Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

Purchase Access
Subject: Language and Linguistics

Editor-in-Chief: Rint SYBESMA, Leiden University

Associate Editors: Wolfgang BEHR University of Zürich, Yueguo GU Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Zev HANDEL University of Washington, C.-T. James HUANG Harvard University and James MYERS National Chung Cheng University

Early Release Version: content being added regularly, expected completion Fall 2016.

The Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics offers a systematic and comprehensive overview of the languages of China and the different ways in which they are and have been studied. It provides authoritative treatment of all important aspects of the languages spoken in China, today and in the past, from many different angles, as well as the different linguistic traditions they have been investigated in.

More information: Brill.com

Ideographic Fallacy: Historical and Conceptual Issues

(3,278 words)

Author(s): William G. BOLTZ
1. Definition and Early History An “ideograph” (alternatively “ideogram”) is, insofar as we can take the term itself at face value, nothing other than a written mark, i.e., a ‘graph’ (γράφος), that stands directly for an ‘idea’ (ἰδέα), however this may be understood, with no intervening linguistic mediation. The word has no classical existence; it was, together with its adjectival form ‘ideographic’, a learned neologism introduced into French and English in the early 19th century in connection with t…
Date: 2016-11-09

Ideographic Fallacy: Sociolinguistics and Political Impact

(3,553 words)

Author(s): Mary ERBAUGH
The ideographic fallacy holds that Chinese characters are “ideographs” (also called ideograms) that express ideas independent of spoken language. The idea originated among early modern Europeans, spread to Japan, and then to China. Sustained by cultural politics east and west, it retains a powerful hold on the popular imagination and in some areas of academia. However, linguists, psychologists, and computer scientists consider the ideographic fallacy to be long disproved. Computer science breakt…
Date: 2016-11-09