This article introduces the Korean “vulgar characters” recorded in the “Jaseo Jibyo” (《字書輯要》) written in the late Joseon Dynasty with the addition of Dong-vulgar corrupt characters (referred to as “Dong-su characters”), and to clarify its academic significance for the purpose. The article contains a total of 117 vulgar Chinese characters, which were probably written in the late 19th or early 20th century. It includes various common and special characters that were seen at that time, so that we can understand the use of common characters in the late Joseon Dynasty. For this reason, this article has made the “Popular Characters”, and compared with the square-printed edition “Shiwencuo” which preserved the alien society at that time, and obtained the universal use of the common characters. The “vulgar words” are divided into four categories: “①omit, ②add, ③replace, and ④symbolize”. Then, taking the characters (國guo), 伩(儒 ru), and (聖sheng) as seen in the “Dong-vulgar characters” as examples, the cultural awareness hidden behind the characters is analyzed in detail, in order to navigate the cultural research of variant characters. Attached is the “Popular Character Catalog” attached to the “Manuscript Addition and Deletion of Yeomlag Pung-a”(《增删濂洛風雅》) collected by the author for comparison and reference.
Shuowen is not only a classic of philology, but also a classic in the history of Chinese linguistics. The construction history of Shuowen’s canonization is also the history of its acceptance and dissemination. The Han and Wei dynasties are the preparation period for the canonization of Shuowen, from Tang Dynasty to early Song Dynasty is the establishment period, the song, Yuan and Ming Dynasties are the development period, the Qing Dynasty is the golden period, and the modern and contemporary times are the transformation period. The classic quality of Shuowen is the essential factor of its canonization. The influence of social environment, the promotion of political forces, the interpretation, research and care of readers in previous dynasties, and the development of printing are also important external factors of its canonization construction. Its classical construction path shows three characteristics: the instrumentality of Chinese character books, Confucian dependence and the academic nature of Chinese character theory.
Shirakawa Shizuka (白川靜) thinks, “yan (彥)”, “chan (產)”, “yan (顏)” three characters are the characters that show the tattooed character on the forehead. He carried out three aspects of arguments: 1. Glyphs and meanings; 2. Tattoo custom of uncivilized people; 3. Language use cases. In fact, Shirakawa Shizuka’s arguments in three aspects are all wrong: 1. His interpretation of “yan (彥)”, “chan (產)” and “yan (顏)” is wrong. He cited the tattoo custom of the uncivilized people to prove the original meaning of “yan (彥)” and “yan (顏)” is wrong. His understanding of some of the words he quoted was wrong. Moreover, there is something illogical about his argument. Therefore, his arguments are unreasonable. There are mistakes in Shirakawa Shizuka’s interpretation of human forehead tattoo Characters.
Chinese characters originated in China and are self-originating characters used to record and express Chinese. Chinese characters have continuity in the attributes of shape and meaning, show strong vitality, and are unique in the existing world writing system. Chinese characters have experienced a long history of use and development, and the unique phonological structure has contributed to an important transformation in the history of Chinese characters development with an irreplaceable trend. The relationship between the three elements of Chinese character shape, sound and meaning is complex and entangled, and needs to be analyzed in detail for specific issues. The paper bases on the practice idea of interpreting exegesis by sound and makes a new interpretation of the character Yi (医) and Yi (殹) by using academic research results. The meaning of Yi (医) is ‘something used to hide a bow and arrow’. The meaning of Yi (殹) is the same as Yi (医). According to inductive analysis, the characters with Yi (殹) as their radical have the meaning of ‘hidden’. And Yi (殹) further extended the meaning of ‘black’. Then Yi (殹) is often used as a phonetic sign.
The meaning of the word Di Chu (抵觸) was first carried by the character Di (牴). Due to the changes in the structural features of the glyphs that represent meaning, Di (牴) changed its semantic symbol to get other glyph Di (觝). Afterwards, due to the continuous generalization of word meaning, Di (抵) is used to express the generalized meaning of Di Chu (抵觸). Through in-depth analysis, it can be seen that because they have the same phonetic symbol Di (氐), the three words Di (牴), Di (觝) and Di (抵) have the same etymological meaning contact. And then, the three words can be used interchangeably with each other. In the process of using the literature, Di (牴), Di (觝) and Di (抵) can be replaced by other different Chinese characters to express the same meaning of Di Chu (抵觸), such as Di (𤚃), Di (𧣎), Di (𢪔), and so on. By combing and analyzing the the relationships between this group of characters in practical use, we can see that this group of characters constitute a complete inter character relationship in practical use by changing semantic symbols, changing phonetic symbols, making errors in semantic symbols, making errors in phonetic symbols, moving the position of phonetic symbols, complicating phonetic symbols, simplifying phonetic symbols, and loaning phonetic. In the process of the evolution of Chinese characters, there will often be some changes in the shape of the characters, which brings some difficulties to our learning and research process to a certain degree. Therefore, the study of the relationships between this group of characters in practical use can provide a variety of help for the in-depth study of Chinese characters. Firstly, it can provide more abundant materials for the study of the history of Chinese characters. Then, it is beneficial to promote the process of Chinese character related research. Furthermore, it has some guiding functions for improving the collection and revision of dictionaries.
Language is the carrier of a nation’s culture and contains a wealth of cultural information. The origin of a name is the reason why something is named, which is closely related to the cultural concept of people in the time when the word was created. Therefore, it is possible to explore the cultural information behind the words by examining their origins. Qi Min Yao Shu is one of the four major agricultural books of ancient China and is known as the “Encyclopedia of Agriculture in Ancient China”. We selected four typical terms in Qi Min Yao Shu, farming tools, farming actions, farming places, and water conservancy facilities, and conducted an extensive cognate word association of these terms. On this basis, we explore the characteristics of the naming rationale of these farming words and interpret the cultural concepts in them. The study finds that the naming rationale of these words reflects the ancient “agricultural-oriented” thought, which is reflected in both farming practice and emotion. Secondly, the naming rationale of these words also contains the cultural concept of the ancient people’s pursuit of the unity of heaven, earth, things and people, that is, to accurately understand and use the objective laws of heaven, earth and things. Lastly, What is more profound is the philosophical thinking of the ancient people on the relationship between man and nature, which is reflected in the naming rationale of these words, reflecting the ancient people’s feelings of reliance on and reverence for nature, and reflecting the philosophical concept of “the unity of nature and human”.
Among the research of Chinese Characters, there is a long history of the study of “the six categories of Chinese characters,” also a lot of research achievements have been accumulated from the past. Since the Qing Confucian Dai Zhen put forward the theory of “Four Noumenon and Two Uses,” advocated that the Transformed Cognates and Rebus are as the methods of using characters. The debates have been raised once again among different parties. Among them, the one with the most divergent opinions is the usage of “Transformed Cognates.” At the end of the Qing Dynasty and the beginning of the Republic of China, Mr. Zhang Taiyan made a theory from the perspective of the migrating of language. “The transformed Cognates, means that a new character created by changing the tone or the rhythm of the original character,” said Zhang. He clearly stated” a new character created,” regarded that “Transformed cognates” as a practice of creating new characters due to the transfers of sound. Which has always been seen as an important promoter of the theory. However, the subsequent researchers who also sat at the feet of Zhang have two different understandings and interpretations of “the method of using the character” and “the method of creating a character”. This article attempts to sort out the relevant discussion of Mr. Taiyan’s theory and restore the background of the time that Zhang made it. Also discussing the different interpretation perspectives of Zhang’s Transformed Cognates Theory by subsequent scholars in Taiwan. Finally, propose the author’s observations and conclusions.
