The function of poetic language and rhymes in pre-modern Chinese literature

Authored by: Barbara Meisterernst

The Routledge Handbook of Chinese Applied Linguistics

Print publication date:  March  2019
Online publication date:  March  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138650732
eBook ISBN: 9781315625157
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter will provide an overview of the research on the omnipresence and linguistic and extralinguistic relevance of poetic speech in early Chinese literature. In Chinese literature, the linguistic means of rhyme, rhythmic speech and grammatical parallelism play a significant role in the conveyance of meaning, persuasion and the distinction of linguistic register. Rhyming in particular is also of relevance in the reconstruction of the historical phonology of Chinese. Thus, the analysis of the linguistic structures employed in poetic speech is pivotal for a comprehensive acknowledgement of Chinese literary writing.

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