China and Inner Asia
During the 19th century, the European tradition of language description became increasingly globalized: not only were more Europeans writing dictionaries and grammars about non-European languages, in this case East Asian scholars also began to apply European models to their own languages. For languages with a long literary tradition like Chinese and Japanese, lexicographers and grammarians working with East Asian languages were not only negotiating between different traditions of language description, but also arbitrating between Eastern and Western conceptions of language. This panel examines some of the key dictionaries and grammars written in 19th and early 20th century Japan, China, and France. The panel goes beyond traditional dichotomies between East and West by comparing two East Asian contexts and examining how they coped with the influx of Western ideas. As European models of language description were transposed not only to different languages, but to different socio-political situations, Chinese, French, and Japanese scholars were faced with different challenges and attempted different solutions in order to understand and present languages of China and Japan. Now after more than a century of Western influence and revolutions, more nuanced choices than simply import or resist face scholars of grammatical works on Chinese and Japanese. In this panel, we take a global and multi-disciplinary perspective to explore the choices and compromises between East and West made by several influential public intellectuals, including lexicographers and grammarians, prior to the wholesale introduction of the Western paradigm of linguistic knowledge and grammatical classification in Japan and China.
Paper Presenter: Rui Li – Guangdong University of Finance and Economics
Paper Presenter: Daniele Caccin – University of Verona
Paper Presenter: Jonathan Puntervold – Aarhus University