Contents: Preface. I. Formation and Evolution: The Formation and Evolution of Chinese Characters. The Main Body of Chinese Characters: The Pictophonetic Structure. II. Textual Analysis and Interpretation: Method and Practice: The Explication of Ancient Chinese Characters. The Cultural Interpretation of Chinese \III. Norm and Research: The Normalization of Chinese Characters and Philological Life. The Research of Chinese Characters: Past and Future. Index.
The Key to Chinese Civilization: The Explication and Exploration of Chinese Characters is a fascinating guide to the history of the Chinese civilization, which has been recorded not just by means of the Chinese characters but also in the characters themselves. It studies the long history of Chinese characters, the laws of their construction and development, and what their correct interpretation can mean for contemporary communication. The Chinese writing system, vastly different from phonetic alphabet systems and the oldest continuously used system of writing in the world, is dynamic and its evolution reveals much about the historical and sociocultural development of China.
The book shows how the interpretation of the cultural connotation of Chinese characters is necessary, even crucial, though it is a daunting task. It proposes a scientific method for this kind of interpretation and gives elaborate examples. Authored by an expert in philology and palaeography, the book is written in simple language and will be of great help to Chinese language enthusiasts.