A new article of mine on the history of the Chinese script has just officially appeared in the Festschrift for South Coblin. Below is the abstract:
Graphic motivation of the character 焉 has long been obscure, though the underlying words have been much discussed as contractions. It is proposed that neither of the underlying words is a true contraction, and the most economical explanation given current evidence is that the graph’s structure is a purely semantic ligature or “portmanteau.”
The full text is posted on my academic site.