Sheffield Corpus of Chinese


Sheffield Corpus of Chinese


Hu, Xiaoling; Williamson, Nigel; McLaughlin, Jamie


Distributed by the University of Oxford under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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Linguistic corpora

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Chinese language

  • designation: Text data
  • size: 6 files: ca. 1.09 MB
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Mode of access: Online. OTA website

The rudimentary form of the Sheffield Corpus of Chinese contains a limited body of representative texts from Medieval (MedC) and Modern Chinese (ModC) periods. They are of two text types: literary and non-literary. The MedC text "Zhuzi Yulei" (ZZYL, Classified conversations of Master Zhu) by Zhu Xi (12th century) is a genre in its own right that is characteristic of sermons and dialogues in the vernacular and represents the Master's actual speech as recorded by his disciples. Texts like these are regarded as a reflection of planned monologue style that represents, if not truly natural speech, some of the most 'spoken-like' registers available from earlier historical periods (Biber et al 1998). the other two texts are ModC novels. The text "Shuihu Zhuan" (SHZ, Tales of the Water Margin) is one of four most famous novels of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) that is recorded in a colloquial style compounded with oral conventions like descriptive passages in prose narrative (Hanan 1981). it is a very useful text for historical study of the Ming time. The other text "Rulin Waishi" (RLWS, The Scholars) is one of the four great novels of the Quing Dynasty (1644-1911). Unlike SHZ, it avoided using standard poetic vocabulary, dialectical and slang terms and used classical terms only in the speeches of scholars. It is regarded as a landmark of Chinese literature for its conscious use of "Guoyu" or a national vernacular (Hanan 1981). It is a very useful source for linguistic study of the Chinese language in the early Qing time. From each of the three texts, a chapter is selected and used in the SCC.

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