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Grammatical Sketches of Japanese Dialects and Ryukyuan Languages
Volume Editor: Michinori Shimoji
Japanese is definitely one of the best-known languages in typological literature. For example, typologists often assume that Japanese is a nominative-accusative language. However, it is often overlooked that Japanese, or more precisely, Tokyo Japanese, is just one of various local varieties of the Japonic language family (Japanese and Ryukyuan). In fact, the Japonic languages exhibit a surprising typological diversity. For example, some varieties display a split-intransitive as opposed to nominative-accusative system. The present volume is thus a unique attempt to explore the typological diversity of Japonic by providing a collection of grammatical sketches of various local varieties, four from Japanese dialects and five from Ryukyuan. Each grammatical sketch follows the same descriptive format, addressing a wide range of typological topics.
Author: Ru Zhan
Editor: Jinhua Chen
Drawing on Dunhuang manuscripts and the latest scholarship in Dunhuang and Buddhist Studies, this translation analyzes Buddhist monasticism via such topics as the organizational forms of Dunhuang Buddhist monasteries, the construction and operation of ordination platforms, ordination certificates and government ordination licenses, and meditation retreats, etc.
Assuming a pan-Asian perspective, the monograph also made trailblazing contributions to the study of Buddhist Sinicization and Sino-Indian cultural exchanges and is bound to exert long-lasting influences on the worldwide academic study of Buddhism.
Author: Zhaoyang Zhang
How did people solve their disputes over debt, compensation, inheritance and other civil matters in early China? Did they go to court? How did the authorities view those problems? Using recently excavated early Chinese legal materials, Zhang Zhaoyang makes the compelling argument that civil law was not only developed, but also acquired a certain degree of sophistication during the Qin and Han dynasties. The state promulgated detailed regulations to deal with economic and personal relationships between individuals. The authorities formed an integral part of the formal justice system, and heard civil cases on a regular basis.
How is it possible to write down the Japanese language exclusively in Chinese characters? And how are we then able to determine the language behind the veil of the Chinese script as Japanese? The history of writing in Japan presents us with a fascinating variety of writing styles ranging from phonography to morphography and all shades in between.
In Japanese Morphography: Deconstructing hentai kanbun, Gordian Schreiber shows that texts traditionally labelled as “hentai kanbun” or “variant Chinese” are, in fact, morphographically written Japanese texts instead and not just the result of an underdeveloped skill in Chinese. The study fosters our understanding of writing system typology beyond phonographic writing.