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The Chinese Repository Volume 13

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Chinese Repository Volume 13.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1844 edition. Excerpt: ...devoid of clearness and precision, and made thus studiously obscure, the meaning is to be extracted, by conjecturally supplying inflections, parts of speech, connective particles, points, paragraphs, and all the other ordinary means of precision and perspicuity. But the relation of the written to the spoken language creates a new class of most embarrassing difficulties. In the first place, the spoken words have no definite association with the written ones. Analysis of the component parts of a written group does not afford any certain guide to the spoken word representing the group. That is, the Chinese language is almost totally devoid of the quality common to all European languages, and to most of the Asiatic languages, of deriving the sound of a written word from the sound of its elementary characters. In the second place, the Chinese is remarkable for the paucity of its spoken words. They are exclusively monosyllables, with perhaps some few exceptions more apparent than real. These monosyllables, it is said, are but three hundred and forty-two in number, and by the help of aspirates, tones, and accents, are augmented to one thousand three hundred and thirty-one: and by these are the ten, twenty, thirty, or eighty, thousand written words to be represented to the ear. Of course, the same spoken word stands for numerous written words: and the obscurity thus occasioned makes continual reference to the written signs necessary in all the intercourse of life. And the spoken sounds being preserved by tradition only, without any written signs by which they are necessarily, or can in fact, be fixed in the memory, and communicated from man to man, the greatest differences exist, all over China, in the pronunciation of the same word: so that the...
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  • PDF | 266 pages
  • Anonymous (Author)
  • TheClassics.us (12 Sept. 2013)
  • English
  • 7
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