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Identical Variants: Examples of Different Meanings in Ancient Chinese Texts

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2015-2016 School of Chinese Seminar

Identical Variants: Examples of Different Meanings in Ancient Chinese Texts

夏含夷教授 Professor Edward L. Shaughnessy

Department of East Asian Languages & Civilizations, University of Chicago

Date and Time: December 7, 2015 (Monday); 5:30-6:45pm
Venue: Room 730, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU
Language: Putonghua


“Identical” “variants” seems to be a contradiction in terms, and yet due to the nature of the Chinese writing system, not only can a single character have different meanings, but it can also represent different words. This phenomenon is readily seen in Chinese literature, but is even more common in excavated texts. In this paper, I will examine two such examples found in recently published excavated texts, and will also go on to discuss their significance with respect to what has been called “reading customs.”

夏含夷教授 是芝加哥大學東亞語文系顧立雅講座教授,主要研究領域為中國古代文化史、出土文獻學與經學。他的中文著作包括《古史異觀》(2005)、《興與象:中國古代文化史論集》(2012)、《重寫中國古代文獻》(周博群譯,2012)、《孔子之前:中國經典誕生的研究》(2013)。

Professor Edward L. Shaughnessy is the Lorraine J. and Herrlee G. Creel Distinguished Service Professor in Early Chinese Studies in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, the University of Chicago. The author of such English-language works as Sources of Western Zhou History: Inscribed Bronze Vessels (1991), Before Confucius: Studies in the Creation of the Chinese Classics (1997), Rewriting Early Chinese Texts (2005), Unearthing the Changes: Recently Discovered Manuscripts of the Yijing (I Ching) and Related Texts (2014), and co-editor (with Michael Loewe) of The Cambridge History of Ancient China: From the Origins of Civilization to 221 B.C. (1999), his primary field of interest is the cultural history of ancient China, especially its unearthed documents and transmitted literature.

All are welcome !

海報 Poster [1]

http://www.hku.hk/chinese [2]

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[1] 海報 Poster: http://web.chinese.hku.hk/poster/20151207.pdf

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