978-0-7748-0505-6 / 9780774805056

Outline of Classical Chinese Grammar


Publisher:Univ of British Columbia Pr



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About the book:

While China has a long tradition of lexicography and of phonological studies, there is, unlike in Europe and India, no tradition of descriptive or prescriptive grammar. "Outline of Classical Chinese Grammar" fills this gap and is the first comprehensive introduction to syntactical analysis of classical Chinese. The book focuses on the language of the high classical period, approximately from the time of Confucius to the unification of the empire by Qin and Han at the end of the third century "bc", and pays particular attention to the Mencius, the Lunyu, and, to a lesser extent, the Zuozhuan texts, which are of central importance not only in themselves but also as models for later writers. "Outline of Classical Chinese Grammar" starts with a brief historical overview and a discussion of the relation between the writing system and the phonology. This is followed by a short section outlining overall rpicnciples of word order and sentence structure. The next sections deal with the main sentence types - nominal predicates, verbal predicates, and numerical expressions, which constitute a special type of quasiverbal predication. The final sections cover topics such as subordinate constituents of sentences, nondeclarative sentence types and complex sentences. Examples, which are given in pinyin romanization as well as in Chinese characters and with English translations, are numbered consecutively throughout the text for ease of cross-reference. An index and a glossary of technical linguistic terminology complete the text.

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