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Xiaoxue leibian 小學類編

Sep 29, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Xiaoxue leibian 小學類編 "Categorized Compilation on Lesser Learning" is a series of collectanea (congshu 叢書) specialized on ancient lexicography. It includes 6 texts with a total length of 36 juan, and an appendix. The collection was compiled by the late Qing-period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Li Zuwang 李祖望 (1814-1881), courtesy name Binyu 賓嵎. He hailed from Jiangdu 江都 (modern Yangzhou 揚州, Jiangsu) and was a poet and specialist on philological studies (characters and phonetics). He wrote the books Guyun pangzheng 古韻旁證, Shuowen chongkao 說文重考 and Shuowen tongxi biao 說文統系表.

The Xiaoxue leibian was compiled under the influence of a new wave of studies to the Han-period 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE) character dictionary Shuowen jiezi 說文解字 by Xu Shen 許慎 (c. 58-c. 147). Hui Dong's 惠棟 (1697-1758) Du Shuowen ji 讀說文記 is a detailed critical study of the Shuowen jiezi, and Qian Daxin's 錢大昕 (1728-1804) Shuowen dawen 說文答問 is an equally high-quality study. Jiang Sheng 江聲 (1721-1799), a disciple of Hui Dong, has written a study on the six writing styles, the Liushushuo 六書說. Jiang Yuan 江沅, a disciple of Duan Yucai 段玉裁 (1735-1815), was a specialist for phonetics and the seal script.The Xiaoxue leibian includes his book Shuowen shilie 說文釋例.

The text Shuowen jingzi kao 說文經字考 was authored by Chen Shouqi 陳壽祺 (1771-1834), a specialist on phonetics, and adds to Bi Yuan's 畢沅 (1730-1797) study Shuowen jiezi jiuyin 說文解字舊音, which unfortunately suffers from the incorporation of many popular character variants (suzi 俗字) that Bi Yuan took for correct forms. The Xiaoxue leibian includes also a list of contents of Ren Dachun's 任大椿 (1738-1789) two series Xiaoxue gouchen 小學鉤沉 and Zilin kaoyi 字林考逸.

The Xiaoxue leibian is an important contribution to the study of Chinese characters.

Table 1. The series Xiaoxue leibian 小學類編
(Qing) 李祖望 Li Zuwang (comp.)
1851-1876 edition by Master Li from Jiangdu 江都李氏 (李祖望, Banmuyuan 半畝園)
書名, length in juan Title Author(s)
惠氏讀說文記 (讀說文記) 十五卷 Huishi du Shuowen ji (Du Shuowen ji) (Qing) 惠棟 Hui Dong
說文校議 十五卷 Shuowen jiaoyi (Qing) 姚文田 Yao Wentian, 嚴可均 Yan Kejun; 孫星衍 Sun Xingyan (rev.)
說文答問 一卷 Shuowen dawen (Qing) 錢大昕 Qian Daxin
說文經字考 一卷 Shuowen jingzi kao (Qing) 陳壽祺 Chen Shouqi
六書說 一卷 Liushu shuo (Qing) 江聲 Jiang Sheng
說文釋例 二卷 Shuowen shili (Qing) 江沅 Jiang Yuan
(附編)小學鉤沉 (Fubian) Xiaoxue gouchen (Qing) 任大椿 Ren Dachun (comp.); 王念孫 Wang Niansun, 汪廷珍 (comm.)
三蒼考逸補正 一卷 Sancang kaoyi buzheng (Qing) 任兆麟 Ren Zhaolin
說文舊音 一卷 Shuowen jiuyin (Qing) 畢沅 Bi Yuan (comp.)
爾雅古注斠 三卷 Erya guzhu jiao (Qing) 葉蕙心 Ye Huixin
蘭如詩鈔 一卷 Lanru shichao (Qing) 葉蕙心 Ye Huixin
Sources:
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, ed. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 862.
Shanghai tushuguan 上海圖書館, ed. (1982). Zhongguo congshu zonglu 中國叢書綜錄 (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe), Vol. 1, 624.