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A Linguistic Analysis of the Author and Text Formation of Xinian on the Bamboo Slips Collected by Tsinghua University

Vol. 49 No. 2  6/2019

Title

A Linguistic Analysis of the Author and Text Formation of Xinian on the Bamboo Slips Collected by Tsinghua University

Author

Wu Hsueh-ju

Genre

Article

Pages

187-227

Download

PDF

Language

Chinese

Key words

Xinian 繫年, bamboo slips collected by Tsinghua University, formation of text, historical documents

Abstract

   Xinian 繫年is an important historical document on bamboo slips collected by Tsinghua University. This paper analyzes the uses and distribution of “ji 及 / yu與,” “yu于 / yu於,” “yan焉” and “shi 使” in three kinds of documents: Xinian, excavated documents, and documents handed down from the Pre-Qin 秦. This paper presents some arguments about these issues and draws the following conclusions: the usages of “ji / yu” and “yu / yu” show that Xinian was miscellaneous historical writing composed of old and new historical documents; and the usages of “yan” and “shi” are characteristic of the dialect of Chu 楚 State. In other words, the author of Xinian was likely a person (persons) from Chu State or someone who was familiar with the language and characters of Chu State, and the text of Xinian was formed from historical documents belonging to different periods. When composing the text of Xinian, the author(s) inherited some original historical documents without changing their content, but also mixed in some of the local dialect, resulting in a text with some special linguistic features and characters from Chu State.

 

Author: Wu Hsueh-ju
Genre: Article
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