Early China Seminar Lecture Series
Title: “Revisiting the Syntactical Functions and Semantic Features of the Universal Quantifier tun屯 in Early Chinese Texts”
Speaker: Huaqiang Song, Wuhan University
Time: April 15, 2022 (4:30-6:30 PM EST)
Venue: Faculty House
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The grammatical function word tún 屯 is often found in divination records and burial goods inventories on bamboo strips unearthed from Chu tombs of the Warring States period. Zhu Dexi and Qiu Xigui initially argued that tún屯 should be interpreted as a universal quantifier like jiē皆. Zhu has also studied the grammatical difference between tún屯 and jiē皆 and his theory has been accepted by many Chinese scholars in the fields of paleography and excavated manuscripts. Since then, more manuscripts containing tún屯 have been published and views differing from Zhu’s have been put forth. Based on a richer cache, the present study is an attempt not only to provide a more complete description of the various usages of tún屯 in Warring States period texts, presenting some features that Zhu had not mentioned, but also to reconsider whether Zhu Dexi’s theory still works as well as point out some misunderstandings about Zhu’s views. Through revisiting classical and modern studies, this study also aims to suggest some new proposals for explaining how tún屯 is functionally different from jiē皆and gè各.