FEW  

SMALL in QUANTITY.
NOT MANYHARDLY ANYSCARCELY ANYA SMALL NUMBER OFA SMALL AMOUNT OFONE OR TWOA HANDFUL OFLITTLE
Taxonoymy

RARESTRANGEINSUFFICIENT

Antonymy

ABUNDANTMANY

See also

REDUCELITTLE

Kind Of

QUANTITY

Old Chinese Criteria

1. The current general word referring to the relatively small number or the small amount of something is shǎo 少 (ant. duō 多 "many, much").

2. Guǎ 寡 (ant. zhòng 眾 "numerous" and occasionally also duō 多 "large in quantity") typically refers specifically humans not being numerous as opposed to larger groups of humans, but the word comes to refer also to any quantity being relatively large ( 五穀多寡 "the relative abundance of grain") and I have not found a systematic difference in nuance with shǎo 少 when the word is so used, except for the generally subjective intuition that guǎ 寡 being the dominant word in early times, perhaps retained a somewhat more dignified stylistic value throughout.

3. Fá 乏 and kuì 匱 (ant. zú 足 "enough") refer specifically to the shortage of something one definitely needs more of.

4. Xī 希 / 稀 and the more archaic xiǎn 鮮 refers to sparsity of distribution.

5. Jiǎn 減 (ant. zēng 增 "increase") refers specifically to the reduction of the amount of the number of something. See also DIMINISH.

Modern Chinese Criteria

微少

個別

零星

點滴

半點

無幾

有數

有限

一二

三五

區區

半點

些個

些子

些些

一絲

紋絲

一星兒

星星

少許

些須

些許

幾希

蠅頭

戔戔

一點點

點兒

一點兒

一些兒

這麼點兒

那麼點兒

這麼些兒

一丁點兒

rough draft to BEGIN TO identify synonym group members for analysis, based on CL etc. 18.11.2003. CH /

Old Chinese Contrasts

LEIBNIZ 6.4 P. 31 P a u c i t a s est multitudo parva.

BUCK 1988 A Dictionary of Selected Synonyms in the Principal Indo-European Languages 13.17

HANFEI TONGYI 2004 韓非子同義詞研究 352

MENGZI TONGYI 2002 “孟子”同義詞研究 236

RITTER 1971-2007 Historisches Woerterbuch der Philosophie 7.1830

QUANTOR

WANG WEIHUI 2000 東漢﹣隨常用詞演變研究 387

WU SANXING 2008 中國文化背景八千詞 Zhongguo wenhua beijing ba qian ci 377

HONG CHENGYU 2009 古漢語常用詞同義詞詞典 251

Attributions by syntactic funtion

  • vi : 85
  • vtoN : 27
  • vadV : 10
  • VPadN : 8
  • v[adN] : 8
  • npro : 7
  • vad.VtoN : 6
  • vadN : 5
  • VPi : 3
  • vt+prep+N : 2
  • NP{NUM}(+N) : 2
  • nab : 2
  • vi0 : 2
  • NP : 2
  • vpostadV : 1
  • npro{OBJ}+Vt : 1
  • n[adN] : 1
  • nm : 1
  • n : 1
  • vt0oN{SUBJ} : 1
  • NPpostadV : 1

Attributions by text

  • 韓非子 : 57
  • 春秋左傳 : 11
  • 祖堂集 : 9
  • 論語 : 8
  • 管子 : 8
  • 淮南子 : 8
  • 荀子 : 6
  • 禮記 : 6
  • 莊子 : 6
  • 論衡 : 5
  • 孟子 : 5
  • 說苑 : 5
  • 陸機集十一卷 : 4
  • 呂氏春秋 : 4
  • 戰國策 : 4
  • 韓詩外傳 : 4
  • 百喻經 : 3
  • 史記 : 3
  • 法言 : 3
  • 尚書 : 3
  • 鹽鐵論 : 2
  • 賢愚經 : 2
  • 臨濟錄 : 2
  • 孝經 : 1
  • 典論一卷 : 1
  • 阮籍集四卷 : 1
  • 孫子 : 1
  • 毛詩 : 1
  • 老子 : 1
  • 法集要頌經 : 1
  • 文子 : 1

Words

   shǎo OC: hmljewʔ MC: ɕiɛu 54 Attributions

The current general word referring to the relatively small number or the small amount of something is shǎo 少 (ant. duō 多 "many, much").

  • nminority
  • nsubjectwhat is not numerous
  • nabstativeindigence, dearth
  • nmsubj=nonhumanwhat there is little of
  • v[adN]few people, a small number of people
  • vad.VtoNfew objects; little of the object stuff
  • vad.VtoNreference=objectfew objects N
  • vadNa small quantity of, few
  • vadVreference=objecton a small scale> few objects; little of the object mass
  • vibe few in number; be few things
  • vichangedecrease
  • vigradedthere are few; be few 甚少
  • vt+prep+Ngradedbe fewer than
  • vt0oN{SUBJ}rare: there are few of 少人 "there are few people"
  • vtoNhave few
  • vtoNcausativecause to be few> reduce; pretend that a number is small
  • vibe in the minority (perhaps vt( prep N "be fewer than the contextually determinate N)
   guǎ OC: kʷraaʔ MC: kɣɛ 40 Attributions

Guǎ 寡 (ant. zhòng 眾 "numerous" and occasionally also duō 多 "large in quantity") typically refers specifically humans not being numerous as opposed to larger groups of humans, but the word comes to refer also to any quantity being relatively large (五穀多寡 "the relative abundance of grain") and I have not found a systematic difference in nuance with shǎo 少 when the word is so used, except for the generally subjective intuition that guǎ 寡 being the dominant word in early times, perhaps retained a somewhat more dignified stylistic value throughout.

