Book ID: CBB226349178

The Culture of Language in Ming China: Sound, Script, and the Redefinition of Boundaries of Knowledge (2022)


Nathan Vedal (Author)

Columbia University Press

Publication Date: 2022
Physical Details: 288
Language: English

The scholarly culture of Ming dynasty China (1368–1644) is often seen as prioritizing philosophy over concrete textual study. Nathan Vedal uncovers the preoccupation among Ming thinkers with specialized linguistic learning, a field typically associated with the intellectual revolution of the eighteenth century. He explores the collaboration of Confucian classicists and Buddhist monks, opera librettists and cosmological theorists, who joined forces in the pursuit of a universal theory of language.Drawing on a wide range of overlooked scholarly texts, literary commentaries, and pedagogical materials, Vedal examines how Ming scholars positioned the study of language within an interconnected nexus of learning. He argues that for sixteenth- and seventeenth-century thinkers, the boundaries among the worlds of classicism, literature, music, cosmology, and religion were far more fluid and porous than they became later. In the eighteenth century, Qing thinkers pared away these other fields from linguistic learning, creating a discipline focused on corroborating the linguistic features of ancient texts.Documenting a major transformation in knowledge production, this book provides a framework for rethinking global early modern intellectual developments. It offers a powerful alternative to the conventional understanding of late imperial Chinese intellectual history by focusing on the methods of scholarly practice and the boundaries by which contemporary thinkers defined their field of study.

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Authors & Contributors
Adin E. Lears
Sarkissian, Hagop
Miller, Ian Matthew
Heejae Lee
Xiaoyan, Dong
Ivo Kwon
Korean Journal of Medical History
Ziran Kexueshi Yanjiu (Studies in the History of Natural Sciences)
Science in Context
Lishi yuyan yanjiuso jikan (Bulletin of the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica)
Kexue Jishu yu Bianzhengfa (Science, Technology, and Dialectics)
Guangxi Minzu Xueyuan Xuebao
Springer Nature
University of Washington Press
University of Pennsylvania Press
Reaktion Books
Lit Verlag GmbH & Co.
Knowledge and learning
Linguistics; philology
Intellectual history
Science and culture
Language and languages
Greenberg, Joseph
Zhu, Zhenheng
Xue, Fengzuo
Stevin, Simon
Smogulenski, Jean-Nicolas
Qian, Daxin
Time Periods
Ming dynasty (China, 1368-1644)
Qing dynasty (China, 1644-1912)
Early modern
Song Dynasty (China, 960-1279)
17th century
Soviet Union
Royal Society of London
Jesuits (Society of Jesus)

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