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 =on
>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
"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 =
characters, nushu characters each represent a morpheme plus a syllable,=20
but they are quite different in physical appearance (figure 8). The =
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 =
Writing)_. Henan, China: Henan People's Press.
I hope that helps,