Phonetic Rendering Schemes for Chinese Characters: An Introduction 7 March, 2020 9:30 - 11:00 am
The Chinese writing system, like all writing systems based on spoken language, relied heavily on phonetic forms. It first appeared around 1300 BCE and most certainly reflected the spoken language of that time. For ancient Chinese poets and the pious it was important to know how a word was to be read so it could be chanted aloud, either in verse or prayer. As the language(s) that used the system changed over time, the writing system itself evolved much more slowly, rendering many of the phonetic elements of the characters less and less useful as indicators of what word they were representing or how to pronounce it. Come join First Saturday PDX at this introduction by Dr Stephen Wadley to pronunciation tools used earlier in China, later employed by linguists to reconstruct possible early spoken forms of Chinese.
About the speaker: Stephen Wadley is a Professor of Chinese and International Studies at Portland State University.He obtained a PhD in Chinese Linguistics at the University of Washington in 1987.His research interests have been in both historical Chinese linguistics and Altaic languages, particularly the Manchu language.Publications include “The Usage of Post-verbal jīang 將 in the Lao Qida,” in New Horizons in the Study of Chinese Languages: Dialectology, Grammar, and Philology (2016) and “Manchu Transliteration of Chinese Names and Its Implications,” in Scripta (2014). He also co-wrote with Jerry Norman the entry “Manchu” in Brill’s Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics (2016). Wadley was the production editor for Saksaha: A Review of Manchu Studies from 2006 to 2013 and served as President of the Western Branch of the American Oriental Society from 2015 to 2017.
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