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An Introduction to Literary Chinese, Michael A. Fuller


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Is there a particular one you would recommend? I know there's the 漢語大詞典,which is a big dictionary. I don't know of any others.

http://www.chinese-forums.com/showpost.php?p=209100&postcount=26

Unless 向 and 嚮 had different pronunciations in the past, I was thinking that this might be one of those cases where a character borrowed for its pronunciation was later clarified with an additional part. Like when old texts use 見 for 現 or 舍 for 捨.

oh this might very well be, but this kind of stuff is usually not explored by dictionaries, unless they were used interchangeably as characters. For instance, the dictionary says 嚮 "通「響」", so it is both read xiang4 and xiang3.

xiang4 for both 嚮 and 向 have a lot of overlap, but there are some meanings exclusively to 向

I have downloaded the .pdf file. I will definitely start working on it. I like the fact that it is all in traditional characters, even though it is published in the Mainland.

Great! Hope to see you around there then.

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Regarding the 亞 pronunciation I was simply curious as to whether the third tone could be some sort of conservative reading like say tuō for 他. Anyway, it seems clear that the normal modern pronunciation for 亞父 should be yàfù, with two fourth tones.

Having studied Pekinese Mandarin before, I came to Taiwan pronouncing 亞洲 as Yà​zhōu​, but my teacher told me the Taiwanese Mandarin pronunciation was Yǎzhōu​. This is also the case in the Taiwanese Mandarin names for Malaysia 馬來西亞 Mǎláixīyǎ and for the Asian Development Bank 亞行 Yǎháng, so this reading does not seem to be obsolete. I just checked my textbook and sure enough, it gives third tones on all the 亞's. Another Taiwanese textbook doesn't, though.

Is it possible that this is the same word that is usually written as 嚮? With this meaning the sentence now makes sense. You have parsed it as two coordinated sentences but I suppose it can alternatively be parsed as a coverbal construction with the same meaning.

My 虛詞詞典 says 向 is identical to 嚮 at least in the meaning of 'towards, approaching', citing the Guangyun. But this is not necessarily so in the case of 向 'earlier'.

Just in case my English translation of the entire sentence led to confusion: if I were to choose, I would put my money on this being a coverbal construction rather than two coordinated sentences, if only for the reason that I cannot find any examples of 由 'to follow' without another verb further down in the sentence.

Well, I don't understand the line well, so I will have to spend some time working on it, but thanks for providing me with new and interesting material

Don't worry about that yet. It's a bit of a difficult text and also from a later era, but when you feel you're ready for it, give it a go. It's one of my favourite pieces of Chinese literature :)

You'll be happy to learn, by the way, that I did manage to catch my bus with a bit of an early-morning run, and even grabbed some breakfast on the way out. Classical Chinese for breakfast is not bad, but nothing beats a croissant.

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Good on ya, Daan :mrgreen:

Having studied Pekinese Mandarin before, I came to Taiwan pronouncing 亞洲 as Yà​zhōu​, but my teacher told me the Taiwanese Mandarin pronunciation was Yǎzhōu​. This is also the case in the Taiwanese Mandarin names for Malaysia 馬來西亞 Mǎláixīyǎ and for the Asian Development Bank 亞行 Yǎháng, so this reading does not seem to be obsolete. I just checked my textbook and sure enough, it gives third tones on all the 亞's. Another Taiwanese textbook doesn't, though.

Interesting. My 遠東 dictionary, which otherwise consistently differentiates between TW and BJ usage, only has yà.

My 虛詞詞典 says 向 is identical to 嚮 at least in the meaning of 'towards, approaching', citing the Guangyun. But this is not necessarily so in the case of 向 'earlier'.

