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The Classical Tibetan Language.

The publication of a new and impressive attempt at a d hardly proves that h was zero: the question that must first be asked is, how else could the Tibetans have rendered foreign diphthongs except by using h? All these problems about h have already been more than adequately discussed and explained in the existing literature. B should have used his energy and the space available in his book for more of his own original contributions, in which he often shows himself a master, rather than, as in this matter of h, unsuccessfully attempting to reopen old, actually well-settled, controversies.

Any grammar is a linguistic document; and confronted with a linguistic document one will, these days at least, always have to ask, what kind of linguistics is it? Fortunately, B's enthusiasm remains firmly rooted in Tibetan itself, not in displaying his familiarity with the latest fads in linguistics, so that we are spared transformations, generations, deep structures, and stratifications as well. And it would probably be reading more into B's text than he intended if one were to suggest that his frequent (and mostly quite general) allusions to "semantic" this-or-that betray any serious inclination toward the doctrines of the latter-day neo-Chomskyites. Actually, the linguistics one finds in these pages is by-and-large good old-fashioned American descriptivism of the 1950s, generally the gospel a la Bloomfield, though he is never mentioned, and (as already noted, supra) new terms that help obscure many links with the past have been coined whenever possible (e.g., "equative" [pp. 253, 255-58] for the copula).

Even "Immediate Constituent" syntactic analysis, the Bloomfieldian "Great Satan" that was the first of the fallen angels to bite the dirt at M.I.T., is readily and illuminatingly invoked in these pages (e.g., pp. 191 n.; 193, 200 n.; 303 [a particularly spectacular example of I-C bracketing!!, and passim; it might also have been invoked and would have facilitated the description at pp. 235 n. and 241, as well as at p. 272, where far more than "change in word order" is at issue). In a word, B's linguistics is old-fashioned, solid, reliable, and useful; only the names have been changed "to protect the innocent."

Especially in view of B's almost entirely sound and traditional approach to questions of general linguistics and linguistic theory, it is a particular disappointment to find his analysis frequently running aground on a major methodological block-of-stumbling that often threatens to vitiate his entire voyage.

The language that B is describing is a written language. It is a dead language. No one now alive has ever heard it. Its written records give us data only about its segmental phonology (vowels, consonants), but tell us nothing about its stress, tone, pitch, or other presumably related suprasegmentals.(12) Linguistic analysis - "grammars" - can operate only with data that exist, not with entities that are missing from our texts, whether the texts are older written records or contemporary field-notes. Nevertheless, B early (pp. 5, 74 n., 90-92) and throughout his grammar attempts to anchor vital segments of his description and analysis of Written Tibetan onto a chimera, onto something that we do not know anything about because it is not in our texts, i.e., "stress." We are asked to believe in an analysis keyed to differences between "a single Stress Group" and "a Disyllabic Stress Group"; this latter "sometimes creates a Compound, which is a new stress group with a new meaning" (p. 91). We are told of "the basic disyllabic rhythm of the language" (p. 190 n.); but what we are never told is how B knows all these details about the suprasegmental features of what he at the same time (and quite correctly) insists is "above all a written rather than a spoken language ... freed from the constraints imposed by the transience and noise of spoken messages" (p. 194) - freed also, one may only add, from all the information and any of the linguistic-analytic clews that may well have been present in the now-lost anht have added that the term was once commonly used by many in Tibetan studies as well (including the reviewer), who may or may not have been "in conscious imitation" of anything. At any rate, my present considered view (and I think that of many others) is that this Sinological usage is itself highly suspect, and the less it is imitated the better. At least we know texts called (probably too loosely!) the "Chinese Classics"; but what are the "Tibetan Classics"? The language that B writes about so vividly and whose grammar he explicates so interestingly is "the language of written Tibetan texts" (p. 36); why not simply and unambiguously call it "Written Tibetan"? Nor is the problem ameliorated by random references to a lower-case "classical Tibetan" (e.g., pp. 37, 70 n.). On the diachronic scale we find Old Tibetan (p. 10 n. and passim) and Middle Tibetan (pp. 132 n., 139 n., 146 and passim). The ostensibly clear-cut parameters of the former are blurred by frequent and overlapping references to "archaic manuscripts from Central Asia," which never make clear how (or, if) their language differs from Old Tibetan; and so also for what is dubbed "an archaic chronicle found near Tun-huang" (p. 202). Middle Tibetan becomes an enormous catchall term covering a full nine centuries (p. 19), and Proto-Tibetan (in the usually accepted sense of the term) is confused with Pre-Tibetan (p. 10 n.).(3) The best, because it is the most straightforward, categorization of Old Tibetan (as distinct from Written Tibetan) defines it as that early variety of the language that had six or seven vowels (a, i, i, u, e, o, and possibly u); an automatic yod-glide between labials and i, i;, and the so-called da-drag. But the "extra" vowels that figure in every Old Tibetan manuscript are never mentioned ("There are five vowels in Old Tibetan - u, o, a, i, and e," p. 55); the yod-glide is treated only superficially and in passing; and the references to the da-drag (pp. 168 n., 175-76, 187, inter alia) are scattered and perplexing, never clearly making the essential point that this phenomenon too represents one of the critical distinguishing features of Old Tibetan phonology.

Related problems involving terminological precision similarly complicate B's discussion of the word, word-classes, and word-categories. Here the potential for serious misunderstanding is great indeed, particularly when B begins to base his grammatical analysis on meaning (which is generally a perilous pursuit) and at the same time substitutes translation into English for linguistic meaning (which is always fatal). His [section 7], "Words" (pp. 97-159) is an important discussion, and central to his grammar, but it is shot through with internal contradictions arising from an essential confusion between `meaning' and `[English] translation', which of course are not and never can be one and the same. No amount of trendy "new-speak" terminology, whether "the reading of texts" (p. 1), or "lexicalization" (p. 4), or "processing" (pp. 197, 199 n.), or "semantic nucleus" (pp. 137-38), can disguise the rents and fissures that arise in B's argumentation when he attempts to pour the new wine of his often genuinely original and useful analysis into the old bottles of translation-based grammar: immediately they leak badly. Nor does the invocation of the mental processes of "the Tibetan reader" (p. 304) do much except remind one of Hermann Paul's quest after this same will-of-the-linguistic wisp.

References to "semantically exocentric units" (pp. 92 n., 101 n.) and the like show that B has read (or heard) something of Bloomfieldian linguistics, but then end up doubly disappointing when the promise they hold out of a rigorously descriptive form- and syntactical-based system is betrayed by the trivializations inherent in "meaning = translation" (e.g., "the head member may not substitute for the whole collocation without changing the meaning of what is asserted," p. 102 n., which really only means, "without changing the usual Eibetan is more distantly related to Burmese; even more distantly to languages spoken by Naked Nagas and other hill tribes of Assam; and more distantly still to Chinese" (p. 7). But his examples of what he calls "Systematic Correspondences" between Chinese and Tibetan are the usual ones from the older literature, and mostly self-destructing: "the word[s] for 'three' (Old Tibetan gsum Old Chinese *s??m) ... both begin with a dental fricative" (p. 9). But of course they do not, and no amount of historical-phonological Turnubung can ever get the g- out of the Tibetan or add it to the Chinese.

