Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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(656 words)

Most of the lexicographic works of ancient China which codified and explained Chinese vocabulary only contained entries for specific topics or were aimed at certain readerships. The earliest works merely list a limited segment of available terms for certain periods, often without any ordering aid: a character is explained by juxtaposing it with various synonyms without comment. Although early dictionaries contain alternative calligraphic forms of writing for individual characters, these variants…

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Kaderas, Christoph, “Lexicography”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 30 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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