To make matters easier, let's compare the definitions for 向 and 嚮 (xiang4) in the 古代汉语词典:

  1. 朝北的窗户
  2. 朝着,面对, derived: 对待,看待
  3. 方向,趋向 also: 朝着一方向行进,前往
  4. 归向,仰慕 also: 迎合
  5. 爱,偏爱 derived: 偏袒
  6. 临近,将近 also: 大约
  7. 介词:A 表动作的地点,方向。B 表动作的对象。C 表动作的时间。
  8. 往昔,从前 also: 刚才
  9. 春秋时国名
  10. 古地名

  1. 朝着,面对
  2. 方向 also: 趋赴,前往 (见“向迩”)
  3. 归向,仰慕 also: 迎合
  4. 临近,将近 (见“向明”)
  5. 往昔,从前
  6. 窗户

So if what the dictionary says is correct, 嚮 can't be used as a coverb, but both can be used in the sense of temporal promixity (either in the immediate past or immediate future). 向 also can mean "to love, favour".

Don't worry about that yet. It's a bit of a difficult text and also from a later era, but when you feel you're ready for it, give it a go. It's one of my favourite pieces of Chinese literature

Haha, I found it quite enjoyable to read too, so I just started a thread on this

Edited by chrix
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Thanks for your replies. I really appreciate all the enthusiasm you put into these discussions on classical Chinese.

It seems that we can conclude that the third tone in 亞 is an alternative pronunciation in the older 國語 standard used in Taiwan. I have checked that Fuller uses the Taiwanese pronunciation in characters where the two standards diverge, like 昔.

Today I have been writing down my comments for Lesson 8 and I will post them in a few minutes. But please enjoy your meals and do anything important that you have to do before replying. I don't want to feel that I'm making Daan starve with all the questions I'm posting. Not that I would doubt the nutritional value of classical Chinese but... there is no hurry!

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I have been working on Lesson 8 of the book during the last few days. With this, I have completed my goal of working through Part One of the book, so this is my last batch of questions on Fuller's book for the time being. I want to continue with Part Two, but I think I will try to have a go at Wang Li's book before that or at the same time, as the active thread about it looks quite interesting.

The grammar explanation and the exercises of this lesson are reasonably easy, so I don't have any questions about those parts. The text of the lesson, however, is a difficult one. It is a well-known story from the Mencius, the parable of the pulling of the sprouts. Another piece of text from the same chapter is included for context (the discussion on the nature of the 浩然之氣), but without any explanatory notes. I have tried to understand both texts well, and I have come across quite a lot of difficulties. Fortunately, I have the excellent bilingual edition of the Mencius translated by D. C. Lau and published by the Chinese University of Hong Kong Press, and I have resorted to the translation and notes in that book to solve most of my questions. There are, however, a few parts that I find problematic. First, I reproduce the text, as it appears in the book:

Text: 揠苗(孟子)

敢問何謂浩然之氣。

曰難言也。其為氣也,至大至剛。以直養而無害,則塞於天地之間。其為氣也,配義與道。無是,餒矣。是集義所生者,非義襲而取之也。行有不慊於心,則餒矣。我故曰告子未嘗知義,以其外之也。必有事焉而勿正,心勿忘,勿助長也。無若宋人然。

1。 宋人有閔其苗之不長而揠之者。

2。 芒芒然歸,謂其人曰,今日病矣。予助苗長矣。

3。 其子趨而往視之。苗則槁矣。

4。 天下之不助苗長者寡矣。

5。 以爲無益而舍之者不耘苗者也。

6。 助之長者,揠苗者也。

7。 非徒無益,而又害之。

Michael A. Fuller, An Introduction to Literary Chinese (pp. 95 - 96)

23. 以直養而無害. I think this must be one of those cases where a plain 以 actually stands for 以之. According to Pulleyblank, "the coverb yi 以 [...] regularly omits 之 as its object" (p. 70). I was struggling with the sentence until I thought of this possibility. If I assume that this 以之 works like a modern 把它, it makes sense.

24. In the same sentence, 以直養而無害, I also have a question on the meaning of 直. Fuller glosses it as "direct, straight", but how should we understand the concept of nourishing the qì in a straight/direct way? Lau translates it as "with integrity" which doesn't sound very clear to me either. I tend to think of this 直 as "persistently", but I'm not sure if this is correct. If it is, Mencius would be telling us that this is a kind of qì that we must keep on nourishing.

