Ancient China was quite advanced when it came to literature. This proves that ancient China was enlightened and prosperous. There are historical records that in ancient China, as early as BC, written texts used to be composed.
The Chinese writing system is non-alphabetic. It applies a specific character to write each meaningful syllable or each nonmeaningful syllabic that is part of a polysyllabic word. History It is not known when Chinese writing originated, but it apparently began to develop in the early 2nd millennium bc.
The earliest known inscriptions, each of which contains between 10 and 60 characters incised on pieces of bone and tortoiseshell that were used for oracular divination, date from the Shang or Yin dynasty 18th—12th century bcbut, by then it was already a highly developed system, essentially similar to its present form.
By bc the script included some 2, to 3, characters, most of which can be read to this day. By the end of the Zhou dynasty the dazhuan had degenerated to some extent. The script was fixed in its present form during the Qin period — bc. The earliest graphs were schematic pictures of what they represented; the graph for man resembled a standing figure, that for woman depicted a kneeling figure.
It is now recognized that the system represents the Chinese language by means of a logographic script. Each graph or character corresponds to one meaningful unit of the language, not directly to a unit of thought. Although it was possible to make up simple signs to represent common objects, many words were not readily picturable.
To represent such words the phonographic principle was adopted.
A graph that pictured some object was borrowed to write a different word that happened to sound similar. With this invention the Chinese approached the form of writing invented by the Sumerians. However, because of the enormous number of Chinese words that sound the same, to have carried through the phonographic principle would have resulted in a writing system in which many of the words could be read in more than one way.
That is, a written character would be extremely ambiguous. The solution to the problem of character ambiguityadopted about bc during the reign of the first Qin emperor, Shihuangdiwas to distinguish two words having the same sound and represented by the same graph by adding another graph to give a clue to the meaning of the particular word intended.
Such complex graphs or characters consist of two parts, one part suggesting the sound, the other part the meaning. The system was then standardized so as to approach the ideal of one distinctive graph representing each morpheme, or unit of meaning, in the language.
The limitation is that a language that has thousands of morphemes would require thousands of characters, and, as the characters are formed from simple lines in various orientations and arrangements, they came to possess great complexity.
Not only did the principle of the script change with time, so too did the form of the graphs. The earliest writing consisted of carved inscriptions. Before the beginning of the Christian Era the script came to be written with brush and ink on paper.
The brushwork allowed a great deal of scope for aesthetic considerations.Writing. The Chinese use a very different writing system to English. English words are made up of a collection of letters that each has its own sound. The Chinese use logograms - where a symbol represents a meaning or a word.
Ancient Chinese Writing: History of How It Began. Chinese was the first written East Asian language. The earliest evidence of Ancient Chinese writing was found in the early 20th century CE when cattle bones and turtles shells were uncovered in China.
History >> Ancient China The history of Ancient Chinese Literature spans thousands of years. It includes collections of poetry, historical works, religious writings, and novels. Chinese literature is increasingly available in translation- there are now several well-established websites sharing information, for example, Paper Republic, Writing Chinese, Chinese Short Stories, My Chinese Books, Chinese Books for Young Readers.
Writing. The Chinese use a very different writing system to English. English words are made up of a collection of letters that each has its own sound. The Chinese use logograms- where a symbol represents a meaning or a word.
Explore ancient objects with writing on. Challenge. Ancient China is one of the places where writing appears to have developed independently, along with Mesopotamia, which developed cuneiform, and Egypt and the civilization of the Maya, where hieroglyphs developed.