The striking historical evidence that doublets such as Written Tibetan dgu ~ rgu '9' (noted p. 75 n., but there ascribed to "phonetic weakening"!) provide for the possibility that all the Tibetan numerals are nothing more than the result of loans from late Old Chinese into pre-Tibeto-Burman at a period just prior to a later and often diverse prefixation within some of the borrowing languages (a process that early proliferated in the Tibetan domain of Tibeto-Burman but one that at the same time atrophied in the Burmese sector) is passed over in silence. Thus, Chinese *sam '3', *nguo '5', and *kieu '9' would, for example, have originally been borrowed as *sum, *nga, and *ku (these forms are directly and quite simply reflected in Written Burmese sum, nga), and kui); but pre-Tibetan began to add various prefixes, and to yield g-sum '3', l-nga '5', and variously *d- + *ku [greater than! dgu ~ *r- + ku [greater than] rgu '9', etc. What begins (p. 8) as a promisingly succinct account for students of the comparative method of the Neogrammarians too soon thereafter crashes in flames ("the only way actually to demonstrate that two or more languages are cognate descendants of a common ancestral language is to reconstruct the common language from which they descended," p. 9). If this were true, anything would be possible, and Coblin would have been right.(14) After all this, one fears that students using this book will only be bewildered - and eventually disillusioned - when they are told that "Old Tibetan gtsig Burmese tats 'one' ... [and] Old Tibetan gnis Burmese hnats '2'" are "apparent cognates" of a variety "not hard to find" (p. 12 n.). What, many will ask, do the words gcig/tats and gnis/hnats have to do with one another except for "meaning the same"? Nor does the circular phonological scenario Tib. *gtig [greater than] *gtyig [greater than] gcig suggested later (p. 83) do anything to clarify the matter.

But probably the most unfortunate single consequence of B's well-intentioned attempt to introduce the literature of "Tibeto-Burman" and "Sino-Tibetan" comparativism to his readers is his endorsement of the concept of the "word family" (pp. 137-38 and passim). For all B's promises about identifying words "sharing a simple semantic nucleus," the examples he employs in order to illustrate this section do not manage to eradicate the impression that the only requirement for establishing a Tibetan "word family" is to have access to a dictionary and a vivid imagination: "Related to NPHYO 'roam about, gambol' we find both Nphyos-ma 'bride price' and Nphyon-ma 'prostitute'" (p. 137). Whether such lexical collocations really, as B alleges, "provide unexpected light on the Tibetan semantic world," or whether they merely tell us something about ourselves, is a question that each reader must answer independently.

Chapters [subsection]9-12, pp. 191-382, dealing with "Phrases," "Simple" and "Complex Propositions," and "Sentences," are in a sense the heart of B's book. They deserve extended discussion in hundreds of matters of detail, at a length that would far exceed even this review. The syntactic insights of this long section will prove rewarding to every student and would-be reader of Written Tibetan; one's interest is excited and new light thrown on thorny old issues on every page. Again, there are problems. Much of the analysis is predicated upon a consideration not exclusd that his is not really the "Tibetan baby out with the Indo-European bathwater" approach that the "Foreword" threatens. B more than once deftly conceals many of the old grammatical skeletons under bright new terminological garments. The traditional, long-standing, and eminently informative alignment of Sanskrit case-forms and karaka-categories appears as "the five primary participant roles in the classical language" (p. 193); the hand is the hand of B, but the voice is the voice of Panini.

B's initially somewhat startling decision to treat all parts of all verb roots as morphophonemes (p. 161) turns out, upon study, actually to be very Indic; and a good thing, too, if only because of its enormously enabling effect upon the overall description. His treatment of the Tibetan verb throughout these pages is without question the most impressive contribution that B makes to Tibetan linguistics; it is the best single thing in the whole book, and at the same time, it is the most Indic. Future generations of students will have reason to thank B for his (somewhat misleadingly entitled) section on Paradigms," pp. 164ff., with its ground-breaking approach to hypothesized roots and observed tense stems, among many other essentially Indic approaches that he builds upon.

Sometimes B shows himself a bit ashamed of being so much in debt to India models. When, for example, he writes that "the Tibetan grammatical tradition has noted the relationship between such propositions as . . . 'The woodsman cut the tree with an axe' and . . . 'The woodman's axe cut the tree'" (p. 268 n.), he of course must realize that in all this the Tibetan school men were themselves only following their own way down well laid-out Indic paths.

But in a certain sense, this is all to the good. It is not necessary to disguise Tibetan as Sanskrit in order to draw with profit upon the enormously rich linguistic resources that have accumulated over the centuries as a consequence of the familiarity of the Tibetan schools with Indic linguistic science; it is all a matter of degree and taste. External models in grammatical analysis are always danger-fraught ("looking for the ablative absolute in New Guinea," etc.). But when the models are sound and not trivial (and surely no one can call the Indic models trivial), and when the imitators understand their models well (and the Tibetans were often brilliantly informed about Indic linguistic science), then the results of viewing one language in terms of another can often be more than useful.(5) Admirable also, if often annoyingly unspecific and maddeningly scattered, are B's frequent allusions (alas! never citations) to the (for him) somewhat amorphous and shadowy figures whom he lumps together without regard for period or identity simply as "the Tibetan grammarians" (e.g., pp. 39, 43, 79, 231 n., 235, and passim). The charge that these men "blurred" the distinction between sound and graph, and used "the term yi-ge indiscriminately" (p. 39) is an old canard that dies hard; actually, it is an unfounded slur.(6)

On the other hand, B's account of the origins of writing in Tibet (pp. 40-41) and of the Sum cu pa (the "First Grammatical Treatise") (pp. 187-88) are without question the best presentation of these now moot topics yet to appear in the non-specialized literature, particularly interesting since (as perhaps B does not realize) in these lines he has clearly set himself on a collision course with the Bonzen (in both the German and the Japanese senses of that term) of Far Eastern Tibetology, from whom he will surely hear salvos shortly.

Familiarity with the Rtags kyi hjug pa ("Second Grammatical Treatise") is hinted at from time to time (e.g., pp. 87-88, 90 n., 161, 163, all of which in one manner or another recapitulate that treatise's sl. 12-15, but never overtly mention the text); and B's treatment of prefixed verbal g- ~ d- as phonologically-determined allomorphs of a morphophonemic G- (pp. 87-88, 161, 163 and passim) is essentially a recd at such length that accusations, not entirely unfounded, of plagiarism are certain to be heard.

To be sure, the authors and publications at issue are mostly listed in the "Bibliography"; but does this excuse taking over the work of others virtually intact without specific acknowledgment? B reprints a pericope from the Tibetan Madhyavyutpatti as edited and translated (in a truly heroic leger-de-main philologique) by N. Simonsson's in 1957; his translation differs from Simonsson's understanding of the passage only in one small but important point, in which detail B is surely wrong.(17) On pp. 143-44 and 153 he further borrows, without acknowledgment, directly from Simonsson's book, in the last instance making specific citation of - but no reference at all to - Simonsson's ground-breaking collation of the discrepancies between the later canonical Tibetan Saddharmapundarika and an Old Tibetan manuscript version. A student reading these passages will surely conclude that all this is B's work. The single listing of Simonsson's book on p.487 (under "21: Tibetan Hermeneutics"!) gives the uninformed reader no clue to what has gone on. B owes it to his readers and to himself to document these and hundreds of other passages throughout his book, properly crediting their authors, and in the process disarming them as potential grounds for charges of plagiarism.

This began as a favorable review; and despite the many problems it has been forced to discuss, it still intends to conclude as one. There would be no point in going into all these matters of detail if B's book did not appear to be a valuable and important contribution to Tibetan studies. Obviously, it is. But equally obviously, a revised new second edition needs to replace it as soon as possible. In that new edition, B would do well first of all to reconsider his reliance upon "meaning" as a key-stone in his linguistic analysis, particularly so long as "meaning" means no more than English translations; at the same time he ought to cast about for something real and concrete with which to replace the chimera of Old Tibetan "stress." Other necessary changes and alterations will be less major. When B has incorporated most of his present notes into his text, compiled suitable word- and subject-indices, and - most importantly - added specific acknowledgment of all previously published sources directly used or otherwise alluded to, along with specific identifications for the text-sources of his examples, particularly in his discussions of syntax, there is no reason why B's new grammar of Written Tibetan should not be as useful to and as appreciated by this (and even the next) generation of students as it is now exciting, interesting, and impressive for the rest of us.(18)

* This is a review article of: The Classical Tibetan Language. By Stephan V. Beyer. Suny Series in Buddhist Studies. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992. Pp. xxiv + 503. $18.95.