25. 是集義所生者,非義襲而取之也 I find this sentence quite difficult. D. C. Lau translates it as "It is born of accumulated rightness and cannot be appropriated by anyone through a sporadic show of rightness" In the first part, 是集義所生者, it looks as if 集 is a main verb, and my literal translation would be "this accumulates what rightness produces". But Lau's translation implies that 集 is being used as a modifier of 義. Is 集義 really a noun phrase ("accumulated rightness") or is it just that Lau has rearranged the sentence to make it more idiomatic in English?

26. As for the second part, 非義襲而取之也, I understand that 義襲而取之 is a verbal phrase embedded in a 非...也 construction, but I'm not sure about how to parse it. Does 而 coordinate 義襲 and 取之? or just 襲 and 取? Also, I'm not sure if I understand the relation between 義 and 襲. Fuller defines 襲 as "to win by luck (military term)". Any thoughts about this?

27. 以其外之也. Lau translates this sentence as "he looked upon it as external". It seems that 外 is being used as a verb meaning "look upon [something] as external". This would be similar to the use of 遠 as a verb meaning "to regard [a distance] as far away", so it makes sense. I have been wondering about the initial 以其, and I think this must be similar to 把它 in modern Mandarin. Am I right? And is there any difference between 以其 and a plain 以 with an elided object 之?

28. 必有事焉而勿正,心勿忘,勿助長也. I was unable to understand this sentence until I found that my Mencius book says that there is probably an error in the characters of the original text. This is remarked by D. C. Lau in the English notes (appendix 6) and also in a footnote within the Chinese text:

(9) II. A. 2 必有事焉而勿正心勿忘勿助長也。

It is difficult to make good sense of this passage, Ku Yen-wu 顧炎武 quotes Ni Ssu's 倪思 theory that 正心 is a corruption from 忘 (Ku, 7.16b). This is surely right, as the passage will then make straightforward sense: "You must work at it and never let it out of your mind. While you must not let it out of your mind, you must not forcibly help it grow either."

Mencius, a Bilingual Edition, translated by D. C. Lau (p. 404)

「忘」字原作「正心」。顧炎武《日知錄》引倪思說謂「正心」應作「忘」(卷七頁十六下)。今據倪思改。

Mencius, a Bilingual Edition, translated by D. C. Lau (p. 62)

29. I am having some trouble trying to understand the message conveyed by sentences 4 and 5. 天下之不助苗長者寡矣。以爲無益而舍之者不耘苗者也。 In the first sentence I suppose 天下之不助苗長者 is the topic, and the comment 寡矣 should be like 少了 in modern Chinese. If this is correct, I would translate it as "Those in the world who don't help the sprouts to grow have become few". D. C: Lau's more idiomatic translation is compatible with this interpretation. Fuller asks in an exercise what the rhetoric effect of this sentence is. I suppose the change-of-state 矣 indicates that Mencius is addressing what he sees as a trend in the society of the time, where more and more people try to "help the sprouts grow" in a figured sense. But then I don't completely understand the purpose of the next sentence: 以爲無益而舍之者不耘苗者也. If I understand the words and grammar correctly, my translation would be "Those who find it useless and therefore leave it are those that don't weed the sprouts". I'm not sure what Mencius is trying to communicate with this sentence. Since the text is criticising the futility of helping the sprouts to grow, is he mentioning those who don't do anything as a model of the right attitude? Or just bringing up the other extreme behaviour, not doing anything for your plants, as if he also condemns that?

Edited by Jose
Corrected wrong character
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9. Page 51. 時雨降 This is the first sentence in exercise 1. What's the meaning of 時 here?

Again, context is key here (and also a dictionary). 時 has a number of adverbial and adjectival uses´. It looks like this is from a Mencius text, and 時 means "opportune" as in "(when) the opportune rain falls".

Reminds me of the main character from 水浒传, who was known as 及时雨 because he was so nice to everyone all of the time.

