Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

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

From:Kristian Jensen <kljensen@...>
Date:Tuesday, November 30, 1999, 0:15
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 = 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." The encyclopedia makes reference to further reading in the subject: Shi Dingxu. 1993. 'Review of Jiangyong nushu zhi mi (The Enigma of=20 Jiangyong Female writing), by Xie Zhimin.' _Language_ 69/1, 174-8. Xie Zhimin. 1991. _Jiangyong nushu zhi mi (The Enigma of Jiangyong = Female=20 Writing)_. Henan, China: Henan People's Press. I hope that helps, -kristian- 8)