There is something about Japanese & Chinese Kanji that is still not clear to me…
According to his Tofugu article, at some point in history the Japanese language decided to import from Chinese most compound kanji (changing slightly the pronunciation) and that’s when onyomi and kunyomi readings arose. But now I wonder… before that happened, were there kunyomi readings for those compound words in Japanese??
鳥 - [とり] - Japanese word for “bird”, kunyomi reading
白鳥 - [はくちょう] - Chinese word for “swan”, onyomi reading
心 - [こころ] - Japanese word for “heart”, kunyomi reading
身 - [み] - Japanese word for “body”, kunyomi reading
心身 - [しんしん] - Chinese word for “body and mind”, onyomi reading
Why did they do that??.. what, Japanese had no native word for “swan” or for “body and mind”??.. can’t believe that…
Why replacing the native reading for compound words only??
At this point they could import all words from Chinese, so also “bird” would had become [ちょう] replacing [とり], and “heart” [しん] instead of [こころ]
Or am I misunderstanding something??