(1) Similarly, B is embarrassingly naive in expressing surprise that Genghis Khan should have been made the subject of a bstod pa 'encomium' in a Tibetan history of Mongolian Buddhism ("Genghis Khan - of all people," p. 411); he does not realize that the great Mongolian national hero's "bad press" is entirely a Western European artifact. (2) And one of the few of these boxed citations that is genuinely to the point, Eliza Doolittle's "I dont want to talk grammar. I want to talk like a lady" (p. 28), is miscopied ("don't" for "dont," and "," for "." .Cf. The Complete Plays of Bernard Shaw (London, 1965), 724b-25a. In his day, GBS would probably have brought suit. (3) A fairly detailed and generally useful periodization covering the entire history of the Tibetan language has long been available in the literature (Language 44 [1968): 147 n. 1). B might have consulted it to considerable advantage; in particular it would have helped to whittle down the nine centuries of his "Middle Tibetan." (4) Heinz Zimmermann, Wortart und Sprachstruktur im Tibeti hardly proves that h was zero: the question that must first be asked is, how else could the Tibetans have rendered foreign diphthongs except by using h? All these problems about h have already been more than adequately discussed and explained in the existing literature. B should have used his energy and the space available in his book for more of his own original contributions, in which he often shows himself a master, rather than, as in this matter of h, unsuccessfully attempting to reopen old, actually well-settled, controversies.

Any grammar is a linguistic document; and confronted with a linguistic document one will, these days at least, always have to ask, what kind of linguistics is it? Fortunately, B's enthusiasm remains firmly rooted in Tibetan itself, not in displaying his familiarity with the latest fads in linguistics, so that we are spared transformations, generations, deep structures, and stratifications as well. And it would probably be reading more into B's text than he intended if one were to suggest that his frequent (and mostly quite general) allusions to "semantic" this-or-that betray any serious inclination toward the doctrines of the latter-day neo-Chomskyites. Actually, the linguistics one finds in these pages is by-and-large good old-fashioned American descriptivism of the 1950s, generally the gospel a la Bloomfield, though he is never mentioned, and (as already noted, supra) new terms that help obscure many links with the past have been coined whenever possible (e.g., "equative" [pp. 253, 255-58] for the copula).

Even "Immediate Constituent" syntactic analysis, the Bloomfieldian "Great Satan" that was the first of the fallen angels to bite the dirt at M.I.T., is readily and illuminatingly invoked in these pages (e.g., pp. 191 n.; 193, 200 n.; 303 [a particularly spectacular example of I-C bracketing!!, and passim; it might also have been invoked and would have facilitated the description at pp. 235 n. and 241, as well as at p. 272, where far more than "change in word order" is at issue). In a word, B's linguistics is old-fashioned, solid, reliable, and useful; only the names have been changed "to protect the innocent."

Especially in view of B's almost entirely sound and traditional approach to questions of general linguistics and linguistic theory, it is a particular disappointment to find his analysis frequently running aground on a major methodological block-of-stumbling that often threatens to vitiate his entire voyage.

The language that B is describing is a written language. It is a dead language. No one now alive has ever heard it. Its written records give us data only about its segmental phonology (vowels, consonants), but tell us nothing about its stress, tone, pitch, or other presumably related suprasegmentals.(12) Linguistic analysis - "grammars" - can operate only with data that exist, not with entities that are missing from our texts, whether the texts are older written records or contemporary field-notes. Nevertheless, B early (pp. 5, 74 n., 90-92) and throughout his grammar attempts to anchor vital segments of his description and analysis of Written Tibetan onto a chimera, onto something that we do not know anything about because it is not in our texts, i.e., "stress." We are asked to believe in an analysis keyed to differences between "a single Stress Group" and "a Disyllabic Stress Group"; this latter "sometimes creates a Compound, which is a new stress group with a new meaning" (p. 91). We are told of "the basic disyllabic rhythm of the language" (p. 190 n.); but what we are never told is how B knows all these details about the suprasegmental features of what he at the same time (and quite correctly) insists is "above all a written rather than a spoken language ... freed from the constraints imposed by the transience and noise of spoken messages" (p. 194) - freed also, one may only add, from all the information and any of the linguistic-analytic clews that may well have been present in the now-lost anodem vernaculars as well. Conversely, the striking absence of tone from such modern Tibetan languages as Ladakhi might, if B had noted it, have provided a more useful (because more general) classificatory criterion than many of the segmental isoglosses cited in [sections]3,7-28. Vowel harmony is still another possibility from the domain of the phonological suprasegmentals that remains unexploited by B; it has the added attraction that, unlike stress and tone, it did at least upon occasion make its way into the Old Tibetan written records. But if one persists (as one must) in the search for an overt linguistic marking of compounds, attention must ultimately be directed to the here entirely neglected morphological phenomenon of combining forms (cf. Language 30 [1954]: 458-60). If indeed rdo-rdze 'noble stone' [right arrow] 'vajra' is a "new word" (as at p. 102 n.), one suspects that its "newness" is less a reflection of its meaning (and even less of its translation) than of the fact that in Central Tibetan and Lhasa generally the initial morpheme in the compound has a morphologically determined allomorph, i.e., a combining form, as dor-, var. thor-, as against its isolation form do, var. tho. (13) It may perhaps be suggested that some feature of significance for the history of the language, and possibly even for the analysis of its older grammar, has survived in the traditional "readings" of Written Tibetan texts undertaken by the blamas when engaged in liturgical performances. This is by no means impossible; little in the history of any language ever is. But if that is what is supposed to be at issue in these many passages mentioning "stress," it should have been made clear - or at least mentioned. But in the absence of corroborating detail, such a hypothesis would for the moment at least seem quite as unlikely as would be an attempt to employ the pronunciation of Latin in Anglican cathedrals (with Te Deum homophonous with "tedium," etc.) as a basis for the analysis of the grammar of Vergil or Cicero. (14) In A Sinologist's Handlist of Sino-Tibetan Lexical Comparisons, Monumenta Serica Monograph Series, XVIII (Nettal, 1986), Weldon S. Coblin attempts to "prove" a genetic relationship between Chinese, Tibetan, and Burmese by writing long strings of consonants and vowels which he misrepresents as historical reconstructions; he then takes these strings "as a starting point ... to explain in detail the subsequent developments of the various elements in the system.... The importance of the reconstructive exercise lies not in the detail ... but in the fact that the exercise can be successfully carried out" (p. 8). Arguing in this fashion, Coblin is able with equal success to derive both Written Tibetan bdun and Written Burmese hnac from *tshjit '7', and simultaneously also brgyad and hrac from *priat '8', even though his "Written Burmese hnac '7'" is only his careless miscopying and misglossing of hnac '2': i.e., his "exercise" works as well with false data as with real words. Unfortunately, B's epitome of the comparative method may easily be read by students as endorsing this variety of mumbo-jumbo. For a recent survey of the question of a Sino-Tibetan linguistic relationship, see the reviewer, "The Sino-Tibetan Hypothesis," Bulletin of the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, 59.2 (1988): 509-40 (published, 1991). (15) Letter of 28 October 1948, cited in Nihongo, In Defence of Japanese (London, 1986), [i]. (16) One wonders particularly, e.g., if this severe view of Indic metaphor would have survived a reading of Edwin Gerow, A Glossary of Indian Figures of Speech (The Hague, 1971). (17) It is impossible to believe that the text and translation on B's p. 110 are not drawn directly from Nils Simonsson, Indo-tibetische Studien, vol. I: Die Methoden der tibetischen Ubersetzer, untersucht im Hinblick auf die Bedeutung ihrer Ubersetzung fur die Sanskritphilologie (Uppsala, 1957), 255-56 (Simonsson's [sections]20). And once having gone to Simonsson, Bibetan is more distantly related to Burmese; even more distantly to languages spoken by Naked Nagas and other hill tribes of Assam; and more distantly still to Chinese" (p. 7). But his examples of what he calls "Systematic Correspondences" between Chinese and Tibetan are the usual ones from the older literature, and mostly self-destructing: "the word[s] for 'three' (Old Tibetan gsum Old Chinese *s??m) ... both begin with a dental fricative" (p. 9). But of course they do not, and no amount of historical-phonological Turnubung can ever get the g- out of the Tibetan or add it to the Chinese.

