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Lecture 5

EAS103H1 Lecture 5: The Story of Writing

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East Asian Studies
Linda Rui Feng

EAS103- Lecture 5 • The Story of Writing • Buddhism as a changing, adaptable idea [philosophy] • Is a set of passage that changes as it goes from place to place • Spoken language comes before written language • Writing is a way to record, pass around human speech of ideas into some kind of graphic systems • This allows language to do other than speech • Designing a Written Language (Chinese) • There are two strategies we need to develop: o Purely mathematical variation o Completely unique characters ▪ You would need to learn a different character for every idea • Compromise: modular characters o Stroke o Radical o Character o Text • Logographic: way of writing sometimes people uses to as apply to Chinese th • Oracle Bone Inscription (12 cent BCE) • Were turtle shells or shoulder blades of cows • Add to our understand of governance in the Sheng era • The sheng king were asking questions by Lady Fu, a consorts of the Sheng king “will her child bury me good” o The king read the crack that was written after the shells have been made o So the forecast had not been made o Because the child ended up being a girl o This was a way to make very important decisions o The scripts was not yet standardized o It’s not consistent or no repertoire of strokes that we can recognize • Bronze Vessel Inscriptions (water basin of the Archivist Qiang, 9 cent BCE) • Written documents were more important and reducible o The archivist job was to record important things o A document was inside, gives us a list/series of kings that took place o Unlike the oracle bones, we see a grid pattern o Easy to see where the character ends and another begins • Stele Inscription of the First Emperor (219BC, recut 993AD) o Standardization of scripts was one of the policies that the First Emperor has undertaken as this newly unified empire o He set up seven Stele [carved rocks] o They were set up to proclaimed his accomplishments • Orchid Pavilion Preface (353 AD) by Wang Xizhi (207-365) o When Chinese are forced to retrieve back from North of the Yankee river o South was set up as a refugee of the invasion o Piece he word to commemorate this outing o There are accident from calligraphy • Autobiography by Huaiso (777AD) o Famous for his madly cursive scripts o We’re seeing this gradual shift from recording to writing that is meant to be a piece of art, connected with an artist o Over 2000 years of Chinese characters evolving • Early 20 century, China earliest developed, by Japan was first to modernize • So China wonder what we can do to modernize itself • One of the questions scholars think is getting rid of Chinese characters because it’s going backward and inconvenient • To get rid of characters and just use Roman to represent Chinese • Simplifying Characters • With PRC with the effort to simplify was easier to learn • Process of simplifying is systematic • Three different ways: o Reduce the number of strokes o The module remains the same, 2 strokes gone o Exchange one module for another is systematic o Get rid of modules altogether o Simplify character is a component of the traditional • Language is never stable • It’s something that’s alive, changes all the time • Something that comes from outside has fundamental change how they think of the Chinese language, poetry and literature • Classical Chinese was different from spoken Chinese o More condensed syntax from what we’ve learn • When language changes, you see this constant pattern what is Barbarian, foreign will become domestic history • Different tribes groups, nomadic people would come to China, and the language would change because of that • Its adopting based on who’s using them • Writing Systems in Japan • Korean/Japanese part of Altaic language system o Similar to Mongolian and Manchu o But Chinese is similar to Tibet th • 7 century Japan: urgent need to engineer central state/bureaucracy o Prior to
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