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Introduction of Ideogrammic Compounds

Translated literally as logical aggregates or associative compounds, these characters symbolically combine pictograms or ideograms to create a third character. For instance, doubling the pictogram mu4 "tree" creates (lin2) "forest", and combining ri4 "sun" and yue4"moon", the two organic sources of light, makes ming2 "bright".
 
Xu Shen estimated that 13% of characters fall into this category.Some scholars flatly reject the existence of this category, opining that failure of contemporary attempts to identify a phonetic in a compound is due simply to our not looking at ancient "secondary readings", which were lost at past. For instance, the character ān "peace", a combination of "roof" and "woman" , is generally cited as an ideogrammic compound, purportedly motivated by a meaning including "all is peaceful with the woman at home".  However, there is evidence that was once a polyphone with a secondary reading of *an, as may be gleaned from the set yàn "tranquil", nuán "to quarrel", and jiān "licentious".
 
Adding weight to this argument will be the fact that characters claimed to belong to this group are invariably interpreted from modern types as an alternative to the archaic forms, which as a rule are quite various and often far more graphically complicated. Nevertheless, interpretations differ drastically between sources.