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Xiaoxue 小學, Lexicography and "Lesser Learning"

Feb 17, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

The literary type of lexicography (xiaoxue lei 小學類), the "lesser learning", is a sub-category to the literary category of Confucian Classics (jingbu 經部) in the imperial series Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

The term xiaoxue originally designated the six minor or "trivial" arts (liuyi 六藝), namely rituals, music, shooting, charioteering, writing, and arithmetics. From the Han period 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE) on it became a specific term for the study of Chinese characters and their meaning.

Later on, during the Tang period 唐 (618-907), the discipline of lexicography was divided into the branches of glyphology - investigating the shape of characters (wenzi 文字) -, phonetics - making research about the pronunciation (yinyun 音韻) -, and etymology - looking for the original and modern meanings of characters (xungu 訓詁). All these fields included the study of bronze and stone inscriptions, seal carvings and calligraphy and soon developed into a discipline laying the base for all other studies.

The term xiaoxue thus has also the connotation of "elementary learning", a field which is normally designated with the words mengxue 蒙學, tongxue 童學, tongmeng 童蒙, dizizhi 弟子職 or youyi 幼儀.

The compilers of the Siku quanshu put the instruction on behaviour into the section of Confucian treatises, books on calligraphy into the arts section, and the books on elementary learning into the stories or encyclopaedias sections.

The three fields of lexicographic studies are each derived from one leading book: etymology (xungu 訓詁, 12 books) from the Erya 爾雅, which is included in the canon of the Confucian Classics, glyphology (zishu 字書, 36 books) from the Shuowen jiezi 說文解文, and phonology (yunshu 韻書, 33 books) from the book Guangyun 廣韻.

The lexicographical section of the Siku quanshu includes 81 books.

