By Perry Link
During the Cultural Revolution, Mao exhorted the chinese language humans to “smash the 4 olds”: previous customs, outdated tradition, previous behavior, and outdated principles. but while the pink Guards in Tiananmen sq. chanted “We are looking to see Chairman Mao,” they unknowingly used a classical rhythm that dates again to the Han interval and is the very embodiment of the 4 olds. An Anatomy of Chinese finds how rhythms, conceptual metaphors, and political language exhibit known meanings of which chinese language audio system themselves is probably not consciously conscious, and contributes to the continued debate over even if language shapes inspiration, or vice versa.
Perry Link’s inquiry into the workings of chinese language finds convergences and divergences with English, so much strikingly within the zone of conceptual metaphor. various spatial metaphors for realization, for example, suggest that English audio system get up whereas audio system of chinese language wake throughout. different underlying metaphors within the languages are comparable, lending aid to theories that find the origins of language within the mind. the excellence among daily-life language and authentic language has been strangely major in modern China, and hyperlink explores how usual voters learn how to play language video games, artfully wielding officialese to boost their pursuits or shield themselves from others.
Particularly provocative is Link’s attention of ways Indo-European languages, with their choice for summary nouns, generate philosophical puzzles that chinese language, with its choice for verbs, avoids. The mind-body challenge that has plagued Western tradition will be essentially much less challenging for audio system of Chinese.
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Additional info for An Anatomy of Chinese: Rhythm, Metaphor, Politics
For example, to say that there is a break between guo and da in pingguo da means only that there is less of a break (or none at all) between ping and guo.
In modern Mandarin doufu 䈚㜤 is ‘bean curd’. ” But for most people most of the time (including buyers, sellers, and eaters of bean curd who may have been illiterate), doufu was a twosyllable word. Moreover it had a clear internal stress pattern: always DOUfu, never douFU. Examples of other two-syllable words or phrases are innumerable. Rhythmic patterns become more complex, as we shall see, when three or more syllables are involved. ” The ability to recognize that “something’s wrong” in cases like this extends well beyond the small group of people who can explain—in terms of syllables, stresses, and so on—why it is wrong.
A “pause” exists only by comparison to transitions that pause less. For example, to say that there is a break between guo and da in pingguo da means only that there is less of a break (or none at all) between ping and guo.