Dissertation > Language, writing > Chinese > Ancient Chinese

A Comparative Study of the Four Editions of Lao Ch’i-ta

Author LiTaiZuo
Tutor JiangLanSheng
School Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Course Chinese History
Keywords Lao Qi Da Language Studies Lao Qi Da Yan Jie Grammatical components Hybrid Yuan Dynasty in northern Chinese Historical literature Grid additional ingredients Ancestral hall set Writing years
CLC H109.2
Type PhD thesis
Year 2000
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This dissertation is a comparative grammatical study of the four editions of Lao Ch’i-ta as follows: 1) the Yuan edition (edition A); 2) Lao Ch’i-ta Yanjie (edition B) which reflects the revision made in Ming dynasty; 3) Lao Ch’i-ta Xinshi which was published in 1761 under the reign of Emperor Qianlong, Qing dynasty (edition C); 4) Chongkan Lao Ch’i-ta which was published in 1795 also under the reign of Emperor Qianlong, Qing dynasty (edition D). Edition A is a new source of material found in Korea in 1998, which offers vital data for this textual research. With the authentication of an array of terms of place and things reflecting features characteristic of the time of this edition and related historical records, this dissertation holds that edition A was compiled no later than the period a little prior to 1346 under the reign of Emperor Shundi, Yuan dynasty, which reflects the status of the Chinese language used in north China.Through a linguistic comparison of the four editions, which reflects thedevelopment of Chinese in north China over a span of about 400 years, thisdissertation offers a dynamic examination aimed at the discovery of the language changes and their rules as follows:1. Newly-emerged components, functions, and structures. The adverb of degree and the sentence-end particle are grammatical components newly emerged in Yuan dynasty. The plural marker / at the end of noun, the inclusive vs. exclusive distinction in first pronoun plural, and the locatives in the "Noun+Locative" structure with function similiar to case particles also emerged first in Yuan dynasty. The structure patterns newly formed in this period include the frequently-used OV/SOV pattern and locative-as-adverbial sentences, some adverbs no longer confined to the position prior to the modified, and the condensed patterns of hypothetical sentence. As for the expression mode in the sequence of A-B-C-D, there is a tendency to transform the "Adverbial+Predicate" structure into the "Predicate+Complement" or the "Predicate+Object" structure, and a tendency to transform locativeadverbial into locative object.2. Changes of the original grammatical components or patterns. The "V+ +O" pattern shows sign of decline in editions A and B, whereas in editions C and D is superceded by and and is therefore absent. sentence is mostly replaced by sentence for disposal structure. The "0V" structure in editions A and B is replaced by sentence in editions C and D, which greatly attributes to the prominent increase of the use of disposalstructure. The rhetoric question pattern of "...... , ?" in Zutang Ji, whichwas written in Five Dynasties period, is changed into " VP , / ?" in editions A and B, and further into "VP ?AFVP ?" in editions C and D.This dissertation holds that some of the aforesaid phenomena are resulted by the general regularity of diachronical variation of Chinese, while others may be the result of the influence from Altaic languages like Mongolian.The Mongolian influence to Chinese usually follow two paths: 1) direct imitation, eg the sentence-end , / as plural marker following animal terms, and the sentence-end negative marker; 2) loan replacement, eg the use of locatives in place of the abundant Mogolian case particles.In the progress of the mutual influence of Chinese and Mongolian, some hybrid forms emerged, eg the use of both preposition and postposition in the syntactic patterns imitating Mongolian. Due to the establishment of Ming dynasty and the annhilation of Mongolian impact, not only the grammatical components and patterns featuring direct imitation failed to be preserved, but the hybrid patterns were difficult to be perpetuated too. Either they perished with a drastically shrinking frequency or they survived after having undergone further alteration by the rule of Chinese. Generally speaking, the diachronical variations in grammar reflected in the four editions of Lao Ch’i-ta shed a light on the development path that Chinese in the north has diverted f

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