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Author: Bunkyo Kin
Editor: Ross King
In Literary Sinitic and East Asia: A Cultural Sphere of Vernacular Reading, Professor Kin Bunkyō surveys the history of reading technologies referred to as kundoku 訓讀 in Japanese, hundok in Korean and xundu in Mandarin. Rendered by the translators as ‘vernacular reading’, these technologies were used to read Literary Sinitic through and into a wide variety of vernacular languages across diverse premodern East Asian civilizations and literary cultures. The book’s editor, Ross King, prefaces the translation with an essay comparing East Asian traditions of ‘vernacular reading’ with typologically similar reading technologies in the Ancient Near East and calls for a shift in research focus from writing to reading, and from ‘heterography’ to ‘heterolexia’.
Translators are Marjorie Burge, Mina Hattori, Ross King, Alexey Lushchenko, and Si Nae Park
Author: Alexander Vovin
This is the revised, updated and enlarged second edition of the first detailed descriptive grammar in English (indeed, in any language other than Japanese and more complete than even any grammar in Japanese) dedicated to the Western Old Japanese, which was spoken in the Kansai region of Japan during the seventh and eighth centuries. The grammar is divided into two volumes, with the first volume dealing with sources, script, phonology, lexicon, nominals and adjectives. The second volume focuses on verbs, adverbs, particles, conjunctions and interjections. In addition to descriptive data, the grammar also includes comparisons between Western Old Japanese and Eastern Old Japanese and Ryukyuan, occasionally with a critical analysis of various external parallels.
Author: Jinbo Shi
This book is the first comprehensive introduction to the Tangut language and culture. Five of the fiſteen chapters survey the history of Western Xia and the evolution of Tangut Studies, including new advancements in the field, such as research on the recently decoded Tangut cursive writings found in Khara-Khoto documents. The other ten chapters provide an introduction to the Tangut language: its origins, script, characters, grammars, translations, textual and contextual readings. In this synthesis of historical narratives and linguistic analysis, the renowned Tangutologist Shi Jinbo offers a guided access to the mysterious civilisation of the ‘Great State White and High’ to both a specialized and a general audience.
Austroasiatic Syntax in Areal and Diachronic Perspective elevates historical morpho-syntax to a research priority in the field of Southeast Asian language history, transcending the traditional focus on phonology and lexicon. The volume contains eleven chapters covering a wide range of aspects of diachronic Austroasiatic syntax, most of which contain new hypotheses, and several address topics that have never been dealt with before in print, such as clause structure and word order in the proto-language, and reconstruction of Munda morphology successfully integrating it into Austroasiatic language history. Also included is a list of proto-AA grammatical words with evaluative and contextualizing comments.
The Indo-Anatolian and Indo-Uralic Hypotheses
In The Precursors of Proto-Indo-European some of the world’s leading experts in historical linguistics shed new light on two hypotheses about the prehistory of the Indo-European language family, the so-called Indo-Anatolian and Indo-Uralic hypotheses. The Indo-Anatolian hypothesis states that the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European family should be viewed as a sister language of ‘classical’ Proto-Indo-European, the ancestor of all the other, non-Anatolian branches. The common ancestor of all Indo-European languages, including Anatolian, can then be called Proto-Indo-Anatolian. The Indo-Uralic hypothesis states that the closest genetic relative of Indo-European is the Uralic language family, and that both derive from a common ancestor called Proto-Indo-Uralic. The book unravels the history of these hypotheses and scrutinizes the evidence for and against them.

Contributors are Stefan H. Bauhaus, Rasmus G. Bjørn, Dag Haug, Petri Kallio, Simona Klemenčič, Alwin Kloekhorst, Frederik Kortlandt, Guus Kroonen, Martin J. Kümmel, Milan Lopuhaä-Zwakenberg, Alexander Lubotsky, Rosemarie Lühr, Michaël Peyrot, Tijmen Pronk, Andrei Sideltsev, Michiel de Vaan, Mikhail Zhivlov.
Text Dating by Machine Learning
Editors: Gregory Toner and Xiwu Han
In Language and Chronology, Toner and Han apply innovative Machine Learning techniques to the problem of the dating of literary texts. Many ancient and medieval literatures lack reliable chronologies which could aid scholars in locating texts in their historical context. The new machine-learning method presented here uses chronological information gleaned from annalistic records to date a wide range of texts. The method is also applied to multi-layered texts to aid the identification of different chronological strata within single copies.
