Shirakawa Shizuka recognizes the Chinese Character before the Warring States Period as a kind of sacred one which exists in a way of series. For example, he interpreted the meaning of ‘Kou (口)’ according to its structure prior to the Period, regarding the meaning as the symbolization of an instrument used for praying. Then, he thought all the Chinese Characters with the structure element of ‘Kou’ should belong to the sacred. But his recognition is not correct. First, the interpretation of ‘Kou’ as the prayer instrument with the prayer character is wrong. So, the interpretation of serial characters of ‘Kou’ based on his misinterpretation of ‘Kou’ also proves to be wrong. Second, except the abovementioned mistakes, Shirakawa Shizuka made some other mistakes in his research on the serial characters of ‘Kou’ as well. But in this paper, we will just take examples of the characters such as ‘Gao (告)’, ‘Yue (曰)’, and ‘Yan (言)’, to point out the mistakes.
Naming script has its rationale, and thus the script name with symmetry reflects some differences and connections among its function, evolution, and propagation. Some scripts reflecting the divergence in its function mirror users’ gender differences, different use areas, the discrepancy between the folk script and formal one, and whether it is official or not. Others reflecting its evolution show that the new script has improved on the basis of the old one. Others again reflecting its propagation give an expression to the connection of character sources, object writing, and character morphology.
The grapheme of the Chinese character “Xiao (owl)” has been studied by some ancient experts and contemporary scholars, and they have proposed two different viewpoints. Some hold an opinion that “Xiao” represents the head of a bird on a tree, while others propose that it expresses a bird on a tree. It is difficult to draw a final conclusion. Nevertheless, the present researches using the unearthed literature corpus and the handed down documents corpus to analyze the character form of “Xiao” show that it represents the head of a bird on a tree. In addition, worshipping “Xiao” and offering sacrifices of “Xiao” to Gods or ancestors in Shang Dynasty provide another evidence that “Xiao” represents the head of a bird on a tree. These materials also show that the motivation of word-making of “Xiao” was derived from the ancient event of offering sacrifices, in which the bird was dismembered and suspended on a tree on Summer Solstice Day.
Pronunciation and Meaning in the Complete Buddhist Canon (Yiqiejing Yinyi) by Master Huilin is a lexical and pronunciation work by Master Huilin adapted and edited from the works of Master Xuanying, Master Huiyuan, and Master Yungong. The work covers lexical entries, pronunciations, cross references, annotations, and character forms. Apart from being an important book for understanding and interpreting Buddhist canons, it provides rich resources and information for the research of Buddhist canon versions, languages, lexicons, and lost works. This research investigates the form and structure variations of some characters in the same or different lexical entries based on the Tripitaka Koreana annotated by Master Huilin, to sort out the form variations in Chinese characters, thereby tracing the sources, diachronicity, and circulation of form variations of the lexical entries in Pronunciation and Meaning in the Complete Buddhist Canon from the perspective of character development.
The development of Nom characters is promoted on the basis of and in attachment with Chinese characters, and in this regard the Phonetic Annotation of the Thousand Character Classic 《千字文解音》 compiled in the late Nguyen Dynasty in Vietnam was a very practical textbook for learning Chinese characters and Nom characters. Based on categorizing Nom characters, the paper intends to clarify several notions on Nom characters of the Phonetic Annotation of the Thousand Character Classic. In the beginning, Nom characters can be divided into two major types: the directly borrowed Chinese characters and the independently invented ones. The former includes borrowing sounds, meanings, and both. The latter, according to the components of Chinese character formations, can be divided into the pictophonetic of Chinese characters and that of Nom characters. In the last part of the article, we summarize the relationship between Chinese characters and Nom characters. It is necessary not merely to consider the relationship but to understand the comparisons between them. With the aid of studying Nom characters, we can find that irrespective of whether they are directly-borrowed from Chinese or independently invented, the sound of Chinese characters is the most important feature for them. But we cannot ignore the ideographic parts of Nom characters because they, on the one hand, make up the phonetic deficiency of Chinese characters while promoting the development of Nom characters on the other. In our modern society, Chinese characters and Nom characters came to drift apart, and the latter especially was withdrawn from the historical stage, but the traditional culture of Vietnam is still recorded in literature both in Chinese characters and Nom characters. Moreover, the Nom character is one of the most important representatives of Vietnam’s traditional culture. For this reason solely, this research shall be a great help to further understanding of significant cross-cultural aspects between China and Vietnam, and more specifically of histories related to the spreading, application, and development of Chinese characters in Vietnam.
