The Zhuangzi, hermeneutics and (philological) corpus linguistics
The classical Chinese text Zhuangzi tells us that the meaning of a word, or a text, is not fixed, but consists of the many perspectives offered in debate. Each new contribution interprets what has been said and thus adds to its meaning. This is akin to the approach of modern hermeneutics. What a text means is determined by its intertextual links to previous texts, and by the traces it leaves in its subsequent interpretations. The practical approach of philology and the methodology of corpus linguistics provide the foundation of the task of interpretation, by establishing the textual evidence on which interpretation has to rest. My paper exemplifies the Zhuangzi’s strategy in moving on from the textual evidence to their manifold interpretations, thus interweaving corpus linguistics, philology and hermeneutics.
Keywords: Zhuangzi, meaning, interpretation, hermeneutics, philology
Published online: 21 January 2016
Cited by 2 other publications
Liang, Linxin & Mingwu Xu
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