Are Unihan variant relations expected to be symmetrical?

From: Uriah Eisenstein (
Date: Tue Jun 29 2010 - 09:25:20 CDT

  • Next message: John H. Jenkins: "Re: Are Unihan variant relations expected to be symmetrical?"

    To clarify my question with an example :) The character 亀 (U+4E80) is listed
    in Unihan as a Z-variant of 龜 (U+9F9C). However, the opposite is not true.
    Similarly, 疍 (U+758D) is listed as a semantic variant of 蛋 (U+86CB), but not
    vice versa. From the definitions of these variant types in UAX#38, one would
    naturally expect them to be symmetrical, and both characters to show each
    other as variants. There are quite a few other such cases, although it does
    appear that in most cases the relation is symmetrical.
    My reason for asking, BTW, is that I'm thinking of grouping characters which
    are Z-variants of each other in some application, so I need to understand
    whether Z-variants are expected to have clear "cliques" in which each
    character is a Z-variant of all others.
    I realize that the semantic variant relation, at least, is based on external
    sources and not determined by Unicode; regarding Z-variants I'm not clear.
    I'd like to know though whether the relation is expected to be symmetrical,
    and the above cases are to be considered errors; or there is some meaning to
    a one-directional relation; or something else.
    On a side note, some Z-variants I've looked at seem to have very different
    abstract shapes, in some cases looking more like simplified/traditional
    pairs. As I said I don't know clearly how they are determined. Are they
    supposed to be exactly those pairs which would be unified if it were not for
    the Source Separation Rule?


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