written language and spoken language

字语 versus 声语

For the Chinese, the written language is itself a “foreign language”. If the term “virtual” as used in the computer world means “not physically existing but made to appear by software”, then used in the linguistic sense it means a “non-reality” made to appear by a representational system. In other words, the writing system is very different from and, as some have argued, totally independent of, the way people talk (speech). In modern Western languages (such as in English, French, German, etc.), the written speech is largely phonetical and almost inseparable from spoken speech. Classical or literary Chinese (文言) in pre-modern times was not really say-able; it was therefore a pure form of “virtual reality” in which the literati (poets, historians, scribes, teachers and philosophers) communicated by writing.


⬆️ characters are out of order; ⬇️every word is in order


(⬆️Research shows, the order of words does not necessarily interfere with how we understand ideas. Only after reading the sentence, do you realize how some words are not in the right place.)

For Roman Jakobson (1896-1982) who invented the term “principle of equivalence”, the poetic function projects the principle of equivalence from the axis of selection into the axis of combination. Equivalence is promoted to the constitutive device of the sequence.

This kidventuredroom
old mancrawledtunnel


Horizontal axis of combination (syntagma 结构) ➡️➡️➡️➡️➡️➡️➡️➡️➡️     

diachronic 历时的

contiguous 相邻

analytical 分析

melody 旋律

folk singing 民歌

time 时间 ~ story narrative

subject + predicate 主语+谓语

more about grammar 语法

Vertical axis of selection (paradigm 范例)⬆️

Synchronic 共时的⬆️


Metaphorical 比喻⬆️

Design 图式⬆️

Literati writing文人写作⬆️

Space 空间 ~storeys ⬆️

Topic + comment 点评⬆️

More about imagination想象⬆️


马致远,元代《天净沙,秋思》Autumn Reveries

枯藤 kū téng,老树 lǎo shù,昏鸦 hūn yā,

withered vines, old trees, a crow at twilight

小桥 xiǎo qiáo,流水 liú shuǐ,人家;

a small bridge, a flowing brook, a house

古道 gǔ dào,西风 xī fēng,瘦马 shòu mǎ;

timeworn path, westerly wind, a skinny horse

夕阳 xī yáng 西下,断 duàn肠 cháng人在天涯 yá。

sun setting in the West, sad drifter at the end of the world