Du Ponceau's study on the Chinese writing system: An overview and critique

Zhiqun Chen

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Peter S Du Ponceau can be said as the first scholar in the West who studied the Chinese writing system from a linguistic perspective. Du Ponceau's viewpoint on the nature of the Chinese writing system has served as a cornerstone in both Boodberg and Bolt s Chinese studies. These two American scholars are extreme supporters of the viewpoint that the Chinese writing system is phonetic in nature. In this paper, I will exam how Du Ponceau's theory on the Chinese writing system had been developed. I will begin my study with a discussion on the popular ideas on the Chinese writing system in Europe in Du Ponceau's time. I will also look into how Du Ponceau's viewpoint on writing and the Chinese writing has contributed to the studies of the World writing systems in general as well as the studies of the Chinese writing system in the West.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChinese Research And International Communications
EditorsQ Chen, Y Wu, J Ye
Place of PublicationChina
PublisherEast China Normal University Press
Pages364 - 376
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9787567545687
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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