Chinese 104: Introduction to Classical Chinese
- Module Code:
- Unit value:
- Year of study:
- Year 1
- Taught in:
- Full Year
Following the textbook used in the modern language course, this course offers an introduction to aspects of Chinese script (radicals and characters) during the first term.
At the end of Term 1, the student should have an understanding of the development of Chinese script and principles of composition of basic Chinese characters, be able to look up characters in dictionaries using radicals, and recognise and write correctly approximately 300 characters.
In Terms 2/3, an introduction to Classical Chinese is offered. At the end of the course, a student should have a basic understanding of Classical Chinese grammar, read simple texts from the Warring States and Han periods, and appreciate aspects of Chinese culture through the texts.
Objectives and learning outcomes of the module
During the first term, the course offers an introduction to the history and development of the Chinese language; the origin, development and structure of Chinese characters; the most commonly used transcription systems and the use of Chinese dictionaries.
During the second and third term, an introduction to Classical chinese is offered.
WorkloadTotal 22 weeks of teaching. A two hour lecture in term 1 and a three hour lecture in term 2.
Scope and syllabus
Term 1 will be structured around lectures by one member of academic staff specializing in classical and literary Chinese.
The first week of term 2 will be an introduction to basic grammatical terms for Classical chinese and the nature and formats of ancient Chinese books. The remainder of term 2 will cover selections from the Confucian Analects; short stories and fables from writers of the Warring States to the Han period.
Method of assessmentOne three-hour written examination (70%) in May/June, term 1 tests (15%); term 2 tests (15%).
- Billeter, Jean Francois: The Chinese Art of Writing. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 1990
- Chiang, Yee: Chinese Calligraphy. London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1961
- Dawson, Raymond: A New Introduction to Classical Chinese. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984
- Graham, Angus: Notes on Classical Chinese Grammar (unpublished manuscript; copies made available at the beginning of term 2)
- Liu, Y. C.: Fifty Chinese Stories. London: Lund Humphries, 1967
- Pulleyblank, Edwin G.: Outline of Classical Chinese Grammar. Vancouver: U. of British Columbia Press, 1995
- Wang Hongyuan: Hanzi ziyuan rumen [The Origins of Chinese Characters]. Beijing: Huayu jiaoxue chubanshe [Sinolingua], 1994