Author: Zhang Hongqian
Publisher: Commercial Press
Publication date: October 2020
Based on Zhang Taiyan's vast system of writings and ideas, this book clarifies the coexistence and symbiosis of Chinese and Western theories and emphasizes the primary school, the foundation of Zhang's studies of Chinese ancient civilization, which runs through his entire writing system. In his governance of primary schools, Zhang attached importance to etymology. The focus, therefore, shifts to Wen Shi, an important product of Zhang's etymological thoughts and the first etymological monograph in modern China, for in-depth examination at multiple levels, and to reinterpret and explain Zhang's etymological thoughts and their modern significance. There is a consensus on the value of the topic. With more than 480,000 characters, the book is informative and reliable.
In terms of structure, the book consists of six chapters.
In Chapter 1, based on previous studies and extensive biographies, Zhang's life and writings are reviewed and sorted out to reveal the internal distribution and structure of his writing system. The Study of Language and Characters, the basis of his academic thought, is subsequently introduced.
Chapters 2 through 5 are the main part of the book. In Chapter 2, the formation, rhyme system, theoretical basis and academic disputes are discussed separately, and the necessity and importance of revisiting the academic value and status of Wen Shi in contemporary times are indicated. In Chapter 3, an exhaustive investigation is carried out on 510 primary texts and quasi-primary texts first proposed in Wen Shi. As a key part of the book, Chapter 4 makes an exhaustive etymological investigation of nearly 6,000 characters connected by the primary texts and quasi-primary texts in nine volumes of Wen Shi, so as to deepen the understanding of Zhang's etymological theory. In Chapter 5, the semantic relations and derivation types among cognates in Wen Shi are further analyzed based on etymological examination.
In Chapter 6, the etymological contribution of Wen Shi is reiterated based on detailed data from a comprehensive survey, thus revealing the value of Zhang's etymological ideas and their implications for the construction of modern academic discourse.