Sinoglyphic scripts for Sinitic and non-Sinitic languages in East / Southeast Asia

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Forthcoming from De Gruyter, July 14, 2024 (ISBN: 9783111382746):

Vernacular Chinese-Character Manuscripts from East and Southeast Asia, edited by: David Holm.

Volume 40 in the series Studies in Manuscript Cultures

Keywords: Asia; vernacular; ritual; library collections; recitation

Topics:  Asian Literature; Asian and Pacific Studies; Dialectology; Linguistics and Semiotics; Literary Studies; Literature of other Nations and Languages; Southeast Asia; Textual Scholarship; Theoretical Frameworks and Disciplines

About this book

Open Access

This collection brings together studies on vernacular manuscripts in regional Chinese dialects such as Cantonese and Hokkien (South Fujian dialect), those of non-Han peoples in China and Southeast Asia such as the Zhuang and Yao, and a vernacular character manuscript in Vietnamese. Across this wide range, the focus is on manuscripts written in regional and vernacular adaptations of the Chinese script. Three chapters on Yao manuscripts each focus on a different aspect of their use in local society or on collections of Yao manuscripts in overseas collections; there are three chapters on Zhuang and related Tai languages; two studies on Hokkien; one on the Cantonese script in contemporary Hong Kong; and one on a Buddhist manuscript with Vietnamese chữ nôm commentary from a temple in Bangkok. Detailed descriptions of traditional paper manufacture in the villages are given for both the Yao and the Zhuang, as well as paper analysis used to date a Vietnamese manuscript. Coverage includes information about the physicality of the manuscripts investigated and the vernacular Chinese scripts in which they are written, but also a wealth of information about their use and significance in local society. This collection will be of interest to scholars and students interested in the philological analysis of East and Southeast Asian character scripts and manuscript traditions, but also the broader social contexts of manuscript use in traditional and modern society.

Considering the comparatively heavy overemphasis on East Asia during the past few centuries, it is refreshing to witness the recent turn to greater scholarly interest in Southwest, Central, Northeast, Southeast, and South Asia.  A better balanced and more accurate view of the history, culture, and languages of the peoples in all of these regions will result.


Selected readings

[h.t. Geoff Wade]


  1. Vampyricon said,

    March 13, 2024 @ 2:19 pm

    Can't wait!

  2. KIRINPUTRA said,

    March 15, 2024 @ 8:42 am

    Looking forward to this, with some caution.

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