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It seems that we can conclude that the third tone in 亞 is an alternative pronunciation in the older 國語 standard used in Taiwan. I have checked that Fuller uses the Taiwanese pronunciation in characters where the two standards diverge, like 昔.

Just to be sure, I asked my teacher today, and she insists 亞 would be read by three out of four Taiwanese speakers. She did not think this was a conservative reading at all, so I'm slightly surprised chrix's dictionary does not mention it.

I don't want to feel that I'm making Daan starve with all the questions I'm posting. Not that I would doubt the nutritional value of classical Chinese but... there is no hurry!

Oh, don't worry about that. There's something especially tranquil about reading some classical Chinese before breakfast. I think I might make a habit out of that :wink:

23. 以直養而無害. I think this must be one of those cases where a plain 以 actually stands for 以之. According to Pulleyblank, "the coverb yi 以 [...] regularly omits 之 as its object" (p. 70). I was struggling with the sentence until I thought of this possibility. If I assume that this 以之 works like a modern 把它, it makes sense.

Yes, I agree this would be a plausible reading. I am not sure if expecting the reader to insert a 之 here is exactly what was going on in classical Chinese, but it seems to suffice for the present purpose. I thought for a minute about whether this might imply some sort of conditionality, especially given the 則 sentence that follows, but there seems to be no evidence to support such a reading.

24. In the same sentence, 以直養而無害, I also have a question on the meaning of 直. Fuller glosses it as "direct, straight", but how should we understand the concept of nourishing the qì in a straight/direct way? Lau translates it as "with integrity" which doesn't sound very clear to me either. I tend to think of this 直 as "persistently", but I'm not sure if this is correct. If it is, Mencius would be telling us that this is a kind of qì that we must keep on nourishing.

My dictionaries do not seem to list "persistently" as a meaning of 直. I think what nourishing your qì in a 直 way refers to using the right approach to do so. (In Mandarin, 正直.)

25. 是集義所生者,非義襲而取之也 I find this sentence quite difficult. D. C. Lau translates it as "It is born of accumulated rightness and cannot be appropriated by anyone through a sporadic show of rightness" In the first part, 是集義所生者, it looks as if 集 is a main verb, and my literal translation would be "this accumulates what rightness produces". But Lau's translation implies that 集 is being used as a modifier of 義. Is 集義 really a noun phrase ("accumulated rightness") or is it just that Lau has rearranged the sentence to make it more idiomatic in English?

Whoa. 大哉問. I think Mencius is explaining where 氣 comes from, and so to me D.C. Lau's translation makes more sense than yours, since yours presupposes 氣 already exists and attracts whatever 義所生者 is. But I'm not sure and the more I think about it the more I can't say you're wrong, either. I'll think it over and get back to you (hopefully tomorrow) on this and the other questions!

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Well, here are some more thoughts. I think Lau's is what most readers would have read here. In your translation, 者 would only nominalise 義所生, expecting the reader to read 義所生者 as 集's object. But given that we are looking at a 也 sentence here, as you can see a bit further down, I would expect to parse this as [是][集義所生者](也), as Lau does. Expecting the reader to manually add another layer of nominalisation to read this as [是][[集][義所生者]](也) might be possible, but my gut feeling is that this would not be likely.

Furthermore, if you look at the context, Lau's translation looks a bit more logical. Mencius seems to be explaining the concept of 氣 in this paragraph. Whereas explaining it as 是[集]+[義](之)[所生者] is possible as far as I can judge, it seems therefore preferable to read it as [是][[集義](之)[所生]者] where there is no need to explain also what [義](之)[所生者] is and how it can be collected in order to become 氣. Of course, even in Lau's translation, that's not an irrelevant question.

26. As for the second part, 非義襲而取之也, I understand that 義襲而取之 is a verbal phrase embedded in a 非...也 construction, but I'm not sure about how to parse it. Does 而 coordinate 義襲 and 取之? or just 襲 and 取? Also, I'm not sure if I understand the relation between 義 and 襲. Fuller defines 襲 as "to win by luck (military term)". Any thoughts about this?