The striking historical evidence that doublets such as Written Tibetan dgu ~ rgu '9' (noted p. 75 n., but there ascribed to "phonetic weakening"!) provide for the possibility that all the Tibetan numerals are nothing more than the result of loans from late Old Chinese into pre-Tibeto-Burman at a period just prior to a later and often diverse prefixation within some of the borrowing languages (a process that early proliferated in the Tibetan domain of Tibeto-Burman but one that at the same time atrophied in the Burmese sector) is passed over in silence. Thus, Chinese *sam '3', *nguo '5', and *kieu '9' would, for example, have originally been borrowed as *sum, *nga, and *ku (these forms are directly and quite simply reflected in Written Burmese sum, nga), and kui); but pre-Tibetan began to add various prefixes, and to yield g-sum '3', l-nga '5', and variously *d- + *ku [greater than! dgu ~ *r- + ku [greater than] rgu '9', etc. What begins (p. 8) as a promisingly succinct account for students of the comparative method of the Neogrammarians too soon thereafter crashes in flames ("the only way actually to demonstrate that two or more languages are cognate descendants of a common ancestral language is to reconstruct the common language from which they descended," p. 9). If this were true, anything would be possible, and Coblin would have been right.(14) After all this, one fears that students using this book will only be bewildered - and eventually disillusioned - when they are told that "Old Tibetan gtsig Burmese tats 'one' ... [and] Old Tibetan gnis Burmese hnats '2'" are "apparent cognates" of a variety "not hard to find" (p. 12 n.). What, many will ask, do the words gcig/tats and gnis/hnats have to do with one another except for "meaning the same"? Nor does the circular phonological scenario Tib. *gtig [greater than] *gtyig [greater than] gcig suggested later (p. 83) do anything to clarify the matter.

But probably the most unfortunate single consequence of B's well-intentioned attempt to introduce the literature of "Tibeto-Burman" and "Sino-Tibetan" comparativism to his readers is his endorsement of the concept of the "word family" (pp. 137-38 and passim). For all B's promises about identifying words "sharing a simple semantic nucleus," the examples he employs in order to illustrate this section do not manage to eradicate the impression that the only requirement for establishing a Tibetan "word family" is to have access to a dictionary and a vivid imagination: "Related to NPHYO 'roam about, gambol' we find both Nphyos-ma 'bride price' and Nphyon-ma 'prostitute'" (p. 137). Whether such lexical collocations really, as B alleges, "provide unexpected light on the Tibetan semantic world," or whether they merely tell us something about ourselves, is a question that each reader must answer independently.

Chapters [subsection]9-12, pp. 191-382, dealing with "Phrases," "Simple" and "Complex Propositions," and "Sentences," are in a sense the heart of B's book. They deserve extended discussion in hundreds of matters of detail, at a length that would far exceed even this review. The syntactic insights of this long section will prove rewarding to every student and would-be reader of Written Tibetan; one's interest is excited and new light thrown on thorny old issues on every page. Again, there are problems. Much of the analysis is predicated upon a consideration not exclusare compared, the excavated manuscript, which had remained untouched since the early second century B.C., often reveals corruptions and alterations that exist in the received versions.

Here we will examine account number 4 of the MWD manuscript. In analyzing this account, we shall see that the MWD version is more complete than the Zhanguo ce version (hereafter, ZGC) and we shall also discover the strategist's rhetorical techniques that characterize the story, techniques that were lost in the extant tradition for two thousand years.(4)

My translation of the MWD version folloWS.(5) Only the italicized portions appear in the ZGC version, lettered A through D, as further explained below.

Translation of Account Four

[Su Qin] submitted a letter from Qi to the King of Yan, saying:(6) (PORTION A)

The enmity between Yan and Qi has existed for a long time. When I was going to deal with the relations between Yan and Qi, I certainly knew that I would be mistrusted. [So] my plan was: Qi will definitely become a great problem for Yan. I shall go ahead and become employed in Qi. The best I could do is to cause Qi not to scheme against Yan. The next [best] I could do is to erode the relations between Qi and Zhao, in order to serve the convenience of Your Majesty's important matters. This was what Your Majesty expected along with me.

I received your instruction, have been in charge of Qi and have been associated with them for five years. [In that time] Qi's soldiers have been often sent out, but they have never once schemed against Yan. Concerning the relations between Qi and Zhao, they have been good at times, bad at times,7 united at times, and separated at times. [On the contrary] in the case of Yan, if it has not schemed with Qi against Zhao, it has then schemed with Zhao against Qi. As far as Qi's faith in Yan is concerned, it has emptied the northern territories and moved its troops [from there].(8) [In spite of that) Your Majesty trusted the words of Tian Fa, Qiao, and Quji, and attacked Qi.(9) You have caused Qi to be very much forewarned,'o so that they mistrust Yan. (PORTION C)

I, your vassal [Su] Qin, prostrated myself and tried to explain the matter.(11) But Your Majesty was angry, so I did not dare to press it. Zhao, having suspected Yan, did not attack Qi, [and yet] Your Majesty dispatched Lord Xiang'an to go east [to Qi] in order to make matters convenient [to attack Qi].(12) How could I dare force you [to leave off attacking Qi]? Qi and Zhao were meeting at E. 3 Your Majesty was distressed over that. [So] I participated in the meeting and made them agree to attack Qin and withdraw the title of "emperor."(14) Although it was costly, it dispelled the worries about Qi and Zhao, and removed our disgrace [of having been a subject of Qi].(15)

When the Qi killed Zhang Tui,(16) I begged to entrust the matter [to other officials] and to excuse myself from being a vassal in Qi. [But] Your Majesty dispatched Qing to tell me that if I did not go, Qi would endanger our state.(17) [So] 1, prepared for death, went to Wei, and restored good relations between Qi and Yan.(18)

Later when Lord Xue and Han Xuwei made a pact with your majesty to attack Qi, Lord Fengyang, being a traitor, attributed the fault to Yan, thereby confirming his own fief from Qi.(19) The lord Yudan went to Zhao to deliver over Meng,(20) and Lord Fengyang accepted it. Your Majesty was distressed over that. Therefore you forced me to go to Qi. I went to Qi, eroded the relations between Qi and Zhao, caused Qi not to give away Meng, and then came in contact with envoys from Song. Therefore if Your Majesty can judge this, [you know that] I assumed the task even at the risk of my life. After this, Qin has received soldiers. And Qi and Zhao in all cases have schemed against others. [But] Qi and Zhao have never schemed against Yan; instead they contend with each other throughout the empire for Your Majesty['s favor]. Although I have not had great merit, I might consider myself frd at such length that accusations, not entirely unfounded, of plagiarism are certain to be heard.

To be sure, the authors and publications at issue are mostly listed in the "Bibliography"; but does this excuse taking over the work of others virtually intact without specific acknowledgment? B reprints a pericope from the Tibetan Madhyavyutpatti as edited and translated (in a truly heroic leger-de-main philologique) by N. Simonsson's in 1957; his translation differs from Simonsson's understanding of the passage only in one small but important point, in which detail B is surely wrong.(17) On pp. 143-44 and 153 he further borrows, without acknowledgment, directly from Simonsson's book, in the last instance making specific citation of - but no reference at all to - Simonsson's ground-breaking collation of the discrepancies between the later canonical Tibetan Saddharmapundarika and an Old Tibetan manuscript version. A student reading these passages will surely conclude that all this is B's work. The single listing of Simonsson's book on p.487 (under "21: Tibetan Hermeneutics"!) gives the uninformed reader no clue to what has gone on. B owes it to his readers and to himself to document these and hundreds of other passages throughout his book, properly crediting their authors, and in the process disarming them as potential grounds for charges of plagiarism.

