Classical Chinese

(redirected from Wenyan wen)

Classical Chinese

n.
The written form of Chinese from about the fifth century bc to the end of the Han dynasty in ad 220.
adj.
Of or relating to Classical Chinese.
References in periodicals archive ?
While the debates over linguistic change in the crucial period between roughly 1895 and 1930 ranged over the whole field of linguistic and writing practice, arguments over the relationship and interaction between the binary sets of written languages that are conventionally grouped under the rubric of wenyan wen [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (classical Chinese) and those based on spoken Mandarin, or the baihua wen [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (vernacular) held center stage, and any inquiry into the way writing has functioned in modern China must begin by looking at this interaction.
One of the most enduring stereotypes in 20th-century Chinese linguistic history--which is already thoroughly evident in Lees' comments--is the notion that there is just one monolithic wenyan wen, as dead and inflexible as it was enduring.
16) While these critiques of the formulaic quality of wenyan wen do not address the difficult question directly, they do lend themselves to the idea that the reason that the classical language lacks substance is that since the form itself is so hard to master, anything substantive must get pushed aside.