I am once more inclined to quote the Great Sage, but here are some thoughts. I would read this as [非][義襲而取之][也], parsing the second phrase as [義襲]而[取之]. According to my dictionary, 襲 can also mean 重疊 and 累積, and such readings seem more likely to me than "to win by luck (military term)". This would lead to Lau's translation. I'm not entirely sure why I would prefer not to parse the phrase as 義[[襲]而[取之]], but I think this is because of the context: it would be the 氣 that is being 取ed, not the 義, and thus reading 義 as the subject of the entire phrase would lead to a logical flaw.

More thoughts later. Confused? You will be :wink:

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27. 以其外之也. Lau translates this sentence as "he looked upon it as external". It seems that 外 is being used as a verb meaning "look upon [something] as external". This would be similar to the use of 遠 as a verb meaning "to regard [a distance] as far away", so it makes sense. I have been wondering about the initial 以其, and I think this must be similar to 把它 in modern Mandarin. Am I right? And is there any difference between 以其 and a plain 以 with an elided object 之?

I checked all my dictionaries and had a brief look in the CTP database, but I was unable to come up with other excerpts that showed a similar usage of 以其. (I will admit I didn't check all 129 pages the CTP returned, though!) Given the phrase before this one, I think reading 以其 as "accordingly" could be considered. But to be honest, I have no idea what 其 is doing in this sentence, so hopefully someone more qualified than myself wil post a better suggestion.

28. 必有事焉而勿正,心勿忘,勿助長也. I was unable to understand this sentence until I found that my Mencius book says that there is probably an error in the characters of the original text. This is remarked by D. C. Lau in the English notes (appendix 6) and also in a footnote within the Chinese text

Thanks for posting this note. I hadn't read this text before, so I translated it before reading your questions to make sure they wouldn't influence my reading, but this phrase had me scratching my head for a while and only made sense after reading your post.

29. I am having some trouble trying to understand the message conveyed by sentences 4 and 5. 天下之不助苗長者寡矣。以爲無益而舍之者不耘苗者也。 In the first sentence I suppose 天下之不助苗長者 is the topic, and the comment 寡矣 should be like 少了 in modern Chinese. If this is correct, I would translate it as "Those in the world who don't help the sprouts to grow have become few". D. C: Lau's more idiomatic translation is compatible with this interpretation. Fuller asks in an exercise what the rhetoric effect of this sentence is. I suppose the change-of-state 矣 indicates that Mencius is addressing what he sees as a trend in the society of the time, where more and more people try to "help the sprouts grow" in a figured sense.

Yes, I agree.

But then I don't completely understand the purpose of the next sentence: 以爲無益而舍之者不耘苗者也. If I understand the words and grammar correctly, my translation would be "Those who find it useless and therefore leave it are those that don't weed the sprouts". I'm not sure what Mencius is trying to communicate with this sentence. Since the text is criticising the futility of helping the sprouts to grow, is he mentioning those who don't do anything as a model of the right attitude? Or just bringing up the other extreme behaviour, not doing anything for your plants, as if he also condemns that?

I think he is contrasting two groups. Group A believes there is no benefit to be had in helping sprouts grow and therefore leaves them alone. Group B, however, thinks it is beneficial to help sprouts grow. But in reality, those who believe their actions are not beneficial (group A) are doing the right thing, whereas those who 非徒無益,而又害之!

You can imagine how this might be usefully applied to rulers: even though they might believe they are doing the right thing, by ruling with an iron fist, they are actually harming the prospects of the nation since 氣 cannot be forcibly made to grow.

I hope these remarks have been useful. Please feel free to ask if anything I have written didn't make sense. I realise and agree the answers provided may not have been as complete as one might hope, but I hope someone else with a better understanding of classical Chinese will come along and post corrections/suggestions. I would be happy, as always, to be enlightened :)

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Just to be sure, I asked my teacher today, and she insists 亞 would be read yǎ by three out of four Taiwanese speakers. She did not think this was a conservative reading at all, so I'm slightly surprised chrix's dictionary does not mention it.

I wonder if this is a case like 液 where the majority of the populace uses a reading different from the official TW standard....