This began as a favorable review; and despite the many problems it has been forced to discuss, it still intends to conclude as one. There would be no point in going into all these matters of detail if B's book did not appear to be a valuable and important contribution to Tibetan studies. Obviously, it is. But equally obviously, a revised new second edition needs to replace it as soon as possible. In that new edition, B would do well first of all to reconsider his reliance upon "meaning" as a key-stone in his linguistic analysis, particularly so long as "meaning" means no more than English translations; at the same time he ought to cast about for something real and concrete with which to replace the chimera of Old Tibetan "stress." Other necessary changes and alterations will be less major. When B has incorporated most of his present notes into his text, compiled suitable word- and subject-indices, and - most importantly - added specific acknowledgment of all previously published sources directly used or otherwise alluded to, along with specific identifications for the text-sources of his examples, particularly in his discussions of syntax, there is no reason why B's new grammar of Written Tibetan should not be as useful to and as appreciated by this (and even the next) generation of students as it is now exciting, interesting, and impressive for the rest of us.(18)

* This is a review article of: The Classical Tibetan Language. By Stephan V. Beyer. Suny Series in Buddhist Studies. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992. Pp. xxiv + 503. $18.95.

(1) Similarly, B is embarrassingly naive in expressing surprise that Genghis Khan should have been made the subject of a bstod pa 'encomium' in a Tibetan history of Mongolian Buddhism ("Genghis Khan - of all people," p. 411); he does not realize that the great Mongolian national hero's "bad press" is entirely a Western European artifact. (2) And one of the few of these boxed citations that is genuinely to the point, Eliza Doolittle's "I dont want to talk grammar. I want to talk like a lady" (p. 28), is miscopied ("don't" for "dont," and "," for "." .Cf. The Complete Plays of Bernard Shaw (London, 1965), 724b-25a. In his day, GBS would probably have brought suit. (3) A fairly detailed and generally useful periodization covering the entire history of the Tibetan language has long been available in the literature (Language 44 [1968): 147 n. 1). B might have consulted it to considerable advantage; in particular it would have helped to whittle down the nine centuries of his "Middle Tibetan." (4) Heinz Zimmermann, Wortart und Sprachstruktur im Tibetiarticular, we find two crucial places where the MWD version demonstrates its narrative superiority to the ZGC version.

First, in the MWD version the story in portion C directly follows and matches Su's stratagem that precedes it, and the relation between these two portions is so close that they are inseparable. Notice that the line, "I will go ahead and become employed in Qi," in Su's stratagem corresponds to the beginning of the C portion, "[I] have been in charge of Qi and have been associated with them for five years." Also, the line, "the best I could do is to cause Qi not to scheme against Yan," directly matches Su's words in C: "they have never once schemed against Yan." Furthermore, Su's next stratagem, "The next [best] I could do is to erode the relations between Qi and Zhao," meets the responsive statement in C: "Concerning the relations between Qi and Zhao, they have been good at times, bad at times, united at times, and separated at times." These correspondences between the portion preceding C and portion C exhibit a more natural development of narrative in the MWD version.

In the ZGC version, portions B and C are found together in sequence. These two portions, though unmarked, appear to be continuous, because the king's request in B to "obtain employment in Qi" matches the beginning of C in which Su says "[I] have been in charge of Qi and have been associated with them for five years." In fact, the king's request here in B has common ground with Su's scheme, "I will go ahead and become employed in Qi," which appears antecedently in the MWD version. But when we move to the next discussion in C, dealing with the "relations between Qi and Zhao," we find that there is no previous reference made in the B portion to the relations between Qi and Zhao and that the utterance is quite abrupt. This is one of the discrepancies that show up in the ZGC version.

Second, it is also obvious that in the MWD version the B portion is inseparable from the portion that immediately follows it. For example, the king's order for Su in B, "At best, you could obtain employment in Qi" de yong yu Qi [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED], is directly answered by Su's words, "I obtained employment there" de yong yan [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED]. Notice that Su repeats the king's expression de yong in his own response.

In the ZGC version, in which B is followed by C, Su's words "I have been in charge of Qi" (ren Qi [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED], C) have to be taken as the response to the king's order to "obtain employment in Qi" (B). In the MWD version, however, Su's statement, by repeating de yong, presents the direct response to the king's order.

Furthermore, in the MWD version, the king's words in portion B, "I certainly would not listen to people's calumnies and invented stories," are answered by Su, who uses exactly the same expression, "now Your Majesty places the blame on me, owing to people's calumnies and invented stories," in the section following B. In the ZGC version, the line, "your majesty trusted the words of Tian Fa, Qiao, and Quji," in C matches the king's words. This again appears to correspond, but the response in the MWD version fits more precisely than that in the ZGC version.

Moreover, we find that, where the MWD version and the ZGC version are comparable, the ZGC version lacks a six-character line found in the MWD version. The line, "in the extreme case, it will be permissible to scheme with them against Yan" (shen zhe yu mou Yan ke [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED), appears in MWD, which, if it were in the ZGC version, should appear towards the end of the portion equivalent to B, preceding C. As can be seen from the translation, this line fits perfectly in the context of the MWD version, since the point of this and of the preceding lines is that the king of Yan point out that Su should do everything he can do to gain the trust of Qi, even if he has to betray Yan. If the line, "it will be permissible to scheme against Yan," were to appear in B in the ZGC version, it wouodem vernaculars as well. Conversely, the striking absence of tone from such modern Tibetan languages as Ladakhi might, if B had noted it, have provided a more useful (because more general) classificatory criterion than many of the segmental isoglosses cited in [sections]3,7-28. Vowel harmony is still another possibility from the domain of the phonological suprasegmentals that remains unexploited by B; it has the added attraction that, unlike stress and tone, it did at least upon occasion make its way into the Old Tibetan written records. But if one persists (as one must) in the search for an overt linguistic marking of compounds, attention must ultimately be directed to the here entirely neglected morphological phenomenon of combining forms (cf. Language 30 [1954]: 458-60). If indeed rdo-rdze 'noble stone' [right arrow] 'vajra' is a "new word" (as at p. 102 n.), one suspects that its "newness" is less a reflection of its meaning (and even less of its translation) than of the fact that in Central Tibetan and Lhasa generally the initial morpheme in the compound has a morphologically determined allomorph, i.e., a combining form, as dor-, var. thor-, as against its isolation form do, var. tho. (13) It may perhaps be suggested that some feature of significance for the history of the language, and possibly even for the analysis of its older grammar, has survived in the traditional "readings" of Written Tibetan texts undertaken by the blamas when engaged in liturgical performances. This is by no means impossible; little in the history of any language ever is. But if that is what is supposed to be at issue in these many passages mentioning "stress," it should have been made clear - or at least mentioned. But in the absence of corroborating detail, such a hypothesis would for the moment at least seem quite as unlikely as would be an attempt to employ the pronunciation of Latin in Anglican cathedrals (with Te Deum homophonous with "tedium," etc.) as a basis for the analysis of the grammar of Vergil or Cicero. (14) In A Sinologist's Handlist of Sino-Tibetan Lexical Comparisons, Monumenta Serica Monograph Series, XVIII (Nettal, 1986), Weldon S. Coblin attempts to "prove" a genetic relationship between Chinese, Tibetan, and Burmese by writing long strings of consonants and vowels which he misrepresents as historical reconstructions; he then takes these strings "as a starting point ... to explain in detail the subsequent developments of the various elements in the system.... The importance of the reconstructive exercise lies not in the detail ... but in the fact that the exercise can be successfully carried out" (p. 8). Arguing in this fashion, Coblin is able with equal success to derive both Written Tibetan bdun and Written Burmese hnac from *tshjit '7', and simultaneously also brgyad and hrac from *priat '8', even though his "Written Burmese hnac '7'" is only his careless miscopying and misglossing of hnac '2': i.e., his "exercise" works as well with false data as with real words. Unfortunately, B's epitome of the comparative method may easily be read by students as endorsing this variety of mumbo-jumbo. For a recent survey of the question of a Sino-Tibetan linguistic relationship, see the reviewer, "The Sino-Tibetan Hypothesis," Bulletin of the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, 59.2 (1988): 509-40 (published, 1991). (15) Letter of 28 October 1948, cited in Nihongo, In Defence of Japanese (London, 1986), [i]. (16) One wonders particularly, e.g., if this severe view of Indic metaphor would have survived a reading of Edwin Gerow, A Glossary of Indian Figures of Speech (The Hague, 1971). (17) It is impossible to believe that the text and translation on B's p. 110 are not drawn directly from Nils Simonsson, Indo-tibetische Studien, vol. I: Die Methoden der tibetischen Ubersetzer, untersucht im Hinblick auf die Bedeutung ihrer Ubersetzung fur die Sanskritphilologie (Uppsala, 1957), 255-56 (Simonsson's [sections]20). And once having gone to Simonsson, Bween nn. 17 and 18) when he went to Wei to comply with the king's request; and he uses this expression yi si again, when he tells of solving the problem of Lord Fengyang's betrayal (after n. 20).

