A Cultural History of the Chinese Language


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About the Book

Chinese, one of the oldest active languages, evolved over 5,000 years. As such, it makes for a fascinating case study in the development of language. This cultural history of Chinese demonstrates that the language grew and responded to its music and visual expression in a manner very similar to contemporary English and other Western languages. Within Chinese cultural history lie the answers to numerous questions that have haunted scholars for decades: How does language relate to worldview? What would happen to law after its language loses absolute binding power? How do music, visual, and theatrical images influence literature? By presenting Chinese not as a system of signs but as the history of a community, this study shows how language has expanded the scope of Chinese imagination and offers a glimpse into the future of younger languages throughout the world.

About the Author(s)

Sharron Gu, the author of several books in international law, has traveled the world for thirty years to research different cultures and languages. She lives in Ontario, Canada.

Bibliographic Details

Sharron Gu
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 270
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6649-8
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8827-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction      3

Part I. Music, Dance and the Sound of Poetry      11
1. Music, Dance and Words      13
2. From Pictures and Graphs to Words      33
3. The Music of Poetry      53

Part II. Painting, Theatre and the Imagery of Poetry      87
4. History of Painting      89
5. Imagery and Narrative of Nature      117
6. Rhythm and Imagery of Feeling      145
7. Poetry on Stage      180
8. A Few Final Words      209

Chapter Notes      213
Bibliography      221
Index      261