I checked all my dictionaries and had a brief look in the CTP database, but I was unable to come up with other excerpts that showed a similar usage of 以其. (I will admit I didn't check all 129 pages the CTP returned, though!) Given the phrase before this one, I think reading 以其 as "accordingly" could be considered. But to be honest, I have no idea what 其 is doing in this sentence, so hopefully someone more qualified than myself wil post a better suggestion.

I asked the Google, and by far the most frequent hit was the Chinese equivalent of the Kantian imperative, but then I played around with some verbs, and found hits for 以其以其 and 保之殺之 . The former is from a dubious source, but the latter is from the Wenzi:

莫鑒於流潦,而鑒於止水,以其保之,止而不外蕩。

This seems to be an allusion to the Zhuangzi though, and it might be the case that a 內 got lost here, as it says in two places (of the same chapter) in the Zhuangzi (both time attributing this to Confucius):

人莫鑑於流水,而鑑於止水,唯止能止眾止。
平者,水停之盛也。其可以為法也,內保之而外不蕩也。

So I don't think this is the very best example either... Be that as it may, I still don't think this is comparable to the BA construction, the function of 以 is just different.

Well, let's come to the major issue of this lesson, the Mencius definition of Qi:

The first part:

是集義所生者...

If you just look at the sentence as such, I would think there would be three ways of analysing it:

1. [是集[義所生者]] this accumulates what righteousness produced.

2. [是[[集義]所生者]] a. this is what collecting righteousness produces, b. this is what accumulated righteousness produces.

IMHO all three are feasible from the grammatical point of view. But looking at the context, I would agree with Daan's analysis. Mencius is explaining the concept of Qi, and isn't talking about righteousness as "a force" in its own right. But, you could read 義 as "righteous deeds" as Legge does. I'll reproduce his translation here:

It is difficult to describe it. This is the passion-nature: It is exceedingly great, and exceedingly strong. Being nourished by rectitude, and sustaining no injury, it fills up all between heaven and earth. This is the passion-nature: It is the mate and assistant of righteousness and reason. Without it, man is in a state of starvation. It is produced by the accumulation of righteous deeds; it is not to be obtained by incidental acts of righteousness. If the mind does not feel complacency in the conduct, the nature becomes starved.

As to the latter part:

...,非義襲而取之也。

Meaning-wise, it seems clear that both translators read some kind of "sporadicness" meaning into 襲. It is something you consistently accumulate, not by stroke of luck (and thus maybe Fuller's remark, it's not enough "making a surprise attack on a fort", you have to do this consistently). But it's true that this kind of reading doesn't appear in the dictionaries, and is slightly far-fetched, but this seems to be the received opinion about what this passage means :conf

As to the syntax, I fully agree with Daan. It's still 氣 we're talking about here.

Let me try a (clusmy) literal translation of 是集義所生者,非義襲而取之也:

This is what a (consistent) accumulation of righteous deeds produces, it's not the case that (the Qi) is taken by sudden bouts of righteous deeds.

Edited by chrix
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與其還家

is wrong: Should be , meaning "younger brother": 與其還家, meaning "[He] and his brother returned / went home."

5. 為其不樂還家"

As above, should be

為其不樂還家. = "[He] went home because his [younger] brother was unhappy."

Edited by trien27
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Trien27, thanks for pointing out the error. I have edited my post to correct the character. Using a pinyin-based IME is particularly tricky with these classical Chinese sentences.

But given that we are looking at a 也 sentence here, as you can see a bit further down, I would expect to parse this as [是][集義所生者](也), as Lau does.

That's a good point. In my analysis I was actually treating "是集義所生者,非義襲而取之也" as two separate sentences, but if the 也 can be regarded as affecting the two parts, then I suppose it makes sense to regard 集義所生者 as a noun phrase. The fact that both Fuller and Lau punctuate it with a comma seems to support this one-sentence interpretation. I'm still wondering what would make an experienced reader of classical Chinese naturally interpret this text as one 是 [...] 也sentence rather than two sentences. Maybe 是 [X 非 Y] 也 is a typical pattern?

