syllabus 2013 - Centre for Chinese Studies

Harvard University Summer School
24 June – 18 July 2013
Professor Mark C. Elliott
Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations
[email protected]
617 496 5343
MTWTh 9 am – 12 pm, MW 1-3 pm
2 Divinity Ave., Room 213
About Manchu
Manchu is the major representative of the southern branch of the Tungusic languages, traditionally
thought to be part of the Altaic language family (or sprachbund), which also includes Mongolic and Turkic
languages. It was the language of the Jurchen tribes who inhabited what came to be called Manchuria
and who, after 1635, decided to call themselves “Manchus.” When they went on shortly thereafter to take
over all of China, Manchu became one of the official languages of the empire they created, the Qing
(1636-1912), and remained in fairly wide use until the early 20 th c. Though it has practically died out in its
original homeland, a dialect of Manchu continues to be used by the Sibe, a minority nationality living in
the Ili Valley.
Once dismissed as all but irrelevant for historical research, it is now recognized that a significant
proportion of the imperial Qing archives (about one-fifth) consists of documents written in Manchu.
Knowledge of the language has become essential for original research in a variety of areas, ranging from
the pre-dynastic history of the Manchus, to ethnic history, frontier history, and many areas of institutional
history from the 17th to the early 20th centuries. There are also a great many historical, religious,
scientific, philosophical, and literary works composed in Manchu. For these reasons, Manchu is of
considerable interest and value to students of Qing history and literature, as well as linguists.
Overview/Goals of the Course
This course offers an intensive one-month introduction to the Manchu language and to Manchu studies. It
is designed with the needs of the beginner in mind, but it is also suitable for those who have had some
previous exposure to Manchu (either through coursework or self-study) and would like to build on or
refresh their knowledge and skills. We will start by learning the Manchu writing system and the
peculiarities of Manchu orthography. Once these basics have been covered, we will develop
comprehension skills through the study of Manchu grammar and the reading of original texts. By the end
of the course, students should be able to correctly read, transcribe, and translate materials of an
intermediate level of difficulty, whether in printed or manuscript form, with the help of a dictionary.
Alongside morning language class, afternoon meetings provide a survey of key materials in the field of
Manjuristics, which it is hoped may provide some guidance in research.
Course structure
The course will move at a fast pace. We will meet for a total of 16 hours per week. Morning sessions, 3
hours in length, 4 times a week, will be devoted to study of the literary Manchu language. The basics of
script and grammar will be covered during the first two weeks, using short readings. During the second
two weeks, we will turn our attention primarily to the reading and translation of a range of historical and
literary texts; further elaboration of points of grammar and syntax will also be covered. Afternoon
sessions, which meet for 2 hours twice a week, will introduce students to the reference works, primary
sources, and secondary scholarship essential in the study of Manchu history and culture in the Qing.
Course Requirements
No prior study of Manchu is expected or required. However, students should have a good command of
literary Chinese. Knowledge of modern Japanese will be very helpful in accessing materials relating to the
study of Manchu. Attendance at class is mandatory. Students are expected to prepare texts assigned for
class by making a transcription and looking up unfamiliar vocabulary; you should be ready to read the
original text aloud and provide a tentative translation if called upon in class. Student progress in the
language portion of the class will be evaluated on the basis of grammar, writing, and vocabulary quizzes,
and on class performance. In lieu of a final examination, students will be assigned to translate an
unfamiliar passage of suitable length. For the afternoon session, students will be asked to submit a short
bibliographic essay on a subject of individual interest. Final grades will be determined on the basis of
quizzes, classroom performance, final translation, and bibliographic essay.
The text for this course is Manchu: A Textbook for Reading Documents, by Gertraude Roth Li (University
of Hawai’i Press, 2000), which is available for purchase at the Harvard Coop. Note, however, that we will
also make use of a variety of other materials as well, and will not read all the way through the book.
Students with a knowledge of Japanese are also encouraged to purchase a copy of Manshūgo bungo
nyūmon 満洲語文語入門 by Kawachi Yoshihiro 河内良弘. The Coop is unable to get this book in stock,
but you can order it through Amazon’s Japan site.
The following dictionaries have been placed on reserve at the Harvard-Yenching Library:
HANEDA Toru 羽田亨, Manwa jiten 満和辞典 (Kyoto, 1937).
standard Manchu-Japanese dictionary, essentially a translation of Qingwen zonghui 清文總彙;
very useful, contains Chinese translations as well
Erich HAUER, Handwörterbuch der Mandschusprache (Leipzig, 1952-1955); 2nd revised ed., Oliver Corff
(Harrassowitz, 2006).
widely considered the best dictionary of Manchu in any language; long out of print, the revised
edition makes this valuable tool accessible once again
HU Zengyi 胡增益, Xin Man-Han da cidian 新滿漢大詞典 (Beijing, 1994).
excellent Manchu-Chinese dictionary; many examples; idiosyncratic transcription
system should not pose too many problems
Jerry NORMAN, A Concise Manchu-English Lexicon (Seattle, 1978). (out of print)
the sole Manchu-English dictionary; no examples of usage but still extremely useful
Schedule of meetings
Morning session
Manchu language, 9 am - 12 pm
Week 1 (24-27 June)
Afternoon session
Manjuristics, 1-3 pm
24 Jun
Introduction to Manjuristics; modern reference
works, catalogues, and bibliographies
25 Jun
Introduction; Script & Orthography 1;
transcription conventions; the “twelve
homework: script writing and recognition
Script and Orthography 2
26 Jun
homework: script writing and recognition
Grammar 1 – Phonology, morphology,
27 Jun
homework: review script writing and
Quiz 1
Grammar 2 – Nouns, pronouns; cases &
Qing dictionaries, grammars, and primers
particles; numbers; dates
homework: Reading selection A-1
Week 2 (1-5 July)
1 Jul
Grammar 3 – Verbs; perfective and
imperfective converbs; verbal nouns
2 Jul
homework: Reading selection C-1
Grammar 4 – Verbs; sentence final forms;
derivational suffixes and infixes
3 Jul
5 Jul
homework: Reading selections C-2, C-3
Grammar 5 – Adjectives & adverbs
Pre-conquest historical sources
Institutional, historical, and geographical
homework: Reading selection C-4
Quiz 2
Grammar 6 – Postpositions; question
homework: Sun Wencheng palace
Week 3 (8-11 July)
8 Jul
9 Jul
Grammar 7 – Onomatopoeia
Literary, philosophical, and religious sources
homework: Manju-i yargiyan kooli
Grammar 8 – Plural forms
10 Jul
homework: Manbun rōtō
Grammar 9 – Verbs (converbs,
imperative, voluntative)
11 Jul
homework: Dzengšeo
Quiz 3
Grammar 10 – Periphrastic structures
Biographical sources
homework: Dzengšeo
Week 4 (15-18 July)
15 Jul
16 Jul
17 Jul
18 Jul
Reading: Liyoo jai jy i bithe
Archival sources
Reading: Liyoo jai jy i bithe
Reading: Muran gi bithe
Reading: Yongzheng rescripts
Epigraphic sources
Related flashcards

Literary genres

22 cards

Philosophy books

23 cards


17 cards

Series of books

21 cards


18 cards

Create Flashcards