During the XIXth century, the leaders of the Chinese empire promoted a wide activity of translation of the most important scientific works of the time. Their goal was to grasp the tools for modernizing the economy of the country and for overcoming the technological and military difference with Western countries, which in those years were jeopardizing Chinese economic structure and defeating Chinese army. The scholars who undertook the task of translating those works had to face the difficult lexical question of creating new sets of words in order to give Chinese language a lexicon through which express the notions introduced from the West. The inquiries carried out in the last 30 years have demonstrated that the translations underwent some changes during the second half of XIX century and the first twenty years of XX century. My paper will expose the results of an analysis of the lexicon created for the grammatical notions, as it can be found out in two of the first Chinese texts dealing with grammar: Yingwen juyu (Examples of English Language), by Wang Fengzao, published in 1879, textbook of English language for Chinese students; Mashi wentong (General Rules of Language by Mr. Ma), by Ma Jianzhong, published in 1898, renown as the first grammar of Chinese language. Firstly, the aim of this research is to verify the results through the comparison with the general tendencies hypothesized by the scholars. The second goal is to find out, through an inquiry about the social facts and cultural context of the two essays on study, whether and how historical differences influenced the coinage of Chinese grammatical lexicon and, in turn, the evolution of Chinese linguistics.

The Coinage of Chinese Grammatical Lexicon: Neologisms and Influence of the Historical Context

PELLIN, TOMMASO
2005

Abstract

During the XIXth century, the leaders of the Chinese empire promoted a wide activity of translation of the most important scientific works of the time. Their goal was to grasp the tools for modernizing the economy of the country and for overcoming the technological and military difference with Western countries, which in those years were jeopardizing Chinese economic structure and defeating Chinese army. The scholars who undertook the task of translating those works had to face the difficult lexical question of creating new sets of words in order to give Chinese language a lexicon through which express the notions introduced from the West. The inquiries carried out in the last 30 years have demonstrated that the translations underwent some changes during the second half of XIX century and the first twenty years of XX century. My paper will expose the results of an analysis of the lexicon created for the grammatical notions, as it can be found out in two of the first Chinese texts dealing with grammar: Yingwen juyu (Examples of English Language), by Wang Fengzao, published in 1879, textbook of English language for Chinese students; Mashi wentong (General Rules of Language by Mr. Ma), by Ma Jianzhong, published in 1898, renown as the first grammar of Chinese language. Firstly, the aim of this research is to verify the results through the comparison with the general tendencies hypothesized by the scholars. The second goal is to find out, through an inquiry about the social facts and cultural context of the two essays on study, whether and how historical differences influenced the coinage of Chinese grammatical lexicon and, in turn, the evolution of Chinese linguistics.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11393/44886
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