Zhang Guiguang, a professor of the School of Chinese Language & Literature of SCNU, has received rolling funding of 400 thousand yuan, totaling up to 1.2 million yuan over a five-year period, for a major project of the National Social Science Fund.

The project "Dictionary of Inscriptions on Bronzes of the Shang and Zhou Dynasties" was approved in 2020. It aims to study inscriptions on bronzes of the Shang and Zhou dynasties, which may yield important information about languages and characters of that time.

Referring to previous research results on bronze inscriptions and the approaches and experience of dictionary compilation from philological and lexicographical perspective, professor Zhang and his team collect characters and words from the inscriptions on bronze ware of the Shang and Zhou dynasties and interprete them from characters to words. In doing so, they aim to compile a large reference book for reading and research of bronze inscriptions, which can also be used in Chinese language, history, literature, calligraphy and other related fields. A corresponding database will also be built for the convenience of the academic field, maximizing the value of the reference book.


A study session of Chinese bronze inscriptions for the project.

Since 2006, Zhang Guiguang’s team has carried out the research on ancient Chinese characters. So far some important progress has been made in the project. Firstly, they delivered the “Complete compilation of the interpretations of Chinese Bronze Inscriptions of the Shang and Zhou Dynasties” based on previous catalogs of bronze inscriptions. The report includes complementing interpretations, descriptions and marking of forms, and was newly proofread. Secondly, a "Catalog of the Chinese Bronze Inscriptions of the Shang and Zhou Dynasties" has been compiled, which adds previously overlooked articles and research since 2007 to existing indexes. A total of 5,947 relevant research articles have been collected, and added to the latest bibliography.

Thirdly, they have sorted out of the materials on interpretations of ancient Chinese characters and the writing of the entries, with one fifth of the dictionary entries being compiled. Finally, the “functional menu” and “working platform for lexicographers” was completed during the development of the database. The working platform for the lexicographers and the data management system for the database have been put into an internal trial stage.

Major projects of the National Social Science Fund are initiated by National Office of Philosophy and Social Sciences, and open to public. Social science research institutions nationwide can bid. If a bid is approved, and a project has started, an interim inspection and evaluation will be carried out two years later.  Rolling funding will be given to the best projects with smooth research progress, fruitful phased results and large funding gap for subsequent research.

Source from SCNU News Center

Translated by Huang Yuyin,Chen Jiahui, Long Yuchen

Proofread by Edwin Baak

Edited by Li Jianru

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