In any case, we have the three possibilities that chrix pointed out:

If you just look at the sentence as such, I would think there would be three ways of analysing it:

1. [是集[義所生者]] this accumulates what righteousness produced.

2. [是[[集義]所生者]] a. this is what collecting righteousness produces, b. this is what accumulated righteousness produces.

If Daan is right and the final 也 affects the whole thing, it seems to me that either 2.a or 2.b would be the correct analysis. I find the analysis in 1 a more straightforward S+V+O, which is why I was leaning towards it, but I have to admit that translation is more difficult with that interpretation. Maybe the meaning of 集 could be taken to be something like "grow out of", which would make more sense than "collect" or "accumulate" in 1, but that may be too much of a semantic stretch. So, based on the context I have to agree with Daan that "Lau's translation looks a bit more logical".

The other difficult bit is "以其外之也". Actually, I have been thinking about this one and looking for similar examples, and I have realised that Lau's translation of the whole sentence is "Hence I said Kao Tzu never understood rightness because he looked upon it as external". I think the key here is "because", which is a possible meaning of 以 according to Pulleyblank:

The coverb 以 governing a nominalized clause as its object may be equivalent to English 'because.'

596.
Sòng yǐ qí shàn yú Jìn hóu yě, pàn Chǔ jí Jìn. 宋以其善於晉侯也,叛楚即晉。

Sòng, because of having made friends with the Marquis of Jìn, revolted against Chǔ and went over to Jìn. (
Zuǒ
Xī 26/7)

Note that, as in the examples with 及 'when,' etc., the nominalized clause is marked off by final 也. Wèi 為 'for' can be used similarly.

Edwin G. Pulleyblank, Outline of Classical Chinese Grammar, pp 161 - 162

I think Pulleyblank's explanation can be applied to our phrase, and we can translate it literally as ""because of his (i.e. Gaozi's) considering it external".

Be that as it may, I still don't think this is comparable to the BA construction, the function of 以 is just different.

In the case of the above sentence, you're certainly right, but I wonder if you can say this in general. 以 as a coverb seems to have a wide range of meanings and while looking for more examples I have come across some uses that seem very close to 把. The clearest case I've found is this line from the Analects:

以其子妻之. I have found it here, where it is translated as 孔子把女兒嫁給了他 . This use of the verb 妻 qì in the pattern 以 [一女] 妻 [一男] is like modern 把 [一個女人] 嫁給 [一個男人], so I suppose in some cases we can assume that the broad semantic range of 以 covers the role of modern 把 too.

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Interestingly enough, 第 was derived from 弟. If you look up the latter, you can see that it has the same meaning of "order" as the former. But of course it doesn't work the other way round, so trien was right in pointing that out.

I agree with Daan's analysis that the 也 applies to both clauses, but I also think that the syntactic properties of Classical Chinese sometimes make it quite hard to make sense of the internal structures of a text... Often we can only surmise what the most likely interpretation is from the context given.

Actually after rereading your post, Jose, I totally agree with your analysis of 以 as "because" and [其[外之]]也 as a nominalisation with 其 as a marker of nominalisation and subject, so I deleted the comments I wrote down earlier.

My main objection against your BA comparison is that in the BA construction, BA marks the object of the predicate, and this is not the case with 以. Another, admittedly weak point, is that in Literary Modern Chinese, it is not 以 that is used like BA but 將.

Edited by chrix
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My main objection against your BA comparison is that in the BA construction, BA marks the object of the predicate, and this is not the case with 以. Another, admittedly weak point, is that in Literary Modern Chinese, it is not 以 that is used like BA but 將.

After thinking about it for a while, I agree that the uses of 以 that I have been comparing to 把 are unlike the modern construction. It seems that in all the classical examples I have seen the object of the coverb 以 cannot be interpreted as a fronted object of the main verb. I thought the equivalence 以 (...) 妻 (...) = 把 (...) 嫁給 was a clear case, but I have realised that the fact that 嫁 collocates with 給 indicates that 妻 and 嫁 follow different grammatical patterns: in the first case, the boy is 妻'ed with the girl whereas in the second case the girl is 嫁'ed to the boy. So, it seems that you're right that we're talking about different constructions here.

