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Betreft: Re: 'Women's Only' Language Found Among Chinese

From:Rob Nierse <rnierse@...>
Date:Tuesday, November 30, 1999, 9:59
>>> Kristian Jensen <kljensen@...> 11/30 1:15 >>>
Amanda Babcock wrote:
>Has anyone heard of Nu Shu? According to this news article: >
> >If this is for real, I cannot WAIT to see this. If anybody sees a book =
>this, please post to the list!
Yes, I have heard of this. I read about it and saw samples of it in=20 "The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Writing Systems" by Florian Coulmas.=20 I quote: "NUSHU WRITING: A writing system developed in Jiangyong county, Hunan=20 province, China. Its existence can be traced back to about the fifteenth=20= century CE. A unique feature of this writing system is its social=20 distribution: it has always been used exclusively by women in personal=20 correspondence and for recording folk tales for presentation at story- telling gatherings. Hence the name _nushu_ 'female writing'. Like = Chinese=20 characters, nushu characters each represent a morpheme plus a syllable,=20 but they are quite different in physical appearance (figure 8). The = largest=20 corpus of nushu data available, collected by Xie Zhimin, contains some=20 1,700 different characters in 63,000 characters of running text."
I'm currently writing an article for a little magazine of calligraphers. All the previous articles were about little known scripts (like Cree, Rongorongo etc. This time I turn the attention to Asia. I've done Chinese and plan=20 to write about Naxi, Yi etc.. NUSHU is very interesting for this article! Kristian, can you scan and mail an example? You would help me so very much! Boudewijn, can you give me the name of the book? Is it available in the Leiden UB? rob