Traditional classification of text forms in the context of codification processes such as wenyan and baihua

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.32589/2311-0821.2.2020.223254

Keywords:

text forms, classification, traditional text, language codification, literature categories

Abstract

The article aims at analysing traditional forms of text of Chinese literature in the context of
the classical ancient classification of literature into four categories “Jing Shi Ji Qi” (“经 史 子 集”).
Each category consists of specific forms of text that have a common ideological theme.
Methodologically important in the study are the principles that the codification of textual forms, in
the first place, fixed and preserved the texts of Confucian ideology, and the forms of these texts
eventually became the literary norm. Elucidation of the peculiarities of the traditional classification
of literature, visual demonstration of the literary hierarchy is of key importance for a comprehensive
analysis of codification processes in the Wenyan and Baihua languages. The author of the article
emphasizes the relationship between the adopted system of text classification and codification
systems, which were responsible not only for the future form of implementation of the language
norm, but also its further development and transition to another stage of functioning. A detailed
examination of the subgroups of each literature category demonstrates the relationship between the
main concepts of textual codification and the hierarchical levels of classification. The historicalcomparative
and descriptive format of the research proposed in the article highlights the aspect
that the tradition of text codification, on the one hand, depended on the influence of the prevailing
philosophical and ethical doctrine, and on the other hand, on the needs of society. This combination
of two directions led to a wide variability of textual forms, purposeful division of literature into
high and low, hierarchical structure of classification, where the most important literary forms
are texts of the first category “canons”. It is proved that the beginning of stylistic codification
begins with the textual forms of Confucian literature, and most texts of high literature are based
on Confucian ideology. The results obtained on the historical comparative and descriptive approach
give grounds to assert that the Confucian doctrine is leading in the introduction of codification
processes of the Wenyan language, and the codification processes of the Baihua language begin
with poetic forms of the text.

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