Memorable documents written in Dongba scripts, such as diaries and travels, record events in chronological order, which strongly reflect the value of Dongba applied documents. At present, few documents of this type can be seen. In January 2005, dongba He Xiudong, who comes from Tacheng Township, Lijiang City, Yunnan Province, accompanied Mr. Li Zaizhong to visit Aming Ling cave, after that He Xiudong wrote a travel note in Dongba scripts, which is a typical record. This article translates and interprets this travel note, and studies the writing phenomenon, phonetic complement, different graphs of the same word, multiple words in one graph, homographs and allographs of this document.
Letters written in Dongba script are an important type of social documents in Dongba script. Two letters written in Dongba script to scholars have been published and translated before, but no letter of thanks written in Dongba script has been disclosed so far. This article interprets a recently written thanks letter in Dongba script, which can supplement the deficiency of such literature. From the contents of the thanks notes, it can be seen that Dongba culture has been revived in some places. In addition, some unusual writing forms of Dongba graphs appeared in this document, which can be used to supplement Dongba reference books when they are revised.
There are lots of duplicative components in the glyph blocks of Maya hieroglyphs. Some of them are used to double the meaning or sound value of the original components. Some of them are just the aesthetic consideration of scribal which does not affect the significance of the original components. This phenomenon, which was discovered by earlier Maya epigraphers, still needs researches on its causes and substitution patterns. This essay discussed these two issues based on the rearrangement of the glyph blocks containing duplicative components. From the perspective of graphic structure, the doubling phenomenon existed in both syllabic signs and glyphs. There are two reasons for the doubling phenomenon as such. The redundancy and simplification of signs lead to the sign-internal duplication. The unique spelling rule of Mayan language lead to the repetition of the syllabic signs. From the perspective of glyphs, the doubling phenomenon existed in both compound graphs and couplets which are caused by the recombination of glyphs. The substitution patterns of these phenomenon are the use of doubling signs, underspelling, choosing different variants of the same syllabic sign, and sharing components. All of these four substitution patterns can function both in the glyph-internal and between different glyphs.
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.
Comparative graphology is an important branch of graphology research. It includes adopting the comparative method to analyze two or more kinds of scripts in order to find the differences and relationships between these scripts. However, the angle of script comparison is somewhat monotonous and not systematic enough at present. This article starts from making a brief introduction to setting the comparative targets, selecting the comparative materials, choosing the comparative contents, finding the starting point of comparison, choosing the framework or theory for comparison, and finally aiming at finding the certain paradigm for the comparative study of scripts.
Expression type for mixed-use of Dongba characters can be divided into dominant type and parallel type. Causes for mixed-use includes three points: 1. similar or compatible patterns are the precondition for mixed-use; 2. certain relation exists among semantics of words represented by characters, or characters belong to the same classification in terms of meaning or have correlative meanings; 3. outcome is obtained during self-adjustment transitional stage of internal character of writing system. There are three solutions to solve the problem of similar characters: 1. re-distribution of characters’ functions; 2. integration of characters; 3. reconstruction of expression which is embodied in two aspects, including ideographical and phonetic expression transited from ideographical expression to additional phonetic complement, and transition from ideographical expression to pure phonetic expression.
Stroke is the most basic element in modern Chinese character structure unit, normalization and standardization of stroke cannot only be essential to literacy teaching, and writing, retrieval and computer processing of Chinese characters, but can further improve normalization and standardization levels of Chinese characters. However, there are lots of disputes about many issues of stroke in academia, and contents about stroke in modern Chinese teaching materials in colleges and universities are inconsistent. Ten representative teaching materials of Modern Chinese are selected in this article to take strokes in these teaching materials as study object for comparison and analysis of classification, names and sequence of strokes, so as to give suggestion to normalization and standardization of strokes. The teaching materials involved in this article include: Modern Chinese (the 4th revised edition) written by Huang Borong and Liao Xudong in 2007, referred to as “Huang and Liao‟s Version”; Modern Chinese written by Hu Yushu in 1992, referred to as “Hu‟s Version”; New Modern Chinese written by Zhang Bin in 2002, referred to as “Zhang‟s Version 1”; Modern Chinese written by Zhang Zhigong in 1982, referred to as “Zhang‟s Version 2”; Introduction to Modern Chinese written by Shao Jingmin in 2001, referred to as “Shao‟s Version”; Modern Chinese written by modern Chinese teaching and research office of Department of Chinese Language and Literature of Peking University in 2000, referred to as “Bei‟s Version”; Modern Chinese Character Outline written by Su Peicheng in 2001, referred to as “Su‟s Version”; Modern Chinese Tutorial written by Xing Fuyi① in 1986, referred to as “Xing's Version"; Modern Chinese written by Zhou Yimin in 2006, referred to as “Zhou's Version”; Modern Chinese written by Ma Guorong in 1990, referred to as “Ma's Version”.
Geba script is a syllables used by Naxi people. A huge contradiction between Logographic sign and phonetic function in Dongba script provides motivation for the birth of pure syllable writing. Because there is a great retarding force for Dongba script’s continuing to develop into the syllables writing, Geba script is prompted to appear. Geba script, after a long preparation, mainly borrows Dongba script, Chinese, Tibetan characters and rules and one-syllable-for-one-character expression method. In the past, Geba script was developing during the process of assisting Dongba script’s use. Finally it forms with mark of writing independent sentence.