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Article

К вопросу о методологии языкового анализа древнекитайских текстов (ч. 1)

The paper constitutes the first part of an attempt to sum up some of the main current problems of in­ter­pretation and translation of ancient texts written in the Old Chinese language of the 1st millennium B.C. One of the major issues raised in this first part is that of the «naturalness» of Old Chinese, i.e. the probable degree to which it could be correlated with the spoken norms of its epoch. The author notes that the idea of the language of Old Chinese texts as a sort of «artificial code», cardinally different from what is to be expected of any «natural» language, these days generally finds more support among Sinologists that specialize in culturology and related disciplines, rather than in linguistics. In order to justify the idea that the gap between written and spoken pre-Hàn Old Chinese was relatively insignificant (which, today, can be said to represent the «mainstream» current of thought among linguistically oriented Sinologists, but still finds serious opposition in wider circles), the author draws upon a whole series of arguments, including those based on the revolutionary achievements of Chinese historical phonology, historical grammar, and paleography in the XXth century.