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The Study on the Han Dynasty Dictionary of "Yin Yang and the Five Elements" Etymology — Based on the Phonetic Gloss of " Shuowen Jiezi " and " Shiming "
Yin Yang and the Five Elements
The dissertation explores the etymology of phonetic gloss connoting the perceptions of Yin Yang and the Five Elements in “Shuowen Jiezi” and “Shiming”. Through analysis of the relation between interpreted words and words of phonetic gloss, the study examined the origin of explanation for interpreted words, that is, the “rationale” of explanation were also investigated and qualified numbers of “logical phonetic gloss” . This paper studied the implicit perceptions of Yin Yang and the Five Elements on the Han dynasty dictionaries from the two aspects of “Content” and “Format”. From the aspect of “Content”, by exploring and tracing back words’ meaning, this paper demonstrated that the thoughts of exegetics scholars in the Han dynasty were significantly influenced by the perceptions of Yin Yang and the Five Elements which prevailed in academia at that time. From the “Format” aspect, that the collations on these dictionaries revealed indicative utilization of Yin Yang and the Five Elements was focused. The study divides into three sections. The first section elaborated the historical background of the perceptions of Yin Yang and the Five Elements, inferred their changes from natural conception to the metaphysics and further unveiled the system applicable to everything in the universe. The second part focused on the collations in “Erya”, “Shuowen Jiezi”, and “Shiming” and analyzed such as arrangement of categorization, system of radicals, sequencing of lexicons so as to clarify the rules of collation and implicit connotations. Lastly, by exploring the initial meaning of interpreted words and words of phonetic gloss connoting Yin Yang and the Five Elements in "Shuowen Jiezi" and "Shiming", the relation between these two was distinguished and analyzed. If it was classified as "logical phonetic gloss", this paper utilized "ancient Chinese characters" and "examples" from the unearthed documents and classics to prove the relation in the phonetic aspect and meaning; if it was not "logical Phonetic Gloss", Xu Shen’s and Liu Xi’s interpretations to words’ meaning were observed from the angle of advocating thoughts to try to demonstrate the theoretical basis that the dictionaries in Han dynasty were influenced by the perceptions of Yin Yang and the Five Elements. Only by analyzing the origin of meaning of these entries can we understand that Xu Shen’s and Liu Xi’s interpretations are not unfounded but to advocate their thoughts.
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