This makes me wonder: how would you translate into classical Chinese a modern phrase like 把這本書翻譯成日文? I think the use of 將 is a later development, so if there was not a similar mechanism in the classical language, would simple coordination, something like 譯此書成 (or 為?) 日文, be acceptable?

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Yes, I'd think so. I would assume you'd get a construction such as "translate X into/as language Y", as in many languages too.

In fact, my dictionary has a quote from a monk's preface to a Buddhist glossary from the 9th century C.E.:

夫翻譯者,謂翻梵天之語,轉成漢地之言。
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Interestingly enough, 第 was derived from 弟. If you look up the latter, you can see that it has the same meaning of "order" as the former.

As you should all now know, some words in Classical Chinese uses the primary / simple form before radicals & such were added to re-clarify them: 弟 was used phonetically for 第, because 第 didn't exist yet at that time. Both 第 & 弟 has the same pronunciation, so it's due to the sound loan of 弟, dì for 第. 第 = 弟 minus the two top dots plus ⺮ or bamboo radical on top.

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how would you translate into classical Chinese a modern phrase like 把這本書翻譯成日文?

In Modern Chinese, should be 把這本書翻譯成日[本]語.

In Classical Chinese would be 將此册譯為扶桑文.

把 = 將

這 = 此

There's no measure words in Classical Chinese.

書 = 册 = bamboo scrolls which were used as "books".

翻譯 = 譯

成 [為] = 為

日 [本] = 扶桑, fu sang = an ancient Chinese way of thinking that this mythical island is Japan.

文 = language in Classical Chinese, but should be 語 in Modern Chinese.

I think the use of 將 is a later development

I don't agree, because the radical of 將 is really a picture of a weapon, which I can't find the character online, which looks very similar to 爿 used in ancient China. This weapon might be the one used by the generals or "將軍".

Edited by trien27
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What you're saying about 第 is correct, only your time frame is wrong: this was true for pre-Classical Chinese (aka Archaic Chinese), by the time of Classical Chinese, 第 was already in use.

將此册譯為扶桑文

Do you have a source for this sentence?

The earliest I can find 將 used like 把 is the Tang era. In the sense of "use", you can also find the following example from the Zhanguoce, but this is still a ways off from a more generalised use:

而將其頭為飲器
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I don't agree, because the radical of 將 is really a picture of a weapon, which I can't find the character online, which looks very similar to 爿 used in ancient China. This weapon might be the one used by the generals or "將軍".

What's that got to do with the question whether 將 was used like 把 or not? What this boils down to is whether you can find a Classical text with 將 used like that or not. My Classical Chinese dictionaries only give texts from Tang and later...

I also don't think that 為 wasn't used like a resultative complement along the lines of 成 in Modern Mandarin, this is also a post-classical development. When used in the Classical period, it still had a full lexical meaning like "as", like in my example from the Zhanguoce above.

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After thinking about it for a while, I agree that the uses of 以 that I have been comparing to 把 are unlike the modern construction. It seems that in all the classical examples I have seen the object of the coverb 以 cannot be interpreted as a fronted object of the main verb. I thought the equivalence 以 (...) 妻 (...) = 把 (...) 嫁給 was a clear case, but I have realised that the fact that 嫁 collocates with 給 indicates that 妻 and 嫁 follow different grammatical patterns: in the first case, the boy is 妻'ed with the girl whereas in the second case the girl is 嫁'ed to the boy. So, it seems that you're right that we're talking about different constructions here.

娶 / 娶妻 = to take a woman as your wife

妻 / 妻子 = wife [For those men with concubines, this would be the "official" wife, meaning the only one the man had a Traditional Chinese wedding ceremony with]. 妻 is never used as a verb, only a noun.

嫁 = for a woman "to marry" [a man]

嫁給 = for a woman "to be married to" [a "man"]

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