This book is intended to provide a foundation in the grammar of classical Chinese on which the student who plans to specialize in classical studies can build, and to give the student of modern Chinese sufficient knowledge of literary Chinese for his purposes. The material was developed over twenty years for use in the course "Introduction to Classical Chinese," as taught at Cornell University, where students of Chinese history and literature began their study of the literary language after one year of modern Chinese, and students in modern fields after two years. It is therefore assumed that the student can already pronounce Chinese words, use a system of romanization, read and write a few hundred Chinese characters, and understand simple passages of modern Chinese. The language studied in this book took shape in the latter half of the first millennium B.C. and persists as a living medium of expression today. Bernhard Karlgren has said of it: "All grammatical expedients which have been current at any time in the past, can be used promiscuously in the literature of later epochs." Texts 1-22 in Volume I constitute the core of the course.
With the accompanying Exercises (also in Volume I), they provide material for about forty class sessions, thus leaving time in a normal academic year to take up a selection from Texts 23-34 and the Additional Texts A-N. (All are included in Volume I.) Most of the first twenty-two texts are from classical works of the formative period when the basic syntax was established. The remaining texts illustrate later grammatical forms and contain subject matter of considerable variety.
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(280mm x 216mm x 15mm)
Cornell University Press
Publisher: Cornell University Press
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