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louiejac

Meaning of 惟我 and the random space after it

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louiejac

I've been trying to read this page of unpunctuated Literary Chinese text (written in the 1980s).

 

http://hkhiso.itsc.cuhk.edu.hk/history/system/files/ST0004 done.pdf, second page of the PDF file, where it starts off with 一九八五年乙丑歲纂編衙前圍吳氏族譜序

 

惟我 祖成達公南遷寶安以來垂六百餘年矣...

 

I think I can understand most of what's on that page, and I hope to imitate this style of writing in my own works.

 

What exactly is the meaning and usage of 惟我, and why is there a space after it? I cannot find an exact match on google, as all the results refer to some other work with a longer title, like 惟我獨仙 or 惟我獨尊, which don't really make sense to me in this context. Is it some polite way for the author to call himself self-centred or conceited?

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Jim

If you look at the list of meaning for 惟 as an auxiliary word lower down the page here, you find: 用于句首,无实义, so I'd say it's something along the lines of "As for me..." then you get the history of the author's ancestors.

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louiejac

Thanks! I suspected that I could just ignore the 惟 without changing the meaning.

 

Does anyone know why I sometimes see random spaces in the middle of sentences? Not just the 惟我 example in my original post, but here's yet another example from 遐邇貫珍, which happens to have punctuation marks.

 

二統所論地性,乃 上帝所成.

 

My friends and I were reading it and were totally confused by the presence of this space mid-sentence. Also, are the big circles paragraph separators?

 

 

spaces.png

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mouse
On 2/4/2020 at 3:01 AM, louiejac said:

Also, are the big circles paragraph separators?

 

Yes. Often they're used in printing without the smaller punctuation marks, which often would be added by the reader by hand. In those cases they're more like phrase breaks. See for example the image below. In my experience, when it comes to printing you usually only get the little dots or the big circles. Seems like overkill to have both.

 

Not sure about the gap. Could be a printing error?

 

 

mp63269902_1457911310323_4.jpeg

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