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Chinese Literature
Pianzi leibian 駢字類編 "Categorized Book of Combined Characters"

The Pianzi leibian 駢字類編 "Categorized book of combined characters" is rhyme dictionary compiled on imperial order by the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholars Zhang Tingyu 張廷玉, Wu Shiyu 吳士玉, and Shen Zongjing 沈宗敬. Zhang Tingyu was a high state official. He has also written the books Chenghuaiyuan quanji 澄懷園全集 and Chuanjingtang ji 傳經堂集, and took part in the compilation of the official dynastic history of the Ming dynasty 明 (1368-1644), the Mingshi 明史, and the encyclopedia Peiwen yunfu 佩文韻府. The compilation was made between 1719 and 1726, and the Yongzheng Emperor 雍正 (r. 1723-1735) wrote a preface to it. The 240 juan "scrolls" of the Pianzi leibian contain 13 categories or chapters, according to which the terms have to be looked for. The words "sun", "wind", and "rain", for instance, are listed under the headword "Heaven". For each character or word, disyllabic words or terms are listed and explained with quotations from literary sources. The lemma character is always in the head position of the disyllabic word, like in modern dictionaries, and not that of the end position, like it is common in a lot of other traditional dictionaries and encyclopedias, a method which has been first used by the Tang period 唐 (618-907) scholar Yan Zhenqing 顏真卿 in the encyclopedia Yunhai jingyuan 韻海鏡源. The Pianzi leibian only contains disyllabic words, and no expressions with more characters than two. The use of the Pianzi leibian lies foremost in examples for rhymes in poetry, but the quotations are also taken from prose writings. The sources of the quotations are always indicated. Although the Pianzi leibian does not contain as much words as the Peiwen yunfu, it is much easier to use as a dictionary, but only with caution, because not all meanings of the words are explained.
There is a print of the Imperial Household from 1726, a print from the Guangxu reign 光緒 (1875-1908), and a modern publication from 1984 by the Zhongguo shudian press 中國書店. The Pianzi leibian is included in the reprint series Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 2058. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.
Zhao Hankun 趙含坤 (2005). Zhongguo leishu 中國類書, pp. 50-53, 104, 140. Shijiazhuang: Hebei renmin chubanshe.

天地 Tiandi Heaven and Earth
時令 Shiling Seasons and time
山水 Shanshui Geography
居處 Juchu Buildings
珍寶 Zhenbao Jewels
數目 Shumu Numbers
方隅 Fangyu Directions and locations
彩色 Caise Colours and shape
器物 Qiwu Tools and instruments
草木 Caomu Herbs and trees
鳥獸 Niaoshou Birds and beasts
蟲魚 Chongyu Insects, worms and fishes
人事 Renshi Human affairs (supplement)

Chinese literature according to the four-category system

January 21, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail