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Article: Human diversity and the genealogy of languages: Noah as the founding ancestor of the Chinese

TitleHuman diversity and the genealogy of languages: Noah as the founding ancestor of the Chinese
Authors
KeywordsChinese language
Chinese writing system
Linguistic affinity
Linguistic naturalness
Universal history
Issue Date2008
PublisherPergamon. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/langsci
Citation
Language Sciences, 2008, v. 30 n. 5, p. 512-528 How to Cite?
AbstractThe characteristics which were held to define the Chinese language within the Western intellectual tradition placed it for a time at the centre in discussions of the genealogy of mankind. The dominant premodern paradigm for the explanation of human linguistic diversity was Biblical exegesis, as discussed and elaborated within the framework of 'universal history'. A number of Western scholars argued that the Biblical patriarchs could be identified with legendary figures from Chinese history and that there was a direct link between the Chinese language and the pre-Babel linguistic order. The Chinese language, in particular its writing system, had universal characteristics, making it central in the quest for the restoration of the linguistic and conceptual unity of mankind. The rise of a modern linguistics marginalized universal projects of etymological speculation, and it was concluded that there was no cognate relationship between Chinese, Hebrew and the European languages. Both the language and the writing system were increasingly seen as anomalous and unnatural. Western understandings of the Chinese language and the Chinese writing system need to be contextualized within the evolution of conceptualizations of the natural and artificial. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/57917
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 0.79
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 0.377
ISI Accession Number ID
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorHutton, Cen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2010-05-31T03:20:33Z-
dc.date.available2010-05-31T03:20:33Z-
dc.date.issued2008en_HK
dc.identifier.citationLanguage Sciences, 2008, v. 30 n. 5, p. 512-528en_HK
dc.identifier.issn0388-0001en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/57917-
dc.description.abstractThe characteristics which were held to define the Chinese language within the Western intellectual tradition placed it for a time at the centre in discussions of the genealogy of mankind. The dominant premodern paradigm for the explanation of human linguistic diversity was Biblical exegesis, as discussed and elaborated within the framework of 'universal history'. A number of Western scholars argued that the Biblical patriarchs could be identified with legendary figures from Chinese history and that there was a direct link between the Chinese language and the pre-Babel linguistic order. The Chinese language, in particular its writing system, had universal characteristics, making it central in the quest for the restoration of the linguistic and conceptual unity of mankind. The rise of a modern linguistics marginalized universal projects of etymological speculation, and it was concluded that there was no cognate relationship between Chinese, Hebrew and the European languages. Both the language and the writing system were increasingly seen as anomalous and unnatural. Western understandings of the Chinese language and the Chinese writing system need to be contextualized within the evolution of conceptualizations of the natural and artificial. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.en_HK
dc.languageengen_HK
dc.publisherPergamon. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/langscien_HK
dc.relation.ispartofLanguage Sciencesen_HK
dc.subjectChinese languageen_HK
dc.subjectChinese writing systemen_HK
dc.subjectLinguistic affinityen_HK
dc.subjectLinguistic naturalnessen_HK
dc.subjectUniversal historyen_HK
dc.titleHuman diversity and the genealogy of languages: Noah as the founding ancestor of the Chineseen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.openurlhttp://library.hku.hk:4550/resserv?sid=HKU:IR&issn=0388-0001&volume=30&spage=512&epage=528&date=2008&atitle=Human+diversity+and+the+genealogy+of+languages:+Noah+as+the+founding+ancestor+of+the+Chineseen_HK
dc.identifier.emailHutton, C: chutton@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityHutton, C=rp01161en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1016/j.langsci.2007.07.004en_HK
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-45149108893en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros146845en_HK
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-45149108893&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume30en_HK
dc.identifier.issue5en_HK
dc.identifier.spage512en_HK
dc.identifier.epage528en_HK
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000257841600004-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdomen_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridHutton, C=7005571692en_HK

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