Dating the extant version of the Kongzi Jiayu : a linguistic and textual exploration = ??????????????: ??????????
Abstract of thesis entitled
Dating the Extant Version of the Kongzi Jiayw. A Linguistic and Textual Exploration
submitted by Siu King Wai
for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
at The University of Hong Kong
in December 2004
According to the traditional account, Kongzi Jiayu was written alongside the Analects by disciples of Confucius during the early Warring States period (401B.C.-256B.C.) and was subsequently edited by the Former Han (206B.C.-25A.D.) scholar Kong Anguo -PL^cHS- However, it was later lost and was only rediscovered by the Wei (220-265) scholar Wang Su JEEH?, the annotator of the extant version of Kongzi Jiayu, who claimed that the material was provided by Kong Meng ?LS> a descendent of Confucius. Such a claim did not sit well with all scholars in the field. With the only exception of Zhu Xi 90^ and Huang Zhen JiffU of the Song dynasty (960-1279) and Shen Qinhan ffi&M and Chen Shike W? of the Qing dynasty (1616-1911), it was generally believed that Kongzi Jiayu was forged by Wang Su to facilitate him to compete head-to-head with his rival Zheng Xuan JU& in the study of the canonical texts. Arguments from both sides of the century-old debate surrounded parallel passages among Kongzi Jiayu and other classical literature: one side accused Wang Su of plagiarizing these texts, whereas the other side pointed to similar materials shared among other legitimate classics of the pre-Qin (221B.C.-206B.C.)
and early Han periods. No consensus has been made concerning the efficacy of this method, and the date of Kongzi Jiayu remains unresolved.
The present study departs from previous attempts in that we examined the Kongzi Jiayu on the basis of our understanding of the historical development of the Chinese language ?an effective tool in dating historical documents known as linguistic forensic ?as well as recently excavated bamboo inscriptions from the Warring States and early Han periods, carrying the original words of Confucius that were free from the Han contamination.
This thesis consists of five chapters, inclusive of an introduction and a conclusion. In Chapter Two, we find various syntactic innovations in Kongzi Jiayu that were only attested in the texts of the late Warring States and the Han periods. Then in Chapter Three we discover again in Kongzi Jiayu numerous phrases that did not surface until the late Warring States and the Han periods. The evidence suggests that the composition of the discussed passages in Kongzi Jiayu could not predate this time span. Chapter Four further analyzes parallel passages from the excavated bamboo inscriptions, Kongzi Jiayu and other ancient works such as Shuoyuan |$3?e and Liji HfE- It is found that the bamboo inscriptions share more similarities with these texts than with the Kongzi Jiayu. The result strongly suggests that the concerned passages of Kongzi Jiayu could not be composed before the end of the Former Han period. We summarize all the evidence in a tabular form in the concluding chapter, and propose a composition date for each of the examined passages in Kongzi Jiayu.
School:The University of Hong Kong
School Location:China - Hong Kong SAR
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:01/01/2005