At these points, Su emphasizes that he has been loyal to the king of Yan, even when the king had forced him to go on unpleasant and dangerous missions, which Su was reluctant to undertake. By such rhetoric, Su effectively puts himself in the best light possible.

Elsewhere, Su deliberately reminds the king of the latter's own words, in order to point out the king's inconsistency. If the king is to find him at fault, it will contradict the king's own previous statements. Instead of accusing the king directly, Su tries to let the king see how his dismissal of him would contradict his own former pronouncements.

Su uses this technique in three places. In the first, Su complains to the king of Yan, saying, "Your majesty does not realize that the king of Qi has frequently been unfaithful (Qi wang duo bu zhong ye [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED]), but considers me culpable. I am extremely frightened" (2nd paragraph before B). This sounds as though it were direct criticism of the king. But the emphasized expression is Su's exact repetition of the king's former comment, qi wang zhi [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED] duo bu zhong ye, "Concerning the matter of the king of Qi's being unfaithful so frequently" (in the paragraph before B). Su repeats the expression deliberately, in order to remind the king that the latter had himself originally found Qi culpable. The king will contradict himself if he now blames Su.

The second and third instances of this technique appear after Su's discussion of the letter he had earlier forwarded to the king and the king's reply to it. Su says:

Because of these I obtained employment there by discoursing to the king of Qi. [But] now Your Majesty places the blame on me, owing to people's calumnies and invented stories. (B)

The expression, to "obtain employment there" [= in Qi! (de yong yan), is taken from the king's earlier statement to Su: "The best you can do is to obtain employment in Qi " (de yong yu Qi, B). By claiming that he had indeed obtained employment there (2nd sentence after B), Su implies that he had indeed succeeded in doing the "best" the king said he could do (B). It would therefore be unreasonable for the king now to blame him.

In the following sentence Su criticizes the king for trusting "people's calumnies and invented stories" (zhongkou yu zaoyan [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED]). This phrase, too, is not Su's own. This is exactly what the king had said in his earlier reply to Su's letter, stating, he "would never listen to people's calumnies and invented stories" (B). Here again Su suggests the possibility of the king's contradictory behavior.

In these contexts Su twice says he is "extremely frightened" because of the false charges. Nevertheless, he is certain that the king will not, after all, punish him, because what Su has stated in this letter will surely remind the king of his own former words and Su's loyal efforts to comply with them. By raising the question of self-contradiction in the king's actions, Su succeeds in making the king realize it would be most unreasonable to dismiss him.

After these critical remarks, Su adds that he, in fact, owes the king a great deal and still has a sincere desire to serve him, even after this slanderous incident. Su makes it clear that the purpose of his letter is not simply to criticize the king's conduct, but to express his passionate eagerness to continue furthering the king's goals. These lines, which are missing in the ZGC version, succeed in softening the tone of the entire letter, for they exhibit Su's positive attitude toward serving his king.

Comparison of the different versions of this story reveals that the received version lacks the eloquence and effective rhetorical quality found in the MWD version. Because a large part of the text is lost, the ZGC version merely presentare compared, the excavated manuscript, which had remained untouched since the early second century B.C., often reveals corruptions and alterations that exist in the received versions.

Here we will examine account number 4 of the MWD manuscript. In analyzing this account, we shall see that the MWD version is more complete than the Zhanguo ce version (hereafter, ZGC) and we shall also discover the strategist's rhetorical techniques that characterize the story, techniques that were lost in the extant tradition for two thousand years.(4)

My translation of the MWD version folloWS.(5) Only the italicized portions appear in the ZGC version, lettered A through D, as further explained below.

Translation of Account Four

[Su Qin] submitted a letter from Qi to the King of Yan, saying:(6) (PORTION A)

The enmity between Yan and Qi has existed for a long time. When I was going to deal with the relations between Yan and Qi, I certainly knew that I would be mistrusted. [So] my plan was: Qi will definitely become a great problem for Yan. I shall go ahead and become employed in Qi. The best I could do is to cause Qi not to scheme against Yan. The next [best] I could do is to erode the relations between Qi and Zhao, in order to serve the convenience of Your Majesty's important matters. This was what Your Majesty expected along with me.

I received your instruction, have been in charge of Qi and have been associated with them for five years. [In that time] Qi's soldiers have been often sent out, but they have never once schemed against Yan. Concerning the relations between Qi and Zhao, they have been good at times, bad at times,7 united at times, and separated at times. [On the contrary] in the case of Yan, if it has not schemed with Qi against Zhao, it has then schemed with Zhao against Qi. As far as Qi's faith in Yan is concerned, it has emptied the northern territories and moved its troops [from there].(8) [In spite of that) Your Majesty trusted the words of Tian Fa, Qiao, and Quji, and attacked Qi.(9) You have caused Qi to be very much forewarned,'o so that they mistrust Yan. (PORTION C)

I, your vassal [Su] Qin, prostrated myself and tried to explain the matter.(11) But Your Majesty was angry, so I did not dare to press it. Zhao, having suspected Yan, did not attack Qi, [and yet] Your Majesty dispatched Lord Xiang'an to go east [to Qi] in order to make matters convenient [to attack Qi].(12) How could I dare force you [to leave off attacking Qi]? Qi and Zhao were meeting at E. 3 Your Majesty was distressed over that. [So] I participated in the meeting and made them agree to attack Qin and withdraw the title of "emperor."(14) Although it was costly, it dispelled the worries about Qi and Zhao, and removed our disgrace [of having been a subject of Qi].(15)

When the Qi killed Zhang Tui,(16) I begged to entrust the matter [to other officials] and to excuse myself from being a vassal in Qi. [But] Your Majesty dispatched Qing to tell me that if I did not go, Qi would endanger our state.(17) [So] 1, prepared for death, went to Wei, and restored good relations between Qi and Yan.(18)