Books of Lesser Learning (Lexicography)
Don't confound the genre of "Lesser Learning" (xiaoxue 小學) with that of "Elementary Learning" (mengxue 蒙學).
Part of Siku quanshu 四庫全書
Part of Xuxiu siku quanshu 續修四庫全書
小學類編 * Xiaoxue leibianSeries (Qing) 李祖望 Li Zuwang (comp.)
小學彙函 * Xiaoxue huihanSeries (Qing) 鍾謙鈞 Zhong Qianjun (comp.)
小學鉤沉 十九卷 (續修) Xiaoxue gouchenSeries (Qing) 任大椿 Ren Dachun (comp.)
小學鉤沉續編 八卷 (續修) Xiaoxue gouchen xubianSeries (Qing) 顧震福 Gu Zhenfu (comp.)
訓詁屬 Xungu "Etymology"
爾雅 Erya
(輶軒使者絕代語釋別國)方言 十三卷 (Youxuan da shizhe juedai yushi bieguo) Fangyan (Han) 揚雄 Yang Xiong
釋名 八卷 Shiming (Han) 劉熙 Liu Xi
小爾雅 Xiao Erya (part of Kongcongzi 孔叢子) (Han) 孔鮒 Kong Fu (?)
廣雅 (博雅) 十卷 Guangya (Boya) (Cao-Wei) 張揖 Zhang Yi
匡謬正俗 八卷 Kuangmiu zhengsu (Tang) 顏師古 Yan Shigu
埤雅 二十卷 Piya (Song) 陸佃 Lu Dian
爾雅翼 三十二卷 Eryayi (Song) 羅愿 Luo Yuan
駢雅 七卷 Pianya (Ming) 朱謀㙔 Zhu Mouhan
通雅 五十二卷 Tongya (Ming) 方以智 Fang Yizhi
字詁 一卷 Zigu (Qing) 黃生 Huang Sheng
續方言 二卷 Xu fangyan 1) (Qing) 杭世駿 Hang Shijun; 2) (Qing) 戴震 Dai Zhen
廣釋名 二卷 (續修) Guang shiming (Qing) 張金吾 Zhang Jinwu
別雅 五卷 Bieya (Qing) 吳玉搢 Wu Yujin
比雅 十九卷 (續修) Biya (Qing) 洪亮吉 Hong Liangji
疊雅 十三卷 (續修) Dieya (Qing) 史夢蘭 Shi Menglan
字書屬 Zishu "Glyphology"
急就篇 四卷 Jijiupian (Han) 史游 Shi You
說文解字 三十卷 Shuowen jiezi (Han) 許慎 Xu Shen
字林 * Zilin (Jin) 呂忱 Lü Chen
(重修)玉篇 三十卷 (Chongxiu) Yupian (Liang) 顧野王 Gu Yewang
干祿字書 一卷 Ganlu zishu (Tang) 顔元孫 Yan Yuansun
汗簡 三卷 Hanjian (Song) 郭忠恕 Guo Zhongshu
佩觿 三卷 Peixi (Song) 郭忠恕 Guo Zhongshu
六書略 Liushu lüe (chapter of Tongzhi 通志) (Song) 鄭樵 Zheng Qiao
類篇 四十五卷 Leipian (Song) 司馬光 Sima Guang
歷代鐘鼎彝器款識法帖 二十卷 Lidai zhongding yiqi kuanzhi fatie (Song) 薛尚功 Xue Shanggong
復古編 十一卷 Fugubian (Song) 張有 Zhang You
班馬字類 五卷 Ban-Ma zilei (Song) 婁機 Lou Ji
續復古編 四卷 * Xu fugubian (Yuan) 曹本 Cao Ben
六書故 三十三卷 Liushugu (Yuan) 戴侗 Dai Tong
字通 二卷 Zitong (Song) 李從周 Li Congzhou
龍龕手鑑 四卷 Longkan shoujian (Liao) 行均 Xingjun
六書統 二十卷 Liushutong (Yuan) 楊桓 Yang Huan
字鑒 五卷 Zijian (Yuan) 李文仲 Li Wenzhong
番漢合時掌中珠 一卷 (續修) Fan-Han heshi zhangzhong zhu (Western Xia) "骨勒茂才 Gule Maocai"
字彙 一卷 (續修) Zihui (Ming) 梅膺祚 Mei Yingzuo
正字通 十二卷 (續修) Zhengzitong (Ming) 張自烈 Zhang Zilie
華夷譯語 一卷 (續修) Huayi yiyu (Ming) Huo Yuanji 火原潔
(御定)康熙字典 三十六卷 (Yuding) Kangxi zidian (Qing) 張玉書 Zhang Yushu et.al. (imp. ord.)
(御製增訂)清文鑒 三十二卷
五體清文鑒
(Yuzhi zengding) Qingwenjian
Wuti qingwen jian
(Qing) Fuheng 傅恆 et.al. (imp. ord.)
(欽定)西域同文志 二十四卷 (Qinding) Xiyu tongwen zhi (Qing) 傅恆 Fu Heng et al. (imp. ord.)
隸辨 八卷 Libian (Qing) 顧藹吉 Gu Aiji
馬氏文通 十卷 (續修) Mashi wentong (Qing) 馬建忠 Ma Jianzhong
韻書屬 Yunshu "Phonology"
切韻 * Qieyun (Sui) 陸法言 Lu Fayan
唐韻 * Tangyun (Tang) 孫愐 Sun Mian
一切經音義 百卷 (續修) Yiqiejing yinyi (Tang) 1) 釋玄應 Monk Xuanying, 2) 釋慧琳 Monk Huilin
續一切經音義 十卷 (續修) Xu yiqiejing yinyi (Tang) 釋希麟 Monk Xilin
韻鏡 一卷 (續修) Yunjing (Wudai) NN
(重修)廣韻 五卷 (Chongxiu) Guangyun (Song) 陳彭年 Chen Pengnian
集韻 十卷 Jiyun (Song) 丁度 Ding Du
切韻指掌圖 三卷 Qieyun zhizhang tu (Song) 司馬光 Sima Guang (?)
文海 * Wenhai (Western Xia) anonymous
中原音韻 二卷 Zhongyuan yinyunPoetry and Arias (Yuan) 周德清 Zhou Deqing
蒙古字韻 二卷 (續修) Menggu ziyun (Yuan) 朱宗文 Zhu Zongwen
中州音韻 二十一卷 (續修) Zhongzhou yinyunPoetry and Arias (Ming) 王文璧 Wang Wenbi; 王鵕 Wang Jun (rev.)
中州全韻 十九卷 (續修) Zhongzhou quanyunPoetry and Arias (Ming) 范善溱 Fan Shanqin
(附釋文互註)禮部韻略 五卷 (Fu shiwen huzhu) Libu yunlüe (Song) 丁度 Ding Du, 毛晃 Mao Huang, 毛居正 Mao Juzheng (rev.),
歐陽德隆 Ouyang Delong (comm.), 郭守正 Guo Shouzheng (rev. comm.)
洪武正韻 十六卷 Hongwu zhengyun (Ming) 樂韶鳳 Le Shaofeng, 宋濂 Song Lian (et al., imp. ord.)
(御定)佩文韻府 四百四十四卷 (Yuding) Peiwen yunfuEnclopaedias (Qing)
(御定)韻府拾遺 百十二卷 (Yuding) Yunfu shiyiEnclopaedias (Qing) 張廷玉 Zhang Tingyu
六藝綱目 二卷 Liuyi gangmu (Yuan) 舒天民 Shu Tianmin
Modern Dictionaries
辭源 Ciyuan (Rep) 陸爾奎 Lu Erkui, 方毅 Fang Yi, 傅運森 Fu Yunsen (1st ed.)
辭海 Cihai (Rep) 陸費逵 Lu Feikui, 舒新城 Shu Xincheng, 張相 Zhang Xiang (1st ed.)
辭通 Citong (Rep) 朱起鳳 Zhu Qifeng
聯綿字典 Lianmian zidian (Rep) 符定一 Fu Dingyi
中華大字典 Zhonghua da zidian (Rep) 陸費逵 Lu Feikui, 歐陽溥存 Ouyang Bocun
中文大辭典 Zhongwen da cidian (ROC) 《中文大辭典》編纂委員會 Zhongwen da cidian bianzuan weiyuanhui
大辭典 Dacidian (ROC) 《大辭典》編纂委員會 Dacidian bianzuan weiyuanhui
中文大辭典 Zhongwen da cidian (PRC) 張其昀 Zhang Qiyun
漢語大詞典 Hanyu da cidian (PRC) 羅竹風 Luo Zhufeng et al.
漢語大字典 Hanyu da zidian (PRC) 《漢語大字典》編輯委員會 Hanyu da zidian bianji weiyuanhui
漢語詞典 Hanyu cidian (PRC) 《中國大辭典》編纂處 Zhongguo da cidian bianzuanchu
現代漢語詞典 Xiandai hanyu cidian (PRC) 中國社會科學院語言研究所詞典編輯室 Zhongguo shehui kexue yuan yuyan yanjiusuo cidian bianjishi
新華詞典 Xinhua cidian (PRC) 《新華詞典》編纂組 Xinhua cidian bianzuanzu
新華字典 Xinhua zidian (PRC) 魏建功 Wei Jiangong
大漢和辭典 Dai Kan-Wa jiten (Japan) 諸橋轍次 Morohashi Tetsuji