Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Understanding the Public Order in the Emerging Market Economy in China

Contents:

Author Info

  • Zhu Suli
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    Suppose I could write fabulous Chinese prose but had absolutely no knowledge of Chinese grammar? Suppose I understood not a word of English and, indeed, had never even heard the language spoken? And, then, suppose that someone, somewhere presented me with a book written in eloquent and masterly English? Just what would be my reaction? It is probably fair to say that I would find "alphabetic letters" something of a mess and would find it equally hard to believe that their function was the same as our Chinese ideograms in a comprehensible word order. Perhaps, after repeated observations, I would be able gradually to realize that these different combinations of letters indeed followed a set of rules. If then I received some instruction in the language, learned the meanings of some of these words, began to recite vocabulary, and comprehended the meaning of simple sentences, I would soon realize that I could effectively convey basic thoughts and feelings, including, perhaps, some that I was unable to express in my native Chinese. (There is considerable truth in this statement, at least according to studies in linguistic philosophy and anthropology that indicate our basic feelings and conceptions are, in many ways, intimately related to our particular language, and, thus, in learning a new language we, in effect, acquire a new set of feelings. In this regard, recall Wittgenstein's comment that language is a kind of entire ethos of life). Having acquired the basics, suppose I was then able to master the grammar and syntax of English with its strict rules on structure and word order, all the while noticing that, in certain respects, English and Chinese shared a number of similarities—subject-verb-noun order, for instance—though the differences were also apparent. English and Chinese are not, as some suggest, completely incompatible. Furthermore, I would no longer believe the old adage that "Chinese has no grammar," a view made popular ever since >i>Master Ma's Grammar>/i> (Mashi wentong).

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://mesharpe.metapress.com/link.asp?target=contribution&id=C14N672676J9711R
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by M.E. Sharpe, Inc. in its journal Chinese Economy.

    Volume (Year): 32 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 4 (July)
    Pages: 51-57

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:mes:chinec:v:32:y:1999:i:4:p:51-57

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://mesharpe.metapress.com/link.asp?target=journal&id=110901

    Related research

    Keywords:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mes:chinec:v:32:y:1999:i:4:p:51-57. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Nguyen).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.