The Chinese Character

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Transcript of The Chinese Character

  • 1. The Chinese scriptOf its origin and development

2. Outline

  • The origin of Chinese script
    • A brief introduction
    • Various guesses and the legend of Cang jie
    • The early format- Oracle Bone Script in the Shang Dynasty
    • 16th11th century B.C.
  • Great changes in history
    • The artificial standardization in the Qin Dynasty
    • The artificial simplification in P.R.C
      • On the way to Latinization
  • Today
    • Simplification and Latinization- the debate never ceases
    • Chinese script in Japan and Korea

3. A brief introduction

  • One of the oldest and most widely used writing systems in the world.
    • With a history of 5000~6000 years, and is used by about 1/4 of the total population on earth.
    • They are the basic carriers of the traditional Chinese culture, and, have played a critical role in the long history of the Chinese nation.
  • It is an ideographic writing system, in which the graphic structure is directly related to the meaning
  • Composition:
    • According to a traditional theory known as Liu Shu (six writings)
    • There are six types of characters in the terms of their composition: pictographic/ indicatives/ ideographs/ phonetic compounds/ mutual explanatory/ phonetic loans.

4. The origin of Chinese script

  • Various guess recorded in the ancient books
    • Knotting / the Eight Diagrams / Drawing

Fu XI +5,000 years ago 5. The origin of Chinese Script

  • The popular legend ofCang Jie
    • One story says he saw a divine being whose face had unusual features which looked like a picture of writings. In imitation of his image, Cangjie created the earliest written characters.
    • After that, certain ancient accounts go on to say, millet rained from heaven and the spirits howled every night to lament the leakage of the divine secret of writing.
    • Another story says that Cangjie saw the footprints of birds and beasts, which inspired him to create written characters.

+5,000 years ago 6. The origin of Chinese Script

  • The Oracle Bones
    • The script was developed in the late Shang Dynasty16th11th century B.C.
    • Before late 19th century, the Oracle Bones were considered as a traditional Chinese medicine, rather than precious cultural relic.
    • Wang YirongandLiu Estarted collecting and indepth study of the Oracle Bones, and in 1903,Liu Epublished the first book in this field.
    • Up to now, about 2,000 characters have been recognized.

Dawenkou Culture in Shan Dong+ 4500 years ago 7. Great Changes in history

  • First artificial standardization in the Qin Dynasty
    • During the years ofto, Ancient China underwent the Chun Qiu period and The War States period, when several slavery states fought with each other and there were no superpowers to overrule the land.
    • In the years of ,a western state, Qin, gradually grew strong and in, the King of Qin finally conquered all the other six great powers to establish the first feudal society in the Chinese histoty.
    • By then, the Qin dynasty was still in the disintegrated status: all the former six countries had been using their own measurement, own language and writing script style.
    • Thus as one of the key methods to strength the new empire, Qin standardized the Chinese scripts for the first time in the history, also with some simplification of the system.
    • It was called Writing with the same scripts

8. Great changes in history

  • First artificial standardization in the Qin Dynasty

9. Great changes in history

  • The artificial simplification in P.R.C- The process
    • 1951 6 6
    • 1954 11
    • 1955 10 15
    • 1955 12 22
    • 1956 1 31
    • 1956 1 1
    • 1958 2 11
    • 1977 12 20
    • 1977 9 7

10. Great changes in history

  • On the way to Latinization
  • - The early advocators
    • Qian Xuantong,famous thinker in late Qing Dynasty, professor of Peking University
    • Qu Qiubai,secretary-general of the Party in the 1930s stated that the Chinese script wass the most dirty and fouland wretched mediaeval latrine pit.
    • Lu Xun ,
    • The USSR supported the inclination.
    • Nearly all the western sinological linguist agreed that the Chinese language system was primeval and only the phoneticism marks the advanced culture.

11. Great changes in history

  • On the way to Latinization
  • - Preparation of PRC
    • 1956-1958 (The Pin Yin Project) passed by the State Department.
    • Pin Yin was intended to help eliminate illiteracy during the first stage, and meanwhile generalized the simplified Chinese characters to substitute for the abolished ancient complex scripts.
    • In the 1957 anti-rightwing movement, nearly all the objectors were accused as Rightwings and some were persecuted to death.

12. Thank You