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  • Author: Yang Yang x
  • Literary Studies x
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Liberty in Harmony: An Integration of Confucian Harmony and Liberalism in Contemporary China

Abstract

As the mainstream ideology, Confucian harmony deeply influences ways of thinking and social life in the East. Contemporary China has experienced quite a radical change since the Xīnhài Revolution in 1911. It also marked the re-examination of Confucianism, i.e. the development of New Confucianism. New Confucianism needs to encourage China to fit the modern and global context. Therefore, the revival of Confucian harmony must remake itself to fit the modern world. A certain degree of convergence between Confucian harmony and liberalism, the mainstream ideology in the West, is necessary. Personal improvement is a hotly disputed idea among Chinese Confucians and Western liberals because transformation of public ethics is closely related to transformations of the self. This paper argues the importance of integration between harmony and liberalism. What is important is to explore how each tradition can shed light on theoretical and practical issues regarding harmony between the individual and the community, rather than individual sovereignty over communal claims in ideological studies.

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Modernity and Tradition in Shakespeare’s Asianization

Abstract

Do Marjorie Garber’s premises that Shakespeare makes modern culture and that modern culture makes Shakespeare apply to his reception in Asian contexts? Shakespeare’s Asianization, namely adaptation of certain Shakespeare elements into traditional forms of local cultures, seems to testify to his timelessness in timeliness. However, his statuses in modern Asia are much more complicated. The complexity lies not only in such a cross-cultural phenomenon as the Asianizing practice, but in the Shakespearization of Asia-the idealization of him as a modern cultural icon in a universalizing celebration of his authority in many sectors of modern Asian cultures. Yet, the very entities of Asia, Shakespeare, modernity, and tradition must be problematized before we approach such complexities. I ask questions about Shakespeare’s roles in Asian conceptions of modernity and about the relationship between his literary heritage and Asian traditions. To address these questions, I will discuss this timeliness in Asian cultures with a focus on Shakespeare adaptations in Asian forms, which showcase various indigenous approaches to his text-from the elitist legacy maintaining to the popularist re-imagining. Asian practices of doing Shakespeare have involved other issues. For instance, whether or not the colonial legacies and postcolonial re-inventions in the dissemination of his works in Asian cultures confirm or subvert the various myths about both the Bard and modernity in most time of the 20th century; in what ways Shakespeare has been used as at once a negotiating agent and negotiated subject in the processes of the prince’s translations and adaptations into Asian languages, costumes, landscapes, cultures and traditions.

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WORD ORDER AND CONSTITUENCY OF SERIAL VERB CONSTRUCTIONS

Abstract

The goal of this paper is to provide a unified account of word order and constituency of serial verb constructions (SVCs) in the framework of generative grammar. It is argued that both SVO-type and SOV-type SVCs follow the Temporal Iconicity, which is associated with the asymmetric nature of syntactic structure, i.e. V1 or VP1 c-commands V2 or VP2 asymmetrically. Based on this argument, an analysis for the derivation of SVCs - Inter-VP Asymmetrical C-command Analysis - is proposed to account for the derivation of SVCs in various languages. It is argued that in the SVC there exists a null predicate and a null argument, the occurrence or non-occurrence of which gives rise to different types of SVCs. Furthermore, left peripheral deletion (LPD) triggers the movement of VP1’s Spec to [Spec IP] and the occurrence of VP2’s Spec as pro, as a result of which VP1 asymmetrically c-commands VP2. Object gapping triggers the ATB movement of VP2 to generate various types of SVCs. The differences between coordinative constructions, pivotal constructions and SVCs lie in their internal structure but not in the verb position.

Open access
The application of ergative verbs to avoid accusations in the translation of Chinese editorials into English

Abstract

The use of ergative verbs results in the agent being backgrounded in an English sentence, and it is often used in the media together with other means such as the use of intransitive verbs, passives, and nominalized nouns to achieve the pragmatic purpose of accusation avoidance. A great deal of research has been done on the role of ergative verbs in media discourse in English as well as the acquisition of ergative verbs by learners of English as a Foreign Language (EFL). However, it remains unclear how EFL Chinese learners of advanced levels of competence, such as postgraduates of translation majors and professional translators, use ergative verbs when translating newspaper editorials from Chinese into English. Nor is it clear whether learners have acquired the requisite knowledge of ergative verbs in order to use them effectively so as to avoid blaming the agent of an action or process in translation. This study recruited 30 native Chinese-speaking translators who fell into three categories: undergraduate translators, graduate translators, and professional translators. A small parallel translation corpus was built, which consisted of 150 English translations of 5 Chinese editorials produced by the translators. Accusation-avoidance expressions in the source text and their translations were then extracted and input into an SPSS spreadsheet. The results show that the use of ergative verbs in translations by undergraduate translators is significantly higher than in translations by graduate and professional translators in terms of quantity. The results of the study may be useful for translation teaching and learning.

Open access