Highlights of Chinese Civilization and Local Culture. 中国地方文化英语导读 00041010 School of Foreign Languages Suzhou University. 第三章 汉语言文字（ Language ）. 1 、教学内容： 掌握汉语的起源、发展以及汉字特征及书画艺术。 讲授内容： (1). 汉语言文字的起源和发展及其特征 (2). 书画艺术及其重要文化内涵 (3). 文房四宝 2 、教学要点： 重点掌握汉语言文字的特征及其对中华文明发展的重要意义。.
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Highlights of Chinese Civilization and Local Culture 中国地方文化英语导读 00041010 School of Foreign Languages Suzhou University
第三章 汉语言文字（Language） • 1、教学内容： • 掌握汉语的起源、发展以及汉字特征及书画艺术。 • 讲授内容： • (1). 汉语言文字的起源和发展及其特征 • (2). 书画艺术及其重要文化内涵 • (3). 文房四宝 • 2、教学要点： • 重点掌握汉语言文字的特征及其对中华文明发展的重要意义。
Languages and Script of China A threshold leading human from ignorance to civilization
Origin • Development • Character • Four Treasure
Warming up---What do you know about Chinese characters • When did Chinese characters come into being? • Are Chinese characters pictographs? • How many types of structure of Chinese characters? Can you name some of them? • Can you say something about the origin and development of Chinese characters?
Methods to keep a record of events in Ancient China • 1. Knots According to the records, Shennong, a legendary emperor of China, recorded information by means of knots as well. • 2. Inscriptions(carvings & pictures) • 3. Logographs (drawing pictures, hieroglyphs象形文字)
A Comparision between Dongba hieroglyphs and the oracle bone scripts
When did the written language come into being? • Chinese is among the world’s oldest written languages. Chinese characters evolved from pictographs into characters formed of strokes, with their structures very much simpler. • The written language came much later than the oral language, it came into being about 5 thousand years ago. • Ideograph is the original form of Paleography. Chinese character originated from the logograph that was invented earlier than the Oracle bone Script.
Cangjie Created Chinese Script There have been legends about the origin of the Chinese script, with nearly all ancient writers attributing it to a man named Cangjie Cangjie, according to one legend, 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 Another story says that Cangjie saw the footprints of birds and beasts, which inspired him to create written language.
The Development of Chinese Characters • jiaguwen (甲骨文 oracle bone inscriptions ) • jinwen （金文 bronze script） • xiaozhuan or zhuanshu (小篆 seal characer) • lishu (隶书 official script) • caoshu(草书 cursive Script ） • xingshu(行书 semi-cursive script ) • kaishu (楷书 regular script)
Structure of Chinese Characters Around 100 A.D. the scholar Xu Shen （许慎） wrote the etymological dictionary (《说文解字》) which differentiates six types of characters: pictographs, ideographs, logical aggregates, phonetic complexes, associative transformation, borrowings. (六书：象形、指事、会意、形声、转注和假借。 )
Traditional six styles-1 • pictographs (象形字) (illustrating the shape of things) • e.g. 山mountain, 鱼fish, 井well
Traditional six styles-2 • The referential characters/Simple ideographs 指事字 (to form a new word by adding a symbol to pictographs) • e.g. 母（mother）: The character is formed by adding two dots in chest of a woman to indicate breasts.
Traditional six styles-3 • The indicative characters/Logical aggregates 会意字(combine the meanings of different characters to create a new meaning) • e.g. a female is 女, a child is 子， and the two together is good 好
Traditional six styles-4 • The pictographic-phonetic characters/Phonetic complexes 形声字( combine the meaning of one character with the sound of another) • e.g. in the character 想 the meaning of think is suggested by heart and the pronunciation is nearly the same as that of 相.
