GAO Yongwei | 高永伟

Lexicographie chinoise | 中国词典学


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Conférences | 讲座系列

ENS – janvier, février 2018 | 巴黎高师-2018年01月、02月


Chinese language

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Jeudi 18 janvier 2018, 17h-19h, salle 236 (29 rue d’Ulm)

Missionary contributions to early bilingual lexicography in China

vidéo :

Jeudi 01 février 2018, 17h-19h, salle 235B (29 rue d’Ulm) 

A synchronic view of the chinese vocabulary

Jeudi 08 février 2018, 17h-19h, salle 236 (29 rue d’Ulm) 

All things lexicographical : a rambling talk on dictionaries and their makers in China

vidéo :

Les conférences se feront en anglais. 



Résumés | 内容提要


Jeudi 18 janvier 2018

Missionary contributions to early bilingual lexicography in China


There has been a consensus among dictionary researchers that the development of bilingual English-Chinese and Chinese-English lexicography in China is characterized by three distinctive stages, namely the late Qing Period (1800-1912), the Republic of China period (1912-1949), and the after-liberation period (1949-). The dictionaries in the latter two periods have been well discussed or analyzed while the first period, due to lack of original copies of dictionaries published more than one hundred years ago, has not been thoroughly dissected. For example, Chinese Lexicography : A History from 1046 BC to AD 1911 written by Heming Yong et al devoted only a few pages to this period which spans almost one hundred years. Although several books and papers devoted to the discussion of early Chinese-English dictionaries or the brief history of bilingual lexicography were published in recent years, the missionary tradition of bilingual dictionary-making, pioneered by Robert Morrison, a Protestant missionary from Britain, failed to catch the attention of many researchers. A perusal of all the bilingual dictionaries published during the Qing period will convince anyone that missionaries played an indispensable role in compiling and publishing bilingual dictionaries which were mainly aimed at facilitating the study of the Chinese language. Therefore, a detailed discussion of the said tradition will not only delineate the history of early bilingual lexicography in China, but also give missionaries credit for the various kinds of lexicographical works they compiled. This paper will center around the major lexicographical contributors in the Qing period (e.g. Morrison, Walter Henry Medhurst, Samuel Wells Williams, Wilhelm Lobscheid, etc.) and their representative works. The contributions of these missionaries will be highlighted while the lexicographical deficiencies therein will also be mentioned.

Jeudi 01 février 2018

A synchronic view of the chinese vocabulary


The Chinese language has been developing in a faster pace than ever before, which can be attributed to a great extent to Chinese people’s easy access to and their heavy reliance on the Internet. One of the most obvious aspects of language growth lies in the emergence of neologisms which have been seen in wider use. In the past, most Chinese people, scholars and laymen alike, would sniff at lexical creations. However, since the 1980s, with China’s economic development, the interest in studying and creating new words has been on a steady rise. In 1984, Lv Shuxiang, a famous linguist, wrote a paper encouraging people to take new words and new meanings seriously, thus sparking a nationwide trend in the research of neologisms, which resulted in the publication of many new-word dictionaries and books solely devoted to their study. The paper attempts to offer an in-depth discussion of the new lexical members in the Chinese language, with much focus put on the classification and the word-formation processes involved in their creation.

Jeudi 08 février 2018

All things lexicographical : a rambling talk on dictionaries and their makers in China


In the English-speaking world, lexicographers such as Samuel Johnson and Noah Webster are household names, but in China no one enjoys a reputation as great as them. Dictionary-makers involved in the compilation of early Chinese-English and English-Chinese dictionaries can be roughly classified into three categories, namely missionaries, foreigners employed in diplomatic, postal, or other services, and native scholars. Missionaries such as Robert Morrison, Walter Henry Medhurst, and Samuel Wells Williams) played an important role in establishing the basic framework of either Chinese-English or English-Chinese lexicography. Diplomats such as George Carter Stent and Herbert Allen Giles were instrumental in the improvement of the quality of Chinese-English dictionaries. Native scholars like Kwong Ki Chiu, although mainly dedicated to the compilation of English-Chinese dictionaries, bridged the gap between the English language and their native language, thus promoting and facilitating the study of the foreign language among the Chinese people. In this paper, three dictionary-makers (namely Loscheid, Giles, and Kwong) in the late Qing Dynasty will be discussed in detail, and their works will be put under careful scrutiny.