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chrix

Classical Chinese study group

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chrix

EDIT:

As of December 2009, we are studying Wang Li's textbook, the following chapters:

- Chapter 1, Zuozhuan

- Chapter 2, Zhanguoce

Everyone is invited to join in at any time, at any point! Please post away in the appropriate threads! Even if you use a different textbook (though then you might consider posting in the thread specific to that textbook), or if you just want to comment on the texts discussed, please do so!

anyone interested in starting a Classical Chinese thread, subforum or maybe a Social Group?

I think the differences between Classical Chinese and Modern Chinese are so great that it warrants studying it as a separate language. And I bet there is a lot of people studying the language on this forum...

People could post their attempts at translating parts of the Analects, the Shijing, the Shiji or whatever, or ask questions about vocabulary items or grammatical points, or discuss teaching materials and the like. I realise these could also be posed at the several subforums, and it has happened before, but I think it would make sense if all the threads concerning 文言文 were in one place. So I'd probably find a subforum of its own the best solution, provided there is enough interest here of course...

Edited by chrix

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Meng Lelan

Are you in Texas too??

I'd be interested in a forum like you suggested.

Right now I've just started up the Short Story subforum which is all contemporary, but I think I would jump into the 文言文 to see what's going on from time to time.

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jiangping

That sounds like a great idea to me!

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Hofmann

Whatever.

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Meng Lelan

All you have to do is start adding the ingredients and stirring the pot. Just go to the Short Story thread and see how starting up a subforum is done. Maybe get ideas from others as to what they want to read and post their recommendations, then start discussing.

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chrix

Hi Lelan,

yeah that's a great example to follow. But I would still want to split this up:

- a reading group kind of thread, which would be along the lines of your short story thread. I don't have the time for this right now, I might be able to do some kind of background reading thing for some of the chengyu, let's say those that appear in Mencius. Maybe some time later I would like to go back and have a look at the textbook by 王力, since this is a famous textbook, this might be of interest to some if we worked through it together. Or what I personally be interested in is reviewing the grammatical description given in Pulleyblank. Some of the explanations or examples might still be hard to understand.

- general questions about voacbulary and grammar. Up to now it's been in the general subforums, but I think it would be nice if they were together in their own subforum. Of course there's tagging, but I think if there was a Classical Chinese subforum in the forum structure people would see that there is a place to come to if interested in Classical Chinese in general, it would be more conspicuous, and hopefully encourage people to ask more questions about it. (Basically I hope it would be a case of "supply creates demand")

- experience learning it, textbooks etc. This could very well stay within the current structures, but if we had a Classical Chinese subforum, it would also be quite ok to have them there.

So that's why I think it would make sense to create a subforum. Maybe one could also move the threads tagged as "Classical" so the subforum wouldn't appear so empty to start with?

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roddy

Start making the posts. PM people who've posted on relevant topics in the past and get them involved. Bump the level of activity up. If we can see sustained interest from a number of people, so we know it isn't just going to fall off if one person leaves, you can have your subforum, and we can move existing topics into it.

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chrix

Ok, then I'll start the threads then. Let's use this thread for a general discussion about the "project".

So is anybody interested in some Mencius reading, like the first chapter with King Hui of Liang? Or any other suggestions? The story in Zhuangzi about Confucius going to the Robber Zhi and barely escaping death (虎口餘生) is also quite amusing I think. Please let me know if you're interested and what you would like to read. I will put off starting this thread until we have some kind of idea.

I will also start a thread on Pulleyblank's grammar.

Another thread will be general questions about grammar and vocabulary.

As far as textbooks etc. go, it would probably easiest to just bump one of the older threads.

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Hofmann

On second thought, I'd like a forum for Classical Chinese too, because it would be the only one in English that isn't xenophobic. I'd like it to include Literary Chinese also. I started a thread about Fuller's book.

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chrix

Sure thing, this would include post-classical stages too. For me it's like with Latin. I think it's important to have a grounding in the Classical variety, and then with that sound foundation you go look at post-classical texts. So I'd compare Literary Chinese of later epochs to ecclesiastical Latin in Medieval Europe, clearly vocabulary and grammar were evolving, and it is important to keep those differences in mind. But of course the post-classical varieties are part of studying Latin or 文言文 (often neglected at school, though)

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roddy

Would be handy if you can tag your topics somehow so they can be found easily if we need to move them; and ideally have 'Book Name, Author' for the title - that'll get them indexed nicely in the search engines.

The best way to get discussion started is to be posting questions about the stuff you don't understand.

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imron

Tagging them 文言文 might help also.

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roddy

And 'classical chinese' - best to have an English tag as well. And if anyone wants to do lots of searching to find relevant topics and tag them as such, you won't hear any complaints from me.

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chrix

great thing about the tagging. Well there are some tags like "Classical" and "Ancient" that might work though sometimes they might also refer to non-language topics such as Chinese history etc. Any suggestion what I should use? I think a one-word-tag would be preferrable.

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roddy

I can't see anything better than 'classical Chinese', and if all relevant topics are at least consistently tagged with something then it's fairly easy to then do a mass edit on them later (he thinks).

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chrix

Though some topics might be literary Chinese rather than Classical Chinese. Which is why I think 文言文 might be better... Edited in:Well Chinese Studies was only my minor back in university, but now I remember, there is a scholarly term that covers both Classical Chinese and Literary Chinese: Premodern Chinese. How about that?

Also, I tried to add tags to some articles, but it told me, the number of tags was limited to three...

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imron

Premodern Chinese might be the official term but it's pretty useless as a tag because people don't really have a firm concept of when Premodern is. I'd stick with two tags, classical chinese and 文言文。

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chrix

ok, then I'd go with three tags:

"classical chinese" if it refers to the language of the Classics (until establishment of Qin)

"literary chinese" if it refers to the the post-classical premodern language

"文言文" if it refers to both. Might be useful to tag it also with "classical chinese" though, since that seems to be the regularly used term in English.

(maybe you could do me a favour and globally replace my "premodern Chinese" tags with "文言文". Thanks.)

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