Shuowen Etymologies and an Arrangement by Sounds《說文通訓定聲》, as a representative work by Zhu Junsheng who is a famous expert in study of Shuowen Jiezi《說文解字》 in Qing Dynasty, consists of three parts: Shuowen (說文), Tongxun (通訓), and Dingsheng (定聲). Amongst them, Tong xun consists of Zhuanzhu (轉注) and Jiajie (假借). The quest for original words in the course of making scientific researches on Jiajie is highly important for us to make researches on ancient literature. Analyzing the mistakes and causes of the formation of multiple original words in the text of Shuowen Etymologies and an Arrangement by Sounds, we discover that there are the following types of errors in multiple original words in the text: 1. The different ancient annotations form the basis for the study on original words and multiple original words; 2. The faux creation of original words is made by considering a group of synonyms as original words; 3. Interchangeable words are wrongly regarded as original words; 4. The intending meaning is wrongly regarded as loaning meaning. The reasons for such mistakes can be further attributed to two major aspects: 1. The strong concept of original words of Zhu Junsheng who wrongly believes all Jiajie have original words; 2. There are some problems in the understanding of the meaning of words. Although Zhu Junsheng’s understanding of the connotation of original words is correct, the meaning, in practice, is a very complicated problem. Therefore, it is easy to make mistakes when the actual judgement takes place.
Based on the characteristics of texts, the scholarly history of the Joseon Dynasty is divided into two: one is Jingshu Shiyi (經書釋義 : Commentaries on the Confucian Scriptures of The Four Books and Five Classics) investigating the books of pre-Qin Confucianism and the annotations of Han-Tang period; the other is Yulu Shiyi (語錄釋疑 : Commentaries on the Analects) studying the analects of Song-Ming Neo-Confucianism. Having been recorded in colloquial languages, the analects are particularly significant due to their deep relationships to certain linguistic questions. For this reason, this paper introduces how their inflow and dispersion were made in Joseon and explores their specific aspects since Yulu Shiyi developed and produced a number of great achievements in Joseon’s scholarly history. It was during the Goryeo Dynasty that Neo-Confucianism was introduced to the Korean Peninsula for the first time, and it was not until the late 13th century that the full-scale acceptance of the doctrines began. The inflow process of the analects went through two stages. The first one was the late Goryeo during which Neo-Confucianism resting upon the literature of Zhuxi was introduced. The second one was the early Joseon during which the analects of the Song Neo-Confucianism such as Sishu Wujing Daquan《四書五經大全》 , Xingli Daquan《性理大全》 , Zhuzi Daquan《朱子大全》 , Zhuzi Yulei《朱子語類》 , Xinjing Fuzhu《心經附註》 , etc flew in. The predominant way in which the analects came to be dispersed was the compilation of annotations and dictionaries. As for the former, The Annotation of Zhuzi Yulei《朱子語類考文解義》 and more than a hundred annotation books on Xinjing Fuzhu《心經附註》 appeared; so did The Comprehensive Dictionary of the Analects of the Song Neo-Confucianism《語錄解》 , as for the latter. At the end of the paper, three supplements are presented: the analects of the Song Neo-Confucianism from Jangseogak Archives in the Academy of Korean Studies, the bibliographical directory of the analects and annotations from Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies in Seoul National University, and the list of relevant researches in Korea and China.