Other examples • 上形下声：景，草 (the upper part of the character indicates the meaning and the lower part of it indicates the sound. • 下形上声: 盒， 驾 （the upper part of the character indicates the sound, and the lower part of it indicates the meaning） • 左形右声： the left part of the character indicates the sound, and the right part of it indicates the meaning）啊，极 • 右形左声：战，功 • 外形内声：圆，府 • 内形外声： 闷，问
Traditional six styles-5 • Associative transformations 转注extend the meaning of a character to related concept. • E.g. 武(weapon) comprising 止(stop) and 戈 (dagger-axe)
Traditional six styles-6 • The phonetic loan characters假借 • The phonetic loan characters are the borrowed homophones. • E.g. 西 (west)
Calligraphy The four basic skills and disciplines of the Chinese literati: qin (a string musical instrument) qi (a strategic board game) shu (calligraphy), hua (painting),
Calligraphy is an art dating back to the earliest day of history, and widely practiced throughout China to this day. Although it uses Chinese words as its vehicle of expression, one does not have to know Chinese to appreciate its beauty. Because in essence, Calligraphy is an abstract art. While viewing a Western abstract painting, one does not ask, “What is it?” When viewing Chinese calligraphy, one need not ask, “What is the Chinese word?”
Tu Meng of the Tang dynasty (618-905) developed 120 expressions to describe different styles of calligraphy and establish criteria for them. The first 15 from his list are: ability, mysterious, careful, carefree, balance, unrestrained, mature, virile, grace, sober, well-knit, prolix, rich, exuberant, classic
A gracefully executed work has no peer. Bold yet fluid Formal
Balance A carefree style has no fixed directions. The character is Sui (to follow), in cursive style. The movement of the strokes suggests speed, by a dancing rather than a racing speed. By Wang Xizhi. Geometric
Spoken Chinese • The Chinese language: spoken by the Hans, 94 % of China’s population. • Different, non-Han languages: spoken by the remaining 6 % the so-called minority peoples
Eight major dialects in Chinese language • Wu dialect (spoken by 8.4 percent of Han speakers), • Xiang (spoken by 5 percent), • Cantonese (5 percent), • Min (4.2 percent), • Hakka (4 percent), • Gan (2.4 percent)
Putonghua • The official or common language of the PRC was based on the northern dialect. • various names: Mandarin, Modern standard Chinese, or Putonghua (“common speech”). • It is spoken in various sub-dialect forms by 70 percent of Hans.
Chinese Pinyin • In 1958 : a system of writing-- using the Roman alphabet. • Since 1979: all Chinese diplomatic documents and magazines have used the pinyin system for spelling names and places.
English words with Chinese roots • ginseng (人参), silk （丝）， dimsum （点心）, oolong（乌龙）, fengshui（风水）, kow-tow（叩头）, typhoon （台风）, tao（道），yin and yang（阴阳）, T’ai Chi （太极）, Kung-fu（功夫）, tofu（豆腐）
Chinese character and calligraphy • The writing of Chinese characters was developed into an artistic form. • In addition, the traditional seal carving and engraving assumes a dainty presentation of the graphs or strokes in the characters.
The following is the emblem of 2008 Olympics: “Chinese Seal, Dancing Beijing”. • Please ponder on the rich connotations and charms of these Chinese characters and the traditional Chinese calligraphic art.
Simplification of Chinese Characters • Over thousands of years, Chinese characters had been written in vertical lines from right to left. • In the interests of promoting universal literacy, the Committee for Reforming the Chinese Language was set up by the government in 1954. Around 2200 Chinese characters were simplified.
Minority Nationality Languages, and Characters • 21 own writing systems & Different language families • The most minority languages belong to the Han-Zang family(汉藏语系) • E.G. the languages for Zhuang(壮), Zang(藏), Bu Yi(布依), Tai(傣), Tu Jia(土家), Miao(苗), Bai(白), Yao(瑶)… • the Indian Europe family(印欧语系)…
Four Treasures Describe the “four treasure of the study”.