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His orthographic standard for the dictionary's "Radicals, and of the large Characters throughout the work," was said to have been "taken from an excellent Dictionary" Morrison A comparative study of its annotations confirms its influence, although this remained less marked than that of the Kangxi Dictionary Yang Philosophically, Morrison's dictionary departed from that ordered by the Kangxi Emperor by including not only the Confucian Four Books and Five Classics but many more items drawn from Taoist and Buddhist texts.
Essence, influence and spirit, together operated in a state of vacuum. Their notions of the great One Cause of all things, are very fanciful and obscure Morrison a: The first quote is from Tao Te Ching Ch. The first volume of Part I and its two companion volumes were written in notably different styles.
Volume I is "notoriously abundant" in encyclopedic examples and quotations, while the other two volumes of Part I just provide brief definitions and a few examples Yang When Morrison published the first volume of Part I in after 8 years of hard work, he realized that if he tried to compile the rest of the dictionary on such a comprehensive scale, he might not finish the dictionary in his lifetime.
He then changed course and rapidly published Part II in and His dictionary's alphabetically arranged Part II, with concise definitions and brief usage examples, proved to be more useful for learners of Chinese but lacked the rich quotations that made the first volume of Part I a model of an "encyclopedic and culturally rich bilingual dictionary" Yang They conclude that the dictionary's "richness of information was unprecedented" Wu and Zheng The regular script character and pronunciation are given alongside its small seal and cursive forms, followed by English translations, derived terms, and usage examples.
In this case, the word is glossed as "A way; a path; being at the head; the way that leads to; a thoroughfare on all sides. A principle.
The principle from which heaven, earth, man, and all nature emanates. They made extensive use of it, with definitions often identical in both works Morrison Morrison claimed to have worked from Chen and Han's dictionary, rearranging its roughly 40, characters according to syllables instead of pronunciations and tones Morrison This work took about seven years Wu and Zheng Yang's comparative study of Parts I and II found, however, that the definitions of both are clearly based on the Kangxi Dictionary and reflect little content from original Wuche Yunfu Yang Part II is in two volumes.
In Volume I, the preface explains the dictionary's composition, purpose and orthography and the main section is a "Syllabic Dictionary" in which romanized Chinese words are collated in alphabetical order Morrison In Volume II, the first section contains a table of the Kangxi radicals , a radical-and-stroke index of the characters in Volume I, and an English-to-Chinese index of words that gives the character numbers in Volume I Morrison The second independent section "A Synopsis of Various Forms of the Chinese Character" giving the regular script , semi-cursive script , cursive script , clerical script , small seal script , and bronze script forms of various characters Morrison Part II of the dictionary contains 12, character entries, far fewer than the 47, entries in Part I Yang On the other hand, it continued to provide an estimated 20, examples and Chinese quotations in Chinese characters, accompanied with romanization and English translations, a vast improvement over earlier dictionaries without examples or Basilio Brollo's Chinese—Latin dictionaries, which presented its examples only in romanization Yang I was only published in Macao, but Vol.
The preface notes Morrison's intent: Its content is wide-ranging. When the opponent guesses the right number of fingers thrown out, at the instant he speaks, he wins, and the person throwing out his fingers has to drink as a forfeit. Unfortunately, Morrison transcribed the four tone distinctions of Middle Chinese rhyme dictionaries rather than those of modern Chinese.
By the time Morrison was composing his dictionary, the old level tone had begun dividing into modern Mandarin's high and rising tones; the old rising tone had begun dividing into the modern third and falling tones; [ citation needed ] and the entering tone had ceased to exist Norman Only the old departing tone continued to exist, as the modern falling tone. In other dialects of Chinese, such as Cantonese , these tones developed separately [ citation needed ] but Morrison employed the Nanjing dialect of his era's Mandarin.
Morrison a: Part II also includes etymological glosses of the formation of the Chinese characters. Although these were often inaccurate guesses or folk etymologies , they helped students of Chinese as a second language to comprehend and memorize characters.
To raise the head and look upwards with expectation or desire Two subsequent centuries of study and archeological discoveries have greatly increased understanding of how Chinese characters originated. The English translation runs:. A way; a path; being at the head; the way that leads to; a thoroughfare on all sides.
The priuciple [ sic ] from which heaven, earth, man, and all nature emanates. Correct, virtuous principles and course of action. Order and good principles in a government and country.
A word; to speak; to say; the way or cause from or by which; to direct; to lead in the way. To accord with or go in a course pointed out. The name of a country. Used by the Buddhists for a particular state of existence, whether amongst human beings or amongst brutes Morrison The usage examples include words from Taoism and Buddhism: Its entries are terser than those of the Chinese volumes, particularly Part I, Volume 1.
The fraught issue of Chinese names for God occasioned a somewhat fuller treatment:.
Robert Morrison's Chinese-English dictionary has received both blame and praise. Considering that he was a self-taught lexicographer who compiled a dictionary of such a colossal size and scope, working with assistants who did not speak English, it would inevitably fall short of perfection, such the typographical errors and misprints noted above. Within his lifetime, the publication of Morrison's Chinese dictionary did not bring him universal acclaim, but instead triggered a controversy as to the authorship Yang In and again in , the German orientalist Julius Klaproth accused Morrison of merely translating Chinese dictionaries rather than compiling a new or original one Klaproth Klaproth In response to Klaproth's challenges, Morrison wrote an letter to the Asiatic Journal that describes the dictionary's compilation in detail.
I know of no better way of writing a Dictionary of any language, than that which I pursued; namely, to make use of all the native Dictionaries I could collect, with the original books referred to in them; to employ native scholars to assist me in consulting those several works, and in ascertaining their exact meaning In the whole of the work, there was no mere copying from one book into another; no mere translation from one language into another; but an exercise of judgment and choice, throughout: Morrison , Vol.
II, pp. In retrospect, a "major flaw" in Morrison's dictionary is the failure to distinguish the phonemic contrast between aspirated and unaspirated consonants Coblin Herbert Giles 's Chinese-English Dictionary says Morrison's volume gave no aspirates, "a defect many times worse" than would be omitting the rough breathing in a Greek lexicon, and Medhurst's edition attempted aspirates, but omitted many and wrongly inserted others Giles Samuel Wells Williams 's Syllabic Dictionary was apparently the first dictionary to get this distinction sorted out Norman Another flaw is Morrison's treatment of some characters that have more than one pronunciation and meaning: Morrison listed both senses with the first pronunciation and treated it as similar to the neutral and disagreeable senses of the English "smell":.
Stink; to smell; that which is morally offensive. Morrison On the other hand, Morrison's Chinese dictionary has won critical acclaims from scholars all over the world since the publication of the first volume in Alexander Leith Ross wrote to Morrison that his dictionary had an extensive circulation in Europe, and would be "an invaluable treasure to every student of Chinese" Morrison , Vol.
The American missionary William A. Macy said all the missionaries and scholars of Chinese had used Morrison's dictionary as the "common fountain" from which they could "obtain the knowledge they desired" Macy One modern scholar calls Morrison's dictionary "the greatest achievement of any researcher of Chinese" Ryu Another describes the comprehensive bilingual dictionary compilation and publication project as "unprecedented and unsurpassed in 19th-century China" Yang Wu and Zheng say Morrison's was the first widely used Chinese-English dictionary and has served as a "milestone in the early promotion of communications between China and the West" Wu and Zheng