Transformations in the Meanings of Words in Post-Classical East Asia
Confucian thought emphasizes the establishment of proper nomenclature as a prerequisite to order, but scholars living in later times often had to creatively interpret the words in the texts bequeathed to them. When terms appeared that were otherwise unknown, later writers might imagine their meanings quite differently from the original writers, leading to considerable changes in even the most rigid and orthodox of practices. How were new denotations established? To what extent did they reflect contemporary or local material or cultural environments? What effect did the semantic slippage of a few words have on the networks of meaning in which they were embedded?
This panel seeks to analyze examples of this phenomenon in light of such questions. We are especially interested in comparing the nature of these changes in a variety of fields, and thus welcome papers from any discipline.
If you are interested in participating, please send a short description of your paper to Lars Christensen at firstname.lastname@example.org by Saturday, August 2.
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