Theses - Asian and Middle Eastern Studies


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  • ItemEmbargo
    Low Culture Fever: Pulp Science in Chinese Comics After Mao
    Stember, Nicholas
    This study presents an interlinked close reading of six science popularization picture stories (*kexue puji lianhuanhua*) from the late 1970s and early 1980s, contending that, in taking children and the less educated as their primary audience, these understudied texts represent a doubly abject form of transmedia storytelling. In contrast with adaptations of works of revolutionary romanticism and realism, these fantastic narratives were evaluated in terms of moral messages, literary craft, and illustrative skill. Employing a mix of literary, media, and cultural studies to draw out hidden subtexts and formal innovations, Low Culture Fever places science popularization picture stories within the context of their reception by censors and readers, as presented in first-person accounts. This multi-pronged approach brings to light the influence of the much longer legacy of “pulp science” (*wei kexue*) in sensational and fantastic romance and adventure fiction, otherwise obscured by the revolutionary fiction of the preceding decades. Providing far more than mere “escapism,” however, the popularity of science popularization comic books is shown to derive from their unique willingness to directly address the distinction between science and superstition; between socialism and capitalism; and between dystopia and utopia. Highlighting the heterogenous origins of science popularization comic books in the “science fables” (*kexue tonghua*) of the early to mid-1970s, meanwhile, supports a critical reassessment of the official launch of Reform and Opening Up (*gaige kaifang*) in December 1978, suggesting that this change in official policy can be more properly understood as a response to a social transformation that had already been set in motion more than a decade earlier. The lead up to the Anti-Spiritual Pollution (*jingshen wuran*) campaign in the fall of 1983, finally, is shown to have generated an awareness of the “otherness” of a new subculture: science fantasy fiction (*kexue huanxiang xiaoshuo*), drawing on the traditions of socialist “mass culture” while at the same time incorporating innovations from “Western” technothrillers and space operas.
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    Leaves and Flowers of Paulownia: Aristocratic Legitimacy of the Ashikaga Warrior Leaders
    Barducci, Polina
    “Leaves and Flowers of Paulownia: Aristocratic Legitimacy of the Ashikaga Warrior Leaders” Polina Barducci Abstract This