Later when Lord Xue and Han Xuwei made a pact with your majesty to attack Qi, Lord Fengyang, being a traitor, attributed the fault to Yan, thereby confirming his own fief from Qi.(19) The lord Yudan went to Zhao to deliver over Meng,(20) and Lord Fengyang accepted it. Your Majesty was distressed over that. Therefore you forced me to go to Qi. I went to Qi, eroded the relations between Qi and Zhao, caused Qi not to give away Meng, and then came in contact with envoys from Song. Therefore if Your Majesty can judge this, [you know that] I assumed the task even at the risk of my life. After this, Qin has received soldiers. And Qi and Zhao in all cases have schemed against others. [But] Qi and Zhao have never schemed against Yan; instead they contend with each other throughout the empire for Your Majesty['s favor]. Although I have not had great merit, I might consider myself fri laid claim to emperorship of the East (dong di) and Qin laid claim to emperorship of the West (xi di) in the year 288 B.C. The Chinese editors say (op. cit., p. 29, note 12) that this means that Qi, by withdrawing the title, allied itself with Zhao in order together to attack Qin. (15) The Chinese editors (p. 29, note 13) note that the state of Yan, ostensibly subject to Qi, sent troops, arms, and food to assist Qi in attacking Qin. Though it was costly to Yan, Yan escaped from being a target of attack by Qi and Zhao, and Yan no longer had to remain as Qi's subject, because this scheme caused the Qi ruler to withdraw his claim to the title of emperor. (16) Lushi chunqiu, "Xing lun," 20.13b (SBBY), records that the king of Yan sent out Zhang Kui [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED] as general, but the king of Qi killed him, and that the king of Yan cried when he heard it. It moreover records that the king of Yan had sent Zhang Kui to Qi at the head of the troops of Yan in order to help Qi attack Song. Zhang Tui [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED] in MWD is presumed to be the same man as Zhang Kui, since the incident described in MWD appears to match that in the Lushi chunqiu. The words are likely related, since the phonetic of [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED] tui is [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED] zhui < *tjwad, and kui is reconstructed as *k'wad. (17) Sheng Qing [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED] was a vassal of Yan. The name also appears in accounts two and three of MWD. (18) The location of Wei [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED] is unknown. (19) Lord Xue [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED] , also known as Lord Mengchang Tian Wen [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED], was of the same clan as the king of Qi and was enfeoffed at Xue. About this time Lord Xue, being on ill terms with Ying Min [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED] of Qi, stayed in the state of Wei as a minister and was planning with Han Xuwei [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED], a general of Zhao, to attack Qi. Lord Fengyang [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED], the title given to Li Dui [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED], was minister of Zhao at this time. (20) Meng [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED] is located northeast of present-day Shangqiu [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED] city in Henan. (21) There are interesting textual differences here. The best proposal I can suggest for the understanding of the MWD version is to take [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED] he < *yat as related to [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED! nie < * sngiat "to clench one's teeth tightly" as Shuowen jiezi (2B) suggests. The Yao Hong version of. ZGC has [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED] chan yi zhe < *dz'an ngjad tjag, "to diminish," "to mow," and a particle, respectively. The first two characters could represent the demidiated form of a single word < **dz'(an)-ngjad, which is phonetically close to nie < *sngiat "to clench one's teeth tightly," as above. The Bao Biao version of ZGC has [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED] lie mei < *ljat mjed "lined up eyebrows." The word *lie < *tjat < **sngliat can mean "to notch firmly," judging from its xiesheng series, e.g., [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED]. The mei [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED] in the Bao Biao version of ZGC may be the result of graphic confusion with zhe [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED! in the Yao Hong version of ZGC. (22) This entire sentence is missing from the Z version. See my discussion following the translation. (23) Removing someone's official hat is an insulting act. (24) Although the MWD and ZGC versions match at these places, they display many textual differences, e.g., MWD: shou jiao "received instructions" vs. ZGC: shou ling "received orders"; MWD: Qiao vs. ZGC: San (both are names), etc. I have used the MWD version as the base text in discussing the rhetoric of die account. (25) In the case of the ZGC text it is not uncommon to see portions of one account detached from or attached to another. For example, account five of MWD reveals the fact that the latter half of the matching ZGC version (starting from chen wen zhi, SBBY 29.10b, line 8) is a separate story misplaced at the end of this account. Moreover, the matching portion of the account appears once again at another location in ZGCarticular, we find two crucial places where the MWD version demonstrates its narrative superiority to the ZGC version.

First, in the MWD version the story in portion C directly follows and matches Su's stratagem that precedes it, and the relation between these two portions is so close that they are inseparable. Notice that the line, "I will go ahead and become employed in Qi," in Su's stratagem corresponds to the beginning of the C portion, "[I] have been in charge of Qi and have been associated with them for five years." Also, the line, "the best I could do is to cause Qi not to scheme against Yan," directly matches Su's words in C: "they have never once schemed against Yan." Furthermore, Su's next stratagem, "The next [best] I could do is to erode the relations between Qi and Zhao," meets the responsive statement in C: "Concerning the relations between Qi and Zhao, they have been good at times, bad at times, united at times, and separated at times." These correspondences between the portion preceding C and portion C exhibit a more natural development of narrative in the MWD version.

In the ZGC version, portions B and C are found together in sequence. These two portions, though unmarked, appear to be continuous, because the king's request in B to "obtain employment in Qi" matches the beginning of C in which Su says "[I] have been in charge of Qi and have been associated with them for five years." In fact, the king's request here in B has common ground with Su's scheme, "I will go ahead and become employed in Qi," which appears antecedently in the MWD version. But when we move to the next discussion in C, dealing with the "relations between Qi and Zhao," we find that there is no previous reference made in the B portion to the relations between Qi and Zhao and that the utterance is quite abrupt. This is one of the discrepancies that show up in the ZGC version.

Second, it is also obvious that in the MWD version the B portion is inseparable from the portion that immediately follows it. For example, the king's order for Su in B, "At best, you could obtain employment in Qi" de yong yu Qi [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED], is directly answered by Su's words, "I obtained employment there" de yong yan [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED]. Notice that Su repeats the king's expression de yong in his own response.

In the ZGC version, in which B is followed by C, Su's words "I have been in charge of Qi" (ren Qi [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED], C) have to be taken as the response to the king's order to "obtain employment in Qi" (B). In the MWD version, however, Su's statement, by repeating de yong, presents the direct response to the king's order.

Furthermore, in the MWD version, the king's words in portion B, "I certainly would not listen to people's calumnies and invented stories," are answered by Su, who uses exactly the same expression, "now Your Majesty places the blame on me, owing to people's calumnies and invented stories," in the section following B. In the ZGC version, the line, "your majesty trusted the words of Tian Fa, Qiao, and Quji," in C matches the king's words. This again appears to correspond, but the response in the MWD version fits more precisely than that in the ZGC version.

Moreover, we find that, where the MWD version and the ZGC version are comparable, the ZGC version lacks a six-character line found in the MWD version. The line, "in the extreme case, it will be permissible to scheme with them against Yan" (shen zhe yu mou Yan ke [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED), appears in MWD, which, if it were in the ZGC version, should appear towards the end of the portion equivalent to B, preceding C. As can be seen from the translation, this line fits perfectly in the context of the MWD version, since the point of this and of the preceding lines is that the king of Yan point out that Su should do everything he can do to gain the trust of Qi, even if he has to betray Yan. If the line, "it will be permissible to scheme against Yan," were to appear in B in the ZGC version, it wour of the Dream, lies unambiguously in individuality" (p. 136). And when Hsueh Pao-ch'ai, "a mere public self" (p. 135), tries to comfort her aunt, who is distraught over the suicide of a female servant, she is accused by our author of "Machiavellian exploitation" (p. 150)!

While Wang argues her case with gusto, one may disagree with her on many points. As she reminds us, the words for "jade" and for "desire" are homophones in Chinese. The passion for purity, implied by the names of the novel's "jade"-characters, can only result in either a life of desire (e.g., the final fate of Miao-yu) or in death (as in the case of Tai-yu), unless one leaves the world of desire altogether (as Pao-yu will do). One may also wonder whether the metaphysical and the moral dimensions are as clearly differentiated as Wang would have us believe. There is, after all, more to ethics than purity. The central terms zhen ("true, real, genuine, natural") and chia "false, hypocritical") operate both on the metaphysical and the moral level - one assumes, on purpose. I shall return to this topic later.

The book's fourth chapter discusses the contradictory character of Pao-yu, as symbolized by the notions of the wan-shih ("foolish stone"), on the one hand, and the t'ung-ling shih ("intelligent stone"), on the other. Here the most interesting point may be the contradiction noted between the narrative logic that strives for a free development and the "mytho-logic" of the novel that determines its outcome even in its beginning. "In terms of both narrative logic and cultural unconscious, Dream reveals itself as a tale about the fatal attractions of constraints and a tragedy about an aborted ideological revolution" (p. 205). Accordingly, Wang characterizes the novel as "a narrative that eventually comes to terms with what it problematizes" (p. 205). Continuing in this vein, her "Conclusion" argues that any difference of opinion held by the novel's two authors, Ts'ao Hsueh-ch'in and Kao O, concerning Confucianism, is of only secondary importance in comparison with the basic, culturally determined ideological assumptions they both share.