The borrowing of the character “Mou” (某) originally meaning “sour plum” as a pronoun should lag far behind the spoken language. Therefore, the pronoun “Mou” (某) in the Chinese literature can no longer explain its origin. Through cognate affiliation and related analogy, it is inferred that the pronoun “Mou” (某) should go through such a stage of development as “negative indefinite pronoun to indefinite pronoun, and then to specific pronoun”. From the etymological point of view, the earliest usage of “Mou” (某) should be a negative indefinite pronoun. Zhou Guangye of the Qing Dynasty thought that the use of “Mou” (某) as a pronoun began with taboo, which was not the source of its pronoun usage. The usage of the word “Mou” (某) used as a taboo should be the third stage of its development.
Compared with modern Chinese, the inquiry sentences of the unearthed Warring States documents occupied an important position in oral communication at that time, and their expression methods were quite distinctive. Through exhaustive corpus investigation and systematic description, four types of inquiry sentences in the excavated Warring States literature, such as specific finger questions, right and wrong questions, positive and negative questions, and choice questions, are discussed, and the special questions used in them are discussed, and the grammar of the special question sentences used in them is explained and analyzed. The study found that the interrogative sentences in the form of questions and answers in the excavated documents mainly include two types: Chujian quotation style corpus and Qinjian Zhongluling corpus. Finally, the different distribution characteristics and regional relationships of the interrogative sentences in the Chujian and Qinjian corpuses were answered.
There is still a controversy in the academic community as to whether the author of “JouPuTuan” (《肉蒲團》) is Li Yu, the majority of scholars believe that its author is Li Yu, but some other scholars don’t agree, they think it’s author can not be Li Yu. This article firstly sorted out and summarized different representative views, and then compared the major surviving editions of “JouPuTuan”, pointed out that the “The wooden movable type edition” (木活字本) was not the earliest surviving edition of “JouPuTuan”, so the view that the author of “JouPuTuan” is not Li Yu is not valid. Finally. On the basis of the previous studies, this article has a further argued from the perspective of “Li Yu’s special words” (李漁特征詞) to prove that “JouPuTuan” is definitely the work of Li Yu.
In this paper, the conceptual spaces of the diachronic semantic evolution of “gen” are constructed through the diachronic literature surveys, then the cross-dialect/language semantic maps are drawn as a tool to examine the rationality of the diachronic evolution. “Gen (跟)” is an action verb with the meaning of “following (跟隨)”, in Chinese history the dominant words with the semantic field of “following” have experienced the diachronic evolution of “cong (從)”, “sui (隨)” and “gen (跟)”. The development of these three words not only follows the law of parallel grammaticalization, but also each has its own feature. From the comparison diachronic and cross-dialect /language semantic map of the “following (跟隨)” meaning, it can be seen that, non-cognate words with family characteristics may also have the same semantic evolution. Some phenomena in the synchronic regional semantic maps that violate the “semantic map connectivity hypothesis”, may not be due to the complete lack of connection between the two nodes, but due to the choice of semantics of a specific symbolic form in the diachronic development.
In classical Chinese, the distinction between a rhetorical question and a simple question may not be readily clear when interrogative words are used. This paper aims to investigate factors that may determine whether a question formed with an安, yan焉, or heyi何以is a simple question or a rhetorical question; they include the presence of (1) a modal verb; (2) a negative marker in the main clause; (3) condition in the subordinate clause; and (4) a final exclamatory particle. Based on an analysis of these factors, a set of markers is proposed to distinguish a rhetorical question from a simple question and the extent of their reliability is discussed. Furthermore, a scale will be proposed to measure the strength of a rhetorical question based on the set of said markers.
