This is a multilingual panel that encompasses five major languages, the reciprocal propagation and reception among which shape intercultural networks in pre-modern East and Inner Asia: Classical Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan, Tangut, and Sanskrit, the language that brought profound changes to the way that East and Inner Asians reflect, analyze, and perceive their own languages. These four papers will weave, with diversified primary materials and emic perspectives, a panorama on the teaching and learning, and even eulogizing and fantasizing, of politically and religiously influential foreign languages, as perceived by different cultural groups.
Jeffrey Kotyk will commence the unfolding of this border-crossing picture with a trilingual Japanese-Chinese-Sanskrit glossary compendium, exploring medieval Japanese Buddhist analysis of Sanskrit via Classical Chinese. Nikita Kuzmin next expands the horizon encompassing two Inner Asian languages, examining 12th-century Tibetan monks’ endeavors in mastering the logographic Tangut script, concomitant with the Tibetans’ politically activist roles in the Tangut Western Xia Kingdom. Then follows John Carlyle’s ab uno disce omnes survey of Classical Chinese acquisition in Heian Japan, featuring a unique, historical phonological method, by which modern readers could realize the Japanese process of systematizing the adaptation of a native Chinese spelling tradition. Last, Shuheng Zhang winds up this pentalingual inspection by connecting trilogical themes of Sanskrit language conceptualization in Tang-Song China – Dunhuang "Verses on Siddham", “Ranking the Rimes” studies, and Sanskrit enthusiasts. Together, we hope to introduce innovative viewpoints through the linguistic lens of pedagogical and propagational methods, whereby various East and Inner Asian politico-cultural identities become clarified.
Paper Presenter: Jeffrey Kotyk – University of British Columbia
Paper Presenter: Nikita Kuzmin – University of Pennsylvania
Paper Presenter: John Carlyle – University of Washington
Paper Presenter: Shuheng Zhang – University of Pennsylvania