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A Grammar of Colloquial Chinese as Exhibited in the Shanghai Dialect.

A Grammar of Colloquial Chinese as Exhibited in the Shanghai Dialect.

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A Grammar of Colloquial Chinese as Exhibited in the Shanghai Dialect.


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About This Item

Shanghai.: Presbyterian Mission Press.. 2nd Edition, Corrected.. 1868.. [4] + 225pp, appendices and addenda; tables within the text. 21.8 x 14.3cm. Some light browning and offsetting to the text block throughout. Original half calf and marbled boards, edges and corners rubbed and 3cm loss to head of spine, upper joint split but holding firm. A much better copy than it sounds, a tight and firm binding of a scarce edition. "The little work now in the hands of the reader, is an attempt to elucidate colloquial Chinese, by taking a limited field of enquiry, that of the dialect of a single district. By this means it has been hoped, something might be done to help the causes of Chinese philology, by collecting facts, which writers having a wider scope, have overlooked.
There are aids for the study of the southern dialects of China, but no one has yet written on the speech of the rich and populous province of Kiáng-nán. On Missionary and Commercial grounds, it is time that some attempt should be made to supply this want.

The mandarin student will meet with scarcely any new idioms here. Of words, there are a few tens not used in the fashionable colloquial. It is in sounds that the greatest variation exists, and an attempt has therefore been made to form a correct nomenclature for tones, and for the alphabetic elements of spoken words. For the latter, Sir W. Jones’ system, as introduced by J. R. Morrison in the Chinese Repository, has, with a few necessary modifications, been adopted as by far the best. For the tones, a new nomenclature is here proposed, based on their real character, as distinct from the arbitrary names, which, though they doubtless represented exactly the tones used by their author, are not applicable, except for convenience sake, to those of other dialects.

Upwards of twenty natural tones, from which each dialect chooses its own set, varying from four to eight, are here described. The early Roman Catholic Missionaries wrote much on this singular characteristic of spoken Chinese, but Bayer in his abstract of their system, in the Museum Sinicum, has not given a very intelligible account of it. Attention has been paid throughout to the mode of grouping words, as a subject second to none in interest and importance. Some similarity, though an independent one, will be found here to the system adopted by M. Bazin."

Contains some rarely used forms of Chinese characters." From the preface to the first edition.

Joseph Edkins was a Protestant missionary scholar who was deeply interested in the Chinese language and wrote many books on the subject. In 1848 he was sent by the Protestant Missionary Society to China where he collaborated with Li Shanlan, Wang Tao and others to translate many Western scientific works into Chinese. Besides this, he was involved in Bible translation and an active member of the North China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. In the 1850s he travelled extensively in the Shanghai and Ningbo regions. In 1859 he brought his Scottish bride - Jane Rowbotham Stobbs - back to China and they settled in Shanghai in 1859. In 1860 the Edkins family moved to Yantai, Shandong, and in 1861 to Tianjin. Finally in 1863 moving permanently to Beijing. .


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Asia Bookroom AU (AU)
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A Grammar of Colloquial Chinese as Exhibited in the Shanghai Dialect.
Book Condition
2nd Edition, Corrected.
Presbyterian Mission Press.
Place of Publication
Date Published
Antiquarian, China, Chinese Language, East Asia, Grammar, Language, Linguistics, Missionary, Protestant, Shanghai, Treaty Ports, zz_Gallery_Antiquarian, zz_ListOn_eBay
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Asia Bookroom

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Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

Used to mean that the binding of a book has not been overly loosened by frequent use.
Calf or calf hide is a common form of leather binding. Calf binding is naturally a light brown but there are ways to treat the...
Text Block
Most simply the inside pages of a book. More precisely, the block of paper formed by the cut and stacked pages of a book....
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf....
A new book is a book previously not circulated to a buyer. Although a new book is typically free of any faults or defects, "new"...
The collective of the top, fore and bottom edges of the text block of the book, being that part of the edges of the pages of a...
First Edition
In book collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in...
Marbled boards

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