Talk:Neolithic signs in China

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Request[edit]

Could someone organize the article better? Especially the part near the end with all the random occurences of these signs.

Otherwise, really cool page. It's hard to find coherent information on this stuff, like anywhere. Just look at the Jia Gu Wen article -even it is in a general state of disarray.

It's funny but predictable how the general Western public allows its interests in ancient scripts and cultures be influence by 1800's colonialism and its intellectual legacy. Everybody's seen mysterious Egyptian glyphs but nobody has any idea about Chinese written in bronze. One day I hope to present these origins of Chinese Writing, along with Oracle and Bronzeware Scripts, to the public in a palatable form. Until then, I guess everyone's just like "What is that?"

Does anybody know the major universities in the U.S. for studying Oracle Bone Script and Bronzeware Script and these "Neolithic signs"-? I've heard things like Harvard, Yale, and U of California Los Angeles.

Epigraphist (talk) 17:52, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

  • Epigraphist, I would urge you to contact Keightley at Berkeley. However, I seriously doubt there are any good programs on this in the west; it's hard enough to find a good one here in the east. I took the only available course at Taida in Taibei, and it was horrible -- the professor was completely unqualified. If you're serious about this topic, I do recommend you pick up the following books, though. There are very few books in English on this topic, and these are all quite good. Be sure to AVOID Wieger, Harbaugh, Peng, and all the mass-marketed books on the purported origins of Chinese characters, though (they're all crap if you're looking for real scholarship):
  • Keightley, David N. (1978). Sources of Shang History: The Oracle-Bone Inscriptions of Bronze Age China. University of California Press, Berkeley. Large format hardcover, ISBN 0-520-02969 (out of print); A pricey 1985 ppbk 2nd edition is still in print, ISBN 0520054555.
  • Keightley, David N. (2000). The Ancestral Landscape: Time, Space, and Community in Late Shang China (ca. 1200 – 1045 B.C.). China Research Monograph 53, Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California – Berkeley. ISBN 1-55729-070-9, inexpensive ppbk.
  • 裘錫圭 Qiú Xīguī (2000). Chinese Writing. Translation of 文字學概論 by the late Gilbert L. Mattos (Chairman, Dept. of Asian Studies, Seton Hall University) and Jerry Norman (Professor Emeritus, Asian Languages & Literature Dept., Univ. of Washington). Early China Special Monograph Series No. 4. Berkeley: The Society for the Study of Early China and the Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley. ISBN 1-55729-071-7.
  • Woon, Wee Lee (1987). Chinese Writing: Its Origin and Evolution. Explores in depth the early pottery inscriptions, from the Neolithic Banpo to the excavations at the last Shāng Dyn. capital at Xiaotun (Anyang, Henan Province) in light of OB (oracle bone) and bronze forms. Discusses at length the processes involved in the formation and evolution of characters, with copious oracle bone and bronze examples, some obsolete. Right up your alley. Originally publ. by the Univ. of East Asia, Macau (no ISBN); now available through Joint Publishing, fax: 852-28104201; email: jpchk@jointpublishing.com (attn: Edith Ho kit-sheung). Note: the Joint Publishing staff can’t seem to handle English titles well; be sure to send the author and title in Chinese by fax to get the right book: 作者: 雲惟利, 書名: 漢字的原始和演變.
  • As for the main page here, yeah, it's not well done right now; I'll try to improve it. Both Qiu and Woon review the pottery symbols, and Qiu in particular is a razor-sharp scholar and a conservative, skeptical man who can be trusted not to engage in wishful thinking when it comes to each of the latest discoveries of symbols in Neolithic times. Dragonbones (talk) 01:34, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
    • I've done a complete rewrite of the page (I had already done extensive research on the topic for a few years), including quite a lot of references to high-quality scholarly sources. Please have a look and let me know what you think. We also need to add images; I've tried adding three under non-free but fair use, but am having some trouble with that, so they might get deleted -- we'll see. If this isn't fair use I can't imagine what is. Dragonbones (talk) 14:53, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
First thing that came to my mind was "wow!" for the stunning list of print references. Although I'm not sure what's going on in the article (as, what's the topic), I would probably have wanted to see some shocking etymologies like "the woman kanji/hanzi dates back to the stone age!", but I'm probably clichéd. Lysis rationale (talk) 08:58, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

And Double Thanks for the Patience[edit]

I'm so sorry it took me so long to get back here and enjoy your response. Thank-you emmensely. Sure as shit I'm serious about this stuff. Someday yours truely is going to be a professor of this stuff.

Actually, in a year I'll have earned my BA in linguistics from Michigan State University. I hope to get a job with the government translating Mandarin for enough years to get my bearings and pay off my undergraduate loans. Then it's off to whereever to become what the world needs or expects of a Sinologist or whatever it is they call someone who studies the Jia Gu Wen and the Bronzeware Script for a living.

Just give me a few months more, I'll review all your work on here. Do not be mistaken at all. This is THE #1 publication medium of this day and age, Wikipedia. Billions read your stuff. If it's not here, the English-reading world doesn't know of its existence, my friend. People, especially academics, just don't seem to realize this yet. Information is most accessible over the Internet and despite reliability issues, this is the first and easiest place to look. People in the know have to capitalize on that or else they're not reaching the people they exist to serve.

I digress.

Thanks again.

Epigraphist (talk) 05:57, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

Neutrality of the article[edit]

I think that this article has not a neutral tone. In fact there are some comments about the scholar prof Qiu that are unjustified and personal. The sentences disputed are in the part about Banpo and Jiangzhai writing: "Qiu's comments show his patriotism, but they are not logical." and later "Therefore, only looking at Shang oracle bone script and modern Chinese calligraphy is biased. Drawing conclusions based on only one of the early scripts shows a lack of consideration for the other groups in China at the time. If all of those groups experienced interbreeding and created the people we have in China today, they deserve credit as well. It seems professor Qiu thinks that "Chinese" only includes modern day calligraphy which has evolved from Shang oracle bone script." I hope the editor of the page will change this parts. Thank you for your attention —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.60.83.217 (talk) 16:45, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

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