While the algorithm is here applied to medieval Irish material of the period c.700-c.1700, it can be extended to written texts in any language or alphabet. The authors’ approach presents a step change in Digital Humanities, moving us beyond simple querying of electronic texts towards the production of a sophisticated tool for literary and historical studies.
Author: Zev Handel
In the more than 3,000 years since its invention, the Chinese script has been adapted many times to write languages other than Chinese, including Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, and Zhuang. In Sinography: The Borrowing and Adaptation of the Chinese Script, Zev Handel provides a comprehensive analysis of how the structural features of these languages constrained and motivated methods of script adaptation. This comparative study reveals the universal principles at work in the borrowing of logographic scripts. By analyzing and explaining these principles, Handel advances our understanding of how early writing systems have functioned and spread, providing a new framework that can be applied to the history of scripts beyond East Asia, such as Sumerian and Akkadian cuneiform.
Edited by Ross King, University of British Columbia, David Lurie, Columbia University and Marion Eggert, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
The series will be of interest to anybody interested in questions of cosmopolitan and vernacular in the Sinographic Cosmopolis—specifically, with respect to questions of language, writing and literary culture, embracing both beginnings (the origins of and early sources for writing in the sinographic sphere) and endings (the disintegration of the Sinographic Cosmopolis in places like Korea, Japan and Vietnam, and the advent of linguistic modernity throughout all of the old Sinitic sphere. In addition, the series will feature comparative research on interactions and synergies in language, writing and literary culture in the Sinographic Cosmopolis over nearly two millennia, as well as studies of the 'sinographic hangover' in modern East Asia-critical and comparative assessments of the social and cultural history of language and writing and linguistic thought in modern and premodern East Asia.
The Concept of Vanished Technologies and Other Human Histories
Lost Knowledge: The Concept of Vanished Technologies and Other Human Histories examines the idea of lost knowledge, reaching back to a period between myth and history. It investigates a peculiar idea found in a number of early texts: that there were civilizations with knowledge of sophisticated technologies, and that this knowledge was obscured or destroyed over time along with the civilization that had created it. This book presents critical studies of a series of early Chinese, South Asian, and other texts that look at the idea of specific “lost” technologies, such as mechanical flight and the transmission of images. There is also an examination of why concepts of a vanished “golden age” were prevalent in so many cultures. Offering an engaging and investigative look at the propagation of history and myth in technology and culture, this book is sure to interest historians and readers from many backgrounds.
Embodiment in Cross-Linguistic Studies: The ‘Head’ edited by Iwona Kraska-Szlenk adds to linguistic studies on embodied cognition and conceptualization while focusing on one body part term from a comparative perspective. The ‘head’ is investigated as a source domain for extending multiple concepts in various target domains accessed via metaphor or metonymy. The contributions in the volume provide comparative and case studies based on analyses of the first-hand data from languages representing all continents and diversified linguistic groups, including endangered languages of Africa, Australia and Americas. The book offers new reflections on the relationship between embodiment, cultural situatedness and universal tendencies of semantic change. The findings contribute to general research on metaphor, metonymy, and polysemy within a paradigm of cognitive linguistics.
An Introduction to Chinese and Japanese Characters, Their History and Influence
Author: Arthur Cooper
Editor: Imre Galambos
In The Other Greek, Arthur Cooper offers a captivating and unorthodox introduction to the world of the Chinese script through the medium of poetry, explaining the structure, meaning and cultural significance of each character. Written nearly half a century ago, and now published posthumously, the book argues that the role of Chinese writing was analogous to the influence of Greek civilization on Western culture. Chinese is the Greek of the Far East, ‘the other Greek’! Originally a cryptanalyst, Cooper uses his professional—and distinctly non-academic—training to analyse Chinese characters and points out a series of unacknowledged associations between them. Ultimately, he aims to initiate the reader with no prior knowledge of the language into Chinese writing and poetry.
As we think and talk, rich arrays of mental spaces and connections between them are constructed unconsciously. Conceptual integration of mental spaces leads to new meaning, global insight, and compressions useful for memory and creativity. A powerful aspect of conceptual integration networks is the dynamic emergence of novel structure in all areas of human life (science, religion, art, ...). The emergence of complex metaphors creates our conceptualization of time. The same operations play a role in material culture generally. Technology evolves to produce cultural human artefacts such as watches, gauges, compasses, airplane cockpit displays, with structure specifically designed to match conceptual inputs and integrate with them into stable blended frames of perception and action that can be memorized, learned by new generations, and thus culturally transmitted.