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Personal Names

(2,510 words)

Author(s): Viviane ALLETON
The process of naming people in Chinese culture is a space where social determinations and individual impulses converge, and where one may observe the interplay of written and spoken forms of language. The official name of a Chinese person includes a family name, xìng 姓, followed by a given name, míng 名, a term that, in the context of personal naming, is often translated as ‘first name’, although in Chinese it conventionally occurs in the second, that is, last, position. The number of family names is relatively small, while given names are innu…
Date: 2017-03-02

Chinese Linguistics in France

(3,613 words)

Author(s): Viviane ALLETON
1. Before the Mid-20th Century: Major Scholars and Institutions The first European book providing a comprehensive description of the Chinese language was the Notitia Linguae Sinicae written in Latin by the French Jesuit Joseph-Henri de Prémare (1666–1736; Prémare 1893; cf. Bridgman 1847; Mungello 1976; Lundbaek 1991; Lackner 1993; Leung 2002; Lǐ 2012 on his biography and works). The book is in two parts, one dealing with the classics, the other with literary texts written in vernacular Chinese. The author clearly explai…
Date: 2017-03-02