3

適・滴・嫡・摘・敵・鏑

Since all the listed above kanji are pronounced テキ and have the same common element, it is safe to assume that this element is pronounced テキ. The composition of this element is 立・古・冂. Unfortunately I cannot find this element neither among Japanese no traditional Chinese characters. What does element テキ mean in the above 形声? Is it a changed form of some other 漢字?

4

This element is 啇, U+5547 in Unicode, and it is used primarily for its sound テキ in these kanji. It is hardly used as a character on its own in Japanese, but you should be able to find it listed in larger 漢和辞典.

In 新漢語林, for example, this character is listed under the radical 口 plus 8 strokes (11 total) with the following meanings:

もと。ねもと。
②したたる。⇒滴。

The former meaning is presumably what semantic sense, if any, can be found in characters containing 啇 as an element.

In Henshall's book A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters, he says this character means 'base; starting point' (p.236) as part of other characters. Wiktionary lists its meanings in English as 'stem; root'.

Henshall suggests that 啇 is a variant form of 啻, but he says the origin of this character is unclear. It seems that the top part is 帝 'emperor/altar', and the bottom part is 口, which may represent a block at the bottom of the altar; or 口 may represent 'mouth/say', the compound giving 'emperor's words', which were seen as the basis or starting point of all actions, hence 'starting point'. These are just theories, and I'm not sure which if either is correct.

Note that in addition to the 漢音 reading テキ, this character also has the 呉音 reading チャク, which you can see mainly in the derived character 嫡, as in the word 嫡子 (read ちゃくし).

6

Yes,「啇」is a changed form of「啻」.「啻」(Zhengzhang OC:/*hljeɡs/) is made from a phonetic「帝」(OC: /*teːɡs/) and a「口」(function undetermined). In Japanese on'yomi, this would be equivalent to saying that「啇{てき}」contains a phonetic「帝{てい}」.

The relation between「啇」and「啻」should be fairly straightforward to see, if you pull the vertical portions of the 5th and 6th strokes of「啻」all the way downwards (and account for some minor stroke changes).

啻

For reference, the glyph evolution sequence:

西周

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師酉簋
集成4288
西周

enter image description here
訇簋
集成4321


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說文解字
 


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Earlier publications recorded the stand-alone character as「啻」, while the component form appears as「啇」, heavily influenced by the shape of the Shuowen small seal form (#3 in the above sequence). Later publications either isolated the「啇」component from composite characters (such as「適」・「滴」・... in the question) and gave it its own entry (including its own sound and meaning), or recorded「啇」as a variant form of「啻」, so now we have both「啻」and「啇」in Unicode.

The original meaning of「啻」isn't clear (if it had one at all), and it was used to represent a wide variety of similar-sounding Old Chinese words, notably during the fragmented era of Eastern Zhou, including「適」,「敵」,「禘」,「帝」,「幘」.


References:

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