  • n[adN]nonreferentialthose who are fewer> the minority
  • nabstativeshortage, dearth of things; small number
  • v[adN]the current minority
  • vigradedbe few; be scarce; be in a minority
  • vtoNcausativecause to be few
  • vtoNbe poor in N; have little N
   xiǎn OC: sqenʔ MC: siɛn 26 Attributions

Xī 希/稀 and the more archaic xiǎn 鮮 refers to sparsity of distribution.

  • nprosubjectarchaic: few (opp 靡不 "all")
  • vielevated style?: be few and far between; be sparse, be scarce, be few; be a rare case 不鮮 "be not so few"; 天下鮮矣 "there are few under the sun".
  • vtoNobject=preposedhave little of
  • npro{OBJ}+Vtfew of the objects
  • vtoNhave little of; be short of
   guì OC: ɡruds MC: gi 16 Attributions

Fá 乏 and kuì 匱 (ant. zú 足 "enough") refer specifically to the shortage of something one definitely needs more of.

  • nabfeaturescarcity of resources
  • vibe deficient, be in short supply 財匱
  • vi0there is insufficiency of resources
   xī OC: qhlɯl MC: hɨi 11 Attributions

Xī 希/稀 and the more archaic xiǎn 鮮 refers to sparsity of distribution.

  • vadNrare, sparse
  • vadVrarely, in few cases; seldom
  • vibe sparse, rare; be rarely exposed to
  • vpostadVa little??
  • vtoNbe rarely exposed to
一二   yī èr OC: qliɡ njis MC: ʔit ȵi 8 Attributions
  • NP{NUM}(+N)a few of the contextually determinate things N
  • NPa few
  • VPadNa few
   shěng OC: sraaŋʔ MC: ʂɣaŋ 7 Attributions
  • vibe sparse, be economical; be no more than necessary in number
  • vtoNcausativecause to become few: reduce
些子   xiē zǐ OC: slal sklɯʔ MC: sɣɛ tsɨ 4 Attributions
  • NPpostadVof small quantity; a little
  • VPadNquantifiercolloquial: some, a few
  • VPicolloquial: be something, be a little amount
   fá OC: bob MC: bi̯ɐp 3 Attributions

Fá 乏 and kuì 匱 (ant. zú 足 "enough") refer specifically to the shortage of something one definitely needs more of.

  • vadNlacking, insufficient
  • vibe in short supply, be in insufficient supply
   xiē OC: slal MC: sɣɛ 1 Attribution
  • vadNcolloquialsome, a few
   jiǎn OC: kroomʔ MC: kɣɛm 1 Attribution

Jiǎn 減 (ant. zēng 增 "increase") refers specifically to the reduction of the amount of the number of something. See also DIMINISH.

  • vt+prep+Nless than N
  • vtoNcausative(cause to be less>) reduce
  • vtoNgradedbe less than
   cù OC: sklɯwɡ MC: tsuk 1 Attribution
  • vtoNpress > compress > reduce
三五   sān wǔ OC: saam ŋaaʔ MC: sɑm ŋuo̝ 1 Attribution
  • VPadNthree five > a few, several
不多   bù duō OC: pɯʔ k-laal MC: pi̯ut tɑ 1 Attribution
  • VPibe few; be little
兩三   liǎng sān OC: raŋʔ saam MC: li̯ɐŋ sɑm 1 Attribution
  • VPadNtwo three > several, a few
匱乏   guì fá OC: ɡruds bob MC: gi bi̯ɐp 1 Attribution
  • VPiintensitivebe in very sort supply; be in every way in short supply
   liáo OC: ɡ-rɯɯw MC: leu 0 Attributions
  • vifew, scanty
   xiǎn OC: senʔ MC: siɛn 0 Attributions
  • vifew; rare (YI)
   shài OC: sreeds MC: ʂɣɛi 0 Attributions
  • viexcessiveshài: be scanty, be too few
   bó OC: blaaɡ MC: bɑk 0 Attributions
  • vibe scant
   shāo OC: smreewɡs MC: ʂɣɛu 0 Attributions
  • vibe little; few
   xī OC: qhlɯl MC: hɨi 0 Attributions

Xī 希/稀 and the more archaic xiǎn 鮮 refers to sparsity of distribution.

  • vibe few and far between; thin on the ground, sparse; rare
   shū OC: sqra MC: ʂi̯ɤ 0 Attributions
  • vibe few and far between

Existing SW for

Here are Syntactic Words already defined in the database: