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Biya 比雅

Feb 27, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

Biya 比雅 "Correct [dictionary] of parallel [sentences]" is a glossary compiled during the mid-Qing period 清 (1644-1911) by Hong Liangji 洪亮吉 (1746-1809).

In bibliographies, the Biya belongs to the category of books of "lesser learning" (Xiaoxue 小學), often translated as "lexicography". The structure of the Biya imitates that of the Classic glossary Erya 爾雅 (the title can therefore also be translated as "The Erya of parallel sentences"), with 19 chapters, but the arrangement in the published book was created by a later editor. Hong Liangji had only compiled a draft.

The title of the book is derived from Hong's attempt to collect explanations of words that consist of a pair of parallel sentences, like guangguang, wu ye; kuikui, nu ye 洸洸武也,潰潰怒也 (from Mao's commentary 毛傳 on the Shijing 詩經) or you shui yue ze, wu shui yue shu 有水曰澤,無水曰薮 (from Gao You's 高誘 commentary to the Lüshi chunqiu 呂氏春秋).

This kind of work had some paradigms in the Tang-period 唐 (618-907) encyclopaedia Chuxueji 初學記 and the book Zuanyao 纂要 by the Liu-Song period 劉宋 (420-479) scholar He Chengtian 何承天 (370-447) that is only preserved in fragments in Ren Dachun's 任大椿 (1738-1789) Xiaoxue gouchen 小學鉤沈.

Quotation 1. Example of the Biya 比雅
逍遥相羊,皆遊也(王逸《楚辭章句》)。逍遥,遊戲也(同)。逍遙而遊,容與而戲(同)。尚羊[相羊],遊戲也(同)。 "Wandering unmindfully to and fro" (Wang Yi's paragraph-and-sentence commentary on the Chuci). "Wandering unmindfully" means "walk and enjoy" (ibid.). "Wandering unmindfully" [is like] "enjoying leisurely" (ibid.). "Walk to and fro" means "to wander around" (ibid.).
「崴嵬崔巍」,高猊也(同)。「魁堆」,高貌也(同)。「峨峨」,高貌也。 "Towering and lofty" (weiwei cuiwei) means "high" (ibid.). "Troll's lair" (kuidui) means "high" (ibid.). "Looming" (e'e) means "high" (ibid.).
闉扼鷙曼,距扼頓遲也(崔譔《莊子音義》)。 "Swerve the yoke and romp around" (yin'e zhiman) is an expression for "resist the yoke and linger about" (ju'e dunchi) (Cui Zhuan's phonetic commentary on Zhuangzi).
「萑蔰炫煌」,釆色貌也(高誘《淮南注》)。 "Profusion of dyes and glittering brilliance" (huanhu xuanhuang) is an expression for "chosen colours" (Gao You's commentary on Huainanzi).
「遼巢彭濞」,蘊積貌也(同上)。 "[From] distance [back to the] nests like ripples on the water" (liaochao pengbi) is an expression for "collect and gather, hold in store" (ibid.)

The Biya is included in the series Yueyatang congshu 粵雅堂叢書 and Congshu jicheng 叢書集成.

Sources:
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文郁, ed. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 656.
Wei Jing 魏淨 (2009). "Biya de cishuxue jiazhi 《比雅》的辭書學價值", Anhui wenxue (xiabanyue 安徽文學(下半月), 2009 (7).
Wei Jin 魏淨 (2010). "Lun Biya de juxianxing 論《比雅》的局限性", Anhui wenxue (xiabanyue) 安徽文學(下半月), 2010 (3).
Wei Jing 魏淨 (2017). "You Biya de shiyi kan Hanyu da zidian he Hanyu da cidian de shiyi shuhu 由《比雅》的釋義看《漢語大字典》和《漢語大詞典》的釋義疏忽", Mozhihua Xueyuan xuebao 攀枝花學院學報, 2017 (5).
Yao Guowang 姚國旺 (1997). "Biya 比雅", in Men Kui 門巋, Zhang Yanjin 張燕瑾, ed. Zhonghua guocui da cidian 中華國粹大辭典 (Xianggang: Guoji wenhua chuban gongsi), 713.
Zhang Zicai 張子才 (2008). "Hong Liangji de Biya 洪亮吉的《比雅》", Cishu yanjiu 辭書研究, 2008 (1).
Zhou Zumo 周祖謨 (1988). "Biya 比雅", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Yuyan wenzi 語言•文字 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), 19-20.