Classical Chinese Function Words


EDIT: Updated the links, as they were all broken... Woops.

Also, for those who prefer a version to print out: PDF Version, or the ODT (Open Office) Version

One of the courses I've been studying this year has been Classical Chinese, and as part of that course, the lecturer has provided us with a list of the most common function words in Classical Chinese (134 of them). I've also just recently received permission to post them to the world, so here they are :).

There's a number of relevant files, but the most important is this one: Flashcard File. It's a UTF-8 XML file designed for Pleco 2.0. My suggestion on how to use it is to copy it to your card, then import it. Allow duplicate cards! Otherwise you're liable to find you're missing several, if not all, definitions depending on how many cards you have. If you want to use this as a proper dictionary, then I'd suggest checking the 'store definitions in user dictionary' box on the import screen. When MakePlecoDict 2.0 comes out then I'll be able to generate a new version of it, but until then you'll have to put up with doing it this way.

The basic structure of an entry is like so:

从[從]	cong2	[bold]Sub.[/bold] To follow, to obey, to comply with
[bold]Gr.[/bold] From, by, since, whence, through Ill. Less. VII 「是吾剑之所从坠」
Should be reasonably familiar to most people. Sub. means 'Substantive', and Gr. means 'Grammatical'. Thus, when 从 is used as a grammar particle, it means from or by, etc, but when it's used as a full word it means 'to follow, to obey', etc.

Note the Ill. tag - that means Illustration, or Example, basically. The examples are from a series of short stories (each of which comes from a larger work like the 战国策), and they can be found here. There's 15 in total and they're all quite short (not necessarily easy, but short). I've numbered them for convenience, so Lesson VII. refers to '7 - 刻舟求剑'

The function words above were also intended to be used with a number of other texts, namely:


The linked texts I've already placed online (they can be found elsewhere online too though). I'll put the others up at some point. I'll also try and get three versions up - Original Punctuation - Traditional, Modern Punctuation - Traditional and Modern Punctuation - Simplified.

Anyway, I hope you all find this useful. I'll try and put up a 1.0 version at some point, when I feel like booting into Windows to run MakePlecoDict.

EDIT: Also, many thanks to stephenhodges for providing a place to store all this!
Should I convert that site to a wiki format, to make it easier for other people to contribute?

Would anyone else want to contribute?

I''m thinking after Pleco 2 is released would be a good time to do something like that, since some of the files currently need Pleco 2


Relative to the flashcard xml file, it says in the first line [name="NPCR.txt"]

Is this correct? I expected to see something suggesting classical function words, etc.

Second, regarding the PDF file, I just wanted to be sure you had permission to post that as well?


Doh, that's just me being lazy and hard-coding important things.

Also, the ODT and PDF files are free for posting. Just forgot to link them. They have the same content as the XML file, just formatted nicely for printing.