The Chinese writing system is the only major surviving script in the world that is partially picto-ideographic, Egyptian hieroglyphic and Sumero-Akkadian cuneiform having passed out of use about two millennia ago. Partly because it is so unique, a tremendous number of myths have grown up around the Chinese script. In an attempt to understand how they really function, this seminar will examine the nature of the sinographs and their relationship to spoken Sinitic languages, as well as their implications for society and culture. We will also discuss the artistic and technological aspects of the Chinese characters and the ongoing efforts to reform and simplify them. The use of sinographs in other East Asian countries than China will be taken into account. There are no prerequisites for this class.
Section 401 - SEM
TR 0900AM-1030AM
MAIR, VICTOR
WILLIAMS HALL 307