Two stage-corpora of the newspaper LianHe ZaoBao from 2005-2008 (6678,6564 characters) and from 2018-2020 (3308,2690 characters) were collected and were used for Chinese characters statistics by the Huayu Research Center at Jinan University. Chinese character Species used in the two stage-corpora are 7004 and 6166 respectively. Chinese characters beyond the General Standard Chinese Character List in the mainland are 952 and 621 respectively, and the proportions of off-list characters are 13.59% and 10.07% respectively. The proportion of non-universal standardized Chinese characters decreased by 3.52 percentage points, indicating that Chinese characters used in the rear stage of LianHe ZaoBao are more consistent with those in mainland China. The Statistics, recording and sorting of the Chinese characters used in LianHe ZaoBao will help us understand the current Chinese characters ecology in Singapore and understand the commonalities and differences of Chinese characters between China mainland and Singapore. Based on the survey, we can explore the feasibility, methods and scope of the Chinese characters differences between Singapore and the mainland, as well as the strategies of compiling global Chinese dictionaries and further thinking about cross-border Chinese characters coordination.
Variant Hán characters (hereinafter referred to as variants) are a common phenomenon in various types of Hán-Nôm cultural materials, including Confucian documents. This article studies the variants in Confucian works through the case of the book Hồ thượng thư gia lễ/胡尚書家禮/Family rituals by Minister Hồ (printed in 1739). The author chooses this text because of the following factors: First, the content of this work, which might be described as Confucian in nature, is about Confucian rituals; Second, the text printed in 1739 is associated with clearly identified dates of production and chief commissioner, so variants found in this text have historical value; Third, this is a printed text, so its variants must have attained a degree of common usage. On that basis, the objectives of this article are: First, to provide statistics on variants, to classify their structures and to analyze some variation rules of this type of characters; Second, to provide preliminary comments (relying upon the above-mentioned data and analysis) on the flexible use of Hán characters by Vietnamese Confucian scholars in the 18th century.
Based on the preface to the Dictionary of Vietnamese Chinese characters and the relevant documents, this paper looks at nine aspects of the origins of Chinese characters, the introduction of Chinese characters to Vietnam, the morphological and phonological meanings of Chinese characters, the development of Chinese characters, the limitations of the use of Chinese characters, erroneous Chinese characters, the question of the survival of Chinese characters, the evolution of Chinese names, and the relationship between Chinese characters and Nom characters. A comprehensive overview of the Vietnamese view of Chinese characters, comparing it with the Chinese view of Chinese characters and pointing out the similarities and differences between the two, thus summarising the transmission and variation of the Chinese view of characters in Vietnam, in an attempt to provide a new perspective for studies related to the history of the development of Vietnamese characters and the spread of Chinese characters.
“Tuan Feng” (摶風) is first seen in the Wei and Jin Dynasties, and which is formed by allusions “Tuan Fuyao” (摶扶搖) in Xiao Yao You of Zhuang Zi, and which is first called “Wuyi” (屋翼) in the Tang Dynasty. Since the Warring States period, the words “Zhuan” (專) and “Fu” (尃) have been sometimes confused because of their proximity. Therefore, there has always been a dispute between “Tuan” (摶) and “Bo” (搏) about “Tuan Fuyao” in the literature after Wei and Jin Dynasties. Affected by this, “Tuan Feng” which represents the “Wuyi” is often falsely referred to as “Bo Feng” (搏風) in the literature. This paper makes a textual research on the allusions referring to “Wuyi” as “Tuan Feng” rather than “Bo Feng” from the aspects of the differentiation and correction of “Tuan Fuyao” in the allusion, the naming rationale of “Wuyi” as “Tuan Feng” and the structure, component name, function and use of “Wuyi” in ancient wooden buildings.
The digitization of ancient characters allows ancient writing materials to break the limitations of time and space. The application of digital technology can also help the interpretation of ancient writings and contribute to the protection of original materials. After more than 20 years of efforts, the research on digital processing of Chinese ancient characters has made a series of attempts in ancient character database and query system, big data platform, ancient character input software and recognition software, and achieved a series of achievements. In the future, we need to make continuous efforts in the interdisciplinary talent training of Chinese Palaeography and computer science, the cooperation between different research institutions, and the openness of digital achievements.