Wang devotes the opening chapter of her book to an extensive discussion of the notion of "intertextuality" and the critical practice it engenders. This exposition may be read with profit. However, one may also wonder what is really new in this approach, once the verbiage and paradoxical word-play is cleared away. Even old-fashioned philologists will agree that no text is a self-contained universe and that each text is written - and must be understood - on the basis of pre-existing knowledge that is developed and transformed in the act of writing or reading. Knowledge of the cultural background or "prior text" is an indispensable precondition for the understanding of any communication. The existence of sinology itself, as a distinct discipline, is based upon the attempt to interpret Chinese texts in the context of Chinese culture as it may be known from other Chinese texts, as well as extra-textual, social and cultural contexts.

While we may agree that language, and the way of thinking encoded in it, is a slippery, ever-changing, intersubjective entity that is no one's exclusive possession, it is difficult to subscribe fully to the statement that intertextuality as a concept "is an ideological instrument to attack the concept of the founding subject as the originating source of fixed meaning in the text" (p. 7). Personally, I do believe that authors try, through careful use of the common language of their times, to make themselves understood as clearly as possible - and therefore that authorial intention matters. Wang apparently holds the same opinion, for she not only talks about a "narrator," which can still be interpreted as a textual construct, but repeatedly refers to the opinions of the "author-narrator" (e.g., pp. 164, 246), a figure she identifies with the historical Ts'ao Hsueh-ch'in, described by her (p. 170) as a "writer of high literary caliween nn. 17 and 18) when he went to Wei to comply with the king's request; and he uses this expression yi si again, when he tells of solving the problem of Lord Fengyang's betrayal (after n. 20).

At these points, Su emphasizes that he has been loyal to the king of Yan, even when the king had forced him to go on unpleasant and dangerous missions, which Su was reluctant to undertake. By such rhetoric, Su effectively puts himself in the best light possible.

Elsewhere, Su deliberately reminds the king of the latter's own words, in order to point out the king's inconsistency. If the king is to find him at fault, it will contradict the king's own previous statements. Instead of accusing the king directly, Su tries to let the king see how his dismissal of him would contradict his own former pronouncements.

Su uses this technique in three places. In the first, Su complains to the king of Yan, saying, "Your majesty does not realize that the king of Qi has frequently been unfaithful (Qi wang duo bu zhong ye [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED]), but considers me culpable. I am extremely frightened" (2nd paragraph before B). This sounds as though it were direct criticism of the king. But the emphasized expression is Su's exact repetition of the king's former comment, qi wang zhi [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED] duo bu zhong ye, "Concerning the matter of the king of Qi's being unfaithful so frequently" (in the paragraph before B). Su repeats the expression deliberately, in order to remind the king that the latter had himself originally found Qi culpable. The king will contradict himself if he now blames Su.

The second and third instances of this technique appear after Su's discussion of the letter he had earlier forwarded to the king and the king's reply to it. Su says:

Because of these I obtained employment there by discoursing to the king of Qi. [But] now Your Majesty places the blame on me, owing to people's calumnies and invented stories. (B)

The expression, to "obtain employment there" [= in Qi! (de yong yan), is taken from the king's earlier statement to Su: "The best you can do is to obtain employment in Qi " (de yong yu Qi, B). By claiming that he had indeed obtained employment there (2nd sentence after B), Su implies that he had indeed succeeded in doing the "best" the king said he could do (B). It would therefore be unreasonable for the king now to blame him.

In the following sentence Su criticizes the king for trusting "people's calumnies and invented stories" (zhongkou yu zaoyan [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED]). This phrase, too, is not Su's own. This is exactly what the king had said in his earlier reply to Su's letter, stating, he "would never listen to people's calumnies and invented stories" (B). Here again Su suggests the possibility of the king's contradictory behavior.

In these contexts Su twice says he is "extremely frightened" because of the false charges. Nevertheless, he is certain that the king will not, after all, punish him, because what Su has stated in this letter will surely remind the king of his own former words and Su's loyal efforts to comply with them. By raising the question of self-contradiction in the king's actions, Su succeeds in making the king realize it would be most unreasonable to dismiss him.

After these critical remarks, Su adds that he, in fact, owes the king a great deal and still has a sincere desire to serve him, even after this slanderous incident. Su makes it clear that the purpose of his letter is not simply to criticize the king's conduct, but to express his passionate eagerness to continue furthering the king's goals. These lines, which are missing in the ZGC version, succeed in softening the tone of the entire letter, for they exhibit Su's positive attitude toward serving his king.

Comparison of the different versions of this story reveals that the received version lacks the eloquence and effective rhetorical quality found in the MWD version. Because a large part of the text is lost, the ZGC version merely presenttheoretical issues with which sinologists of narrative fiction have dealt in the last few decades; and no less importantly, [al commitment to make classical studies relevant to contemporary theoretical concerns" (p. ix). I fear that she has failed to achieve her second goal, by pushing too hard. Theory, regrettably, is still very much a Western affair, as few of the high priests of this arcane cult have ever shown a real interest in cultures other than their own. And, these days, the reason for this cannot be lack of materials. But these materials, alas, do not always fit the preconceptions of the theorists. When this happens, theorists need not blame the supposed critical ignorance of sinologists; they should rather try to reformulate their theories. It cannot be the task of sinologists to adapt the materials themselves to the needs of theorists. However, if the theorists discover in our materials only a replay of the same old movie they are already showing, they will merely be reassured that there is no need whatever to awaken from their happy slumber. If the East is as logocentric as the West, why should theory matter? Sinology may instead be made relevant to theoretical concerns by explaining the particular characteristics of Chinese culture and, in so doing, exposing the specificity and partiality of many Western cultural assumptions.

As far as Wang's first stated goal is concerned, she is in places successful enough. However, in her comments on traditional Chinese fiction, she hits some dissonant chords. One would have thought that by now the soul of the "medieval storyteller" would have been laid to rest. Whatever he or she did, a "creation-myth" was not his or her "curtain-raising stock-in-trade" (p. 97; also p. 12 for a comparable remark). Texts that, unlike hua-pen, may with some probability have been written with performance in mind (such as chu-kung-tiao and tz'u-hua) do not begin with a more or less independent story; they begin with a list of subjects that will not therein be treated and/or with a quick summary of Chinese history. Quite frankly, the relevance of Wang's references, when discussing a sophisticated literary work such as Dream, to some hypothetical oral past of the genre, centuries earlier, escapes me completely. Moreover, in her extensive survey of stone lore, she makes no mention of the seventeenth-century hua-pen collection entitled Shih tien t'ou (The Nodding Stone) or of the early eighteenth-century collection Wu-se shih (Five-colored Stone); there is also no reference to the Hsi-hu chia-hua (West-lake Tales). All these works contain retellings of the legend of the San-sheng-shih or "stone of three lifetimes." Likewise, one would think that P'ing-yao chuan also deserves mention, if only in a footnote. And if we follow Li Yu, in his Wu-sheng hsi, a so-called "stone maiden" is not so much an "infertile woman" as an "impenetrable woman." One is also surprised to encounter Han-shan here as an eccentric but "real-life Ch'an master" (p. 236) and the beheaded student Chin Sheng-t'an as a "loyal officer" (p. 264). Last, but not least, I am puzzled by the author's notion of "racial memories" (p. 12).

Jing Wang has written a daring and difficult, exhilarating and exasperating book. If "Ts'ao Hsueh-ch'in's iconoclastic stance appears as no more than an ideological mirage" (p. I 1), the same may in some respect be true for Wang's monograph. Still, we certainly would not wish either of them not to have transcribed their stone.
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Author:Miller, Roy Andrew
Publication:The Journal of the American Oriental Society
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 1, 1994
Words:12764
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