20世纪书面汉语语言变化——欧化宣言 哲学博士学位论文外文翻译资料

 2022-11-18 14:35:58

Language change in 20th century written Chinese - The claim for Europeanization

By R Cordes

Dissertation zur Erlangung des Grades einer Doktorin der Philosophie am Fachbereich Asien-Afrika-Wissenschaften der Universitauml;t Hamburg Vorgelegt von Ruth Cordes aus Waiblingen Hamburg 2014

(“The Europeanization of grammar has been an event of great consequence in the history of our language.” (transl. by Alain Peyraube 2000) Wang Li (1944/45)

“Only the grammar of the Chinese language remained remarkably stable amidst all these changes.” Alain Peyraube (2000)

Linguistic – or language – change happens everywhere and at all times, accelerated by social upheavals, though generally slower in written than in spoken language (cf. Gluuml;ck 1993: 590). Whereas linguistic change is on some levels so fast it can be easily observed, like phonetic or semantic change, it is generally rather slow on other levels, like grammar (or morphosyntax). In written language, however, the conservative force of the letter is challenged by the possibility to purposefully prefer the one formulation or structure over the other. Where in spoken language people tend to structure their utterances automatically according to patterns acquired since childhood, they can formulate much more consciously in written language, which means that this would be the area where they experiment with new, fashionable expressions or grammatical structures.

The two contradicting views above, by Wang Li and Alain Peyraube, mark the two extremes in the discussion about the origin and extent of linguistic change in 20th century written Chinese. Wang Li, with his broader notion of 语法 yŭfă – grammar – (including lexicon, stylistics and writing), saw this change as a result of contact with European languages, whereas Alain Peyraube, representing a narrower concept of grammar, found other sources of influence on 20th century written Chinese.

The one point both can agree on is: Written Chinese did change radically since the middle of the 19th century. At the beginning of this process was the highly esteemed Literary Chinese in all variations (or, later, called weacute;nyaacute;n 文言), and the low written Language change in 20th century written Chinese –Colloquial Chinese (later known as baacute;ihuagrave; 白话), which was by traditional scholars considered unfit to express serious contents. The problem was that it took a lot of time to master the literary language, so that huge parts of the society were excluded from literacy. Towards the end of the 19th century, several attempts were made to use a more accessible type of language for newspapers and magazines intended for the reading of larger portions of the society.1 For the sake of alphabetization of former peasants that were needed as industrial workers, and in the attempt to teach people so they could participate in political discussions and thereby constitute a modern nation, means were sought to allow them to learn how to read and write in a shorter time and, above all, in a language that was near to their spoken language.

Several people were occupied with the improvement of written Chinese: Some with the creation of a phonetic writing for Chinese, similar to the Japanese syllabary or using Latin script as a basis, others with the unification of the pronunciation of Chinese characters. In fact, in 1913 a conference was summoned to define the pronunciation of characters. This again needed a phonetic writing system to record these readings. Also the educational system reflected the switch from Literary to Colloquial Chinese as the subject to teach children in school: Since the 1910s, the language taught was called guoacute;weacute;n国文 (national written language), which in 1920 was changed into guoacute;yŭ 国语 (national spoken language; until then, the term “national language”, guoacute;yŭ 国语, referred to the Manju language of the Qing dynasty rulers).

The necessity to reform was felt in nearly every aspect of public life, like the government, educational system, economy and commerce among others (even down to clothing and hairstyle), as well as in language and literature, which in its turn had to serve the modernization. 1 Starting around 1868 (the year of Huang Zunxians “famous line wŏ shŏu xiě wŏ kŏu lsquo;my hand writes as I say with my mouthrsquo;”, Chen 1999: 70) was the movement for the unification of spoken and written language. The role of baacute;ihuagrave; as a means of mass education was highlighted by Qiu Tingliang in 1898: “There is no more effective tool than weacute;nyaacute;n for keeping the whole population in ignorance, and there is no more effective tool than baacute;ihuagrave; for making it wise.” (Tan 1956 cited by Chen 1999: 70) Around the Reform Movement of 1898, baacute;ihuagrave; newspapers, textbooks and dictionaries were published “all around the country” (Chen 1999: 71). Language change in 20th century written Chinese –The country that offered itself as a model was Japan, where large numbers of Chinese students went to study abroad, there coming in contact with Western thought.

Japan wrote with characters similar to Chinese, but complemented by two syllabaries, it had a national language used in public education, and it also had had its own Westernization of the written language as described by Klingspon-Mauml;rz/Yasui in 1979.

At the beginning of the 20th century, some Chinese scholars tried to find the explanation for the supremacy of European colonial powers in the nature of their languages – like the estimation that “Germany is strong, because its language contains many voiced sounds and China is weak because Mandarin lacks them” (Ramsey 1987: 7 about the linguistic knowledge of the delegates of the 1913 conference on pronunciation).

The New Culture Movement, starting at the middle of the 1910s, brought a great leap forward for the creation of a modern standard language meeting the needs of a modern national state. At that time, written Chinese consisted, according to Chen Ping (1999: 76) of these fo




R Cordes





“在所有语言变化中,只有汉语保持稳定。”——Alain Peyraube (2000)


上述中,王力和阿兰·佩劳伯的两个相互矛盾的观点,标志着两人对20世纪语言变化起源、范围的讨论中的两个极端。在接触欧洲语言时,王力借助其广泛的语法知识(包括词汇,文体学和写作) 觉察到了这种变化;而阿兰·佩劳伯则代表一个更狭义的语法概念,她发现了20世纪其他汉语的影响源。





20世纪初,一些中国学者试图从语言中为欧洲殖民力量的优越性寻求解释,例如,她们认为“德国强大,是因为德语中有许多浊音;而中国贫弱,是因为普通话中缺少浊音。”(Ramsey 1987.7: 关于“1913语音会议”与会代表的语言学知识)














不过,Heine 和Kuteva(2005)却指出,事实并非像我们先前假设的那样,“不同语言间语法意义和结构的转换是惯常的,这一转换由语法变化的通用过程塑造。”她们列出了:







20世纪上半叶早起,欧化呼声很高——傅斯年在1919年首次提出西化要求,而诸如Hertze Ke的著作者则提出了反对(Hertze Ke在1928年提出反对意见)。但这一切至今还未得到系统研究。第一个对此进行研究的是王力,他在1944欧化语法一书中用了两个章节来研究这一论题。在他之后,其他人则像第二章、第三章里所示的那样将欧化作为调查主题。



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