Language as Bodily Practice in Early China
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252 pages
English

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Description

Jane Geaney argues that early Chinese conceptions of speech and naming cannot be properly understood if viewed through the dominant Western philosophical tradition in which language is framed through dualisms that are based on hierarchies of speech and writing, such as reality/appearance and one/many. Instead, early Chinese texts repeatedly create pairings of sounds and various visible things. This aural/visual polarity suggests that texts from early China treat speech as a bodily practice that is not detachable from its use in everyday experience. Firmly grounded in ideas about bodies from the early texts themselves, Geaney's interpretation offers new insights into three key themes in these texts: the notion of speakers' intentions (yi), the physical process of emulating exemplary people, and Confucius's proposal to rectify names (zhengming).
Acknowledgments
Introduction

Part I. Discounting the Language Crisis in Early China

1. The Crisis of Blockage: Accessing and Transmitting Obscure Things

2. The Crisis of Blockage: Why Not “Language and Reality”?

3. The Prescriptive Crisis: Nomenclature, Not System

4. The Prescriptive Crisis: Naming and Distinguishing

5. The Prescriptive Crisis: Correcting Names without “Performing” Rules

Part II. Understanding Early Chinese Conceptions of Speech and Names

6. Successful “Communication”: Getting the Yi 意 and Becoming Tong

7. “Ritual” versus Li 禮 as the Visible Complement of Sound

8. Zhengming and Li 禮 as the Visible Complement of Sound

9. Embodied Zhengming: How We Are Influenced by Seeing versus Hearing

10. Separating Lunyu 12.11 from Zhengming

Epilogue
Appendix Glossary of Terms with Aural or Visual Associations
Bibliography
Index

Sujets

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Publié par
Date de parution 01 mars 2018
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781438468624
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 29 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,1698€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Extrait

LANGUAGE AS BODILY PRACTICE IN EARLY CHINA
SUNY series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture

Roger T. Ames, editor
LANGUAGE AS BODILY PRACTICE IN EARLY CHINA
A CHINESE GRAMMATOLOGY
JANE GEANEY
On the cover: Scenes from the Life of Tao Yuanming , detail. Chen Hongshou, Chinese (1599–1652). Qing dynasty, dated 1650. Ink and colors on silk, handscroll.
11 15 / 16 × 121 1 / 4 in. (30.3 × 308 cm). Honolulu Museum of Art Purchase, 1954 (1912.1).
Published by State University of New York Press, Albany
© 2018 State University of New York
All rights reserved
Printed in the United States of America
No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission. No part of this book may be stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means including electronic, electrostatic, magnetic tape, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior permission in writing of the publisher.
For information, contact State University of New York Press, Albany, NY
www.sunypress.edu
Production, Dana Foote
Marketing, Fran Keneston
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Geaney, Jane, author.
Title: Language as bodily practice in early China : a Chinese grammatology / Jane Geaney.
Description: Albany, NY : State University of New York, 2018. | Series: SUNY series in Chinese philosophy and culture | Includes bibliographical references and index.
Identifiers: LCCN 2017015618 (print) | LCCN 2017056108 (ebook) | ISBN 9781438468624 (ebook) | ISBN 9781438468617 (hardcover : alk. paper)
Subjects: LCSH: Chinese language—Philosophy—History. | Language and culture—China—History.
Classification: LCC PL1035 (ebook) | LCC PL1035 .G43 2018 (print) | DDC 495.109—dc23
LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2017015618
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Contents
Acknowledgments
Introduction
P ART O NE D ISCOUNTING THE L ANGUAGE C RISIS IN E ARLY C HINA Chapter 1 The Crisis of Blockage: Accessing and Transmitting Obscure Things Chapter 2 The Crisis of Blockage: Why Not “Language and Reality”? Chapter 3 The Prescriptive Crisis: Nomenclature, Not System Chapter 4 The Prescriptive Crisis: Naming and Distinguishing Chapter 5 The Prescriptive Crisis: Correcting Names without “Performing” Rules
P ART T WO U NDERSTANDING E ARLY C HINESE C ONCEPTIONS OF S PEECH AND N AMES Chapter 6 Successful “Communication”: Getting the Yi 意 and Becoming Tong 通 Chapter 7 “Ritual” versus Li 禮 as the Visible Complement of Sound Chapter 8 Zhengming and Li 禮 as the Visible Complement of Sound Chapter 9 Embodied Zhengming : How We Are Influenced by Seeing versus Hearing Chapter 10 Separating Lunyu 12.11 from Zhengming
Epilogue Appendix Glossary of Terms with Aural or Visual Associations
Bibliography
Index
Acknowledgments
T his book began in 2004−2005 with research supported by the American Council of Learned Societies and the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation. I have been drawing on the implications of that research ever since. A National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Fellowship in 2012 afforded me time to research and write a chapter and then divide my manuscript into two volumes. The latter, The Emergence of Word-Meaning in Early China: Normative Models for Words , is forthcoming with SUNY Press.
Many people helped make writing this book a rewarding experience. I wish to express my thanks to the staff at SUNY Press who guided me through the editorial process and expertly facilitated the book’s production: Nancy Ellegate, Andrew Kenyon, Christopher Ahn, Chelsea Miller, Dana Foote, and Fran Keneston. At the University of Richmond, Dean Patrice Rankine provided financial support for the book’s final phases. The University of Richmond also granted me research funding for several summers.
Ren Songyao and Zhu Pinyan significantly improved this work. Lynn Rhoads was a joy to work with and her professionalism reassured me at every turn. I am very pleased that Nancy Gerth agreed to work on the index.
I am especially grateful to Roger Ames not only for supporting my project but also for inspiring my work. For thirty years Chad Hansen has also informed my thinking in more ways than I can list. I respect and appreciate his genial approach to my disagreements with him.
I am deeply grateful to Dan Robins for reading an early version of the introduction and offering his insights and probing questions about my interpretations. He answered countless emails with precise explanations about Classical Chinese grammar. I am also indebted to Chris Fraser for incisive comments on my work over the years, in this book particularly an early draft of the epilogue. Stephanie Cobb, Mimi Hanaoka, and Doug Winiarski also helped me with the epilogue. Jessica Chan patiently listened to me practice formulating my ideas.
I want to express gratitude to colleagues who, in response to my email queries, offered invaluable information and advice about particular problems, including Michael Nylan, Wolfgang Behr, Joe Allen, Eric Hutton, Gou Dongfeng, and Liu Liangjian. I will always be thankful for the guidance of Anthony Yu, whom I miss, and for all the encouragement he provided during the course of my career.
Finally, I am grateful to my family and friends for putting up with me during the process of writing. I dedicate this book to my parents, Julia and Jack Geaney, for their longstanding love and support.
Introduction
P art of the challenge to understanding ideas about linguistic entities in Early China (ca. 500 B.C.E. to 200 C.E. ) is that even the term “language” is misleading. 1 If by “language” we mean a single phenomenon that includes speech, names, and writing—that is, a structure or an abstraction that is manifest in speech and writing—then early Chinese writers were not talking about “language” even implicitly. I cannot avoid the term, however, at least not in my title, because I will be responding to arguments that take for granted that ideas about language in Early China spawned a crisis. The presumption of a language crisis serves as my hook, which helps me organize various scholars’ ideas: I strive to argue for an accurate understanding of conceptions of speech and names in early Chinese texts, and the very notion that their presentation of “language” could foster a crisis presupposes erroneous conceptions. This much will become obvious as I approach the idea of language from an unusual angle: its interaction with human bodies.
The interpretation of “language” in early Chinese texts that emerges from my investigation is distinctive. Here, the texts do not describe language in relation to a world of sensory experience and mental ideas; rather, early Chinese texts are repeatedly seen to create pairings of sounds and various visible things. In formulating my analysis of early Chinese ideas about “language,” I resist the impulse to fit it into familiar constructions and instead attempt to account for such pairings by conceptualizing how things related to what we think of as language must have been understood in Early China. That is, by “language” in Early China, I mean sounds: speech ( yan 言 ) and names/naming ( ming 名 , 命 ). Language in this sense is more like sounds that issue from the mouth and enter the ears. It is bodily utterances that are emitted and heard—not an abstraction. For some, to describe language as a “bodily practice” might conjure the idea of performance, but I have something different in mind. As I explain below, in early Chinese texts sounds that issue from the mouth are a matter of practice insofar as speech ( yan 言 ) is something that is habitual. Along with action and bodies, early Chinese texts present y an 言 as a target of self-cultivation. Physiologically speaking, yan originates from qi . It is an auditory expression of one’s heartmind ( xin 心 ). 2 As such, it is within one’s control. Thus, people can construct their yan by cultivating their aims, which precede it. They can also develop habits of yan that improve its virtue, in particular, by matching their yan to their deeds, thereby achieving a balance between that which is audible and that which is visible. That is, matching one’s yan to one’s actions is a form of matching aural and visual, which is an embodied virtue that is to be expected from a sage and from a virtuous person. Hence, when I refer to early Chinese language as a “bodily practice,” I want to suggest not a performance but something more akin to a technology of the self.
This bodily practice of “language” differs from more familiar ideas about speech acts in two specific ways. First, early Chinese texts do not discuss phenomena such as a spoken promise making something happen. But in certain contexts, names or naming ( ming 名 , 命 ) has the power to make something the case. Unlike yan , which typically issues from inside a person, ming does not express the heartmind, and it is only indirectly an area for self-cultivation. 3 A ruler’s ming , however, resembles a speech act insofar as the authority to name—that is, to assign titles or issue decrees—makes something the case. Thus, dispensing titles and delivering commands renders the ruler’s ming a specific kind of utterance that “does things with words.” Nevertheless, there is a fundamental disparity between a ruler’s ming and more familiar understandings of speech

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