concept of energy used in science[4][5][6] (vital energy itself being an abandoned scientific notion).[7]

The cultural keyword qì is analyzable in terms of Chinese and Sino-Xenic pronunciations. Possible etymologies include the logographs 氣, 气, and 気 with various meanings ranging from "vapor" to "anger", and the English loanword qi or ch'i.

The logograph 氣 is read with two Chinese pronunciations, the usual qì 氣 "air; vital energy" and the rare archaic xì 氣 "to present food" (later disambiguated with 餼).

Pronunciations of 氣 in modern varieties of Chinese with standardized IPA equivalents include: Standard Chinese qì /t͡ɕʰi˥˩/, Wu Chinese qi /t͡ɕʰi˧˦/, Southern Min khì /kʰi˨˩/, Eastern Min ké /kʰɛi˨˩˧/, Standard Cantonese hei3 /hei̯˧/, and Hakka Chinese hi /hi˥/.

Pronunciations of 氣 in Sino-Xenic borrowings include: Japanese ki, Korean gi, and Vietnamese khi.

Reconstructions of the Middle Chinese pronunciation of 氣 standardized to IPA transcription include: /kʰe̯iH/ (Bernard Karlgren), /kʰĭəiH/ (Wang Li), /kʰiəiH/ (Li Rong), /kʰɨjH/ (Edwin Pulleyblank), and /kʰɨiH/ (Zhengzhang Shangfang).

Reconstructions of the Old Chinese pronunciation of 氣 standardized to IPA transcription include: /*kʰɯds/ (Zhengzhang Shangfang) and /*C.qʰəp-s/ (William H. Baxter and Laurent Sagart).

The etymology of qì interconnects with Kharia kʰis "anger", Sora kissa "move with great effort", Khmer kʰɛs "strive after; endeavor", and Gyalrongic kʰɐs "anger".[8]

In the East Asian languages, qì has three logographs:

In addition, qì 炁 is an uncommon character especially used in writing Daoist talismans. Historically, the word qì was generally written as 气 until the Han dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE), when it was replaced by the 氣 graph clarified with mǐ 米 "rice" indicating "steam (rising from rice as it cooks.)"

This primary logograph 气, the earliest written character for qì, consisted of three wavy horizontal lines seen in Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BCE) oracle bone script, Zhou dynasty (1046–256 BCE) bronzeware script and large seal script, and Qin dynasty (221–206 BCE) small seal script. These oracle, bronze, and seal scripts logographs 气 were used in ancient times as a phonetic loan character to write qǐ 乞 "plead for; beg; ask" which did not have an early character.

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qia* qib* qic* qid* qie* qif* qig* qih* qii* qij* qik* qil* qim* qin* qio* qip* qiq* qir* qis* qit* qiu* qiv* qiw* qix* qiy* qiz*
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