On Ancient Chinese Classical Linguistics



Li Kai, Huang Weifeng


Work Unit:

Department of Chinese and Literature, Nanjing University ;School of English and International Studies, Beijing Foreign Studies University


Vol.1 No.1 (Serial No.1) 2007






This paper explores some problems concerning ancient Chinese classical linguistics. It is maintained that there are both similarities and obvious differences between it and western philology. The development of ancient Chinese linguistics from the Pre-Qin Period to the Qing Dynasty can be divided into five stages: the embryonic stage, the stage for laying the foundation, the preparatory stage, the stage of growth, and the stage of overall revival and prosperity. The literature produced during this period can be grouped in six categories: gloss exegesis, orthographical form and meaning, phonological form and meaning, historical phonology, grammar on function words, and rhetoric. It is pointed out that, in researching the theoretical history of ancient Chinese linguistics, great importance should be attached to the consistency between history and theoretical logic, cultural background as reference, and textual research methodology.

Key Words:

ancient Chinese classical linguistics, stages, classification, historical methods




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Hong Cheng. 2000. A Selection of Articles Written in Luosong Lu. [C] Nanjing: Jiangsu Ancient Books Press.

Lu Zongda. 1980. A Brief Introduction to Exegesis. [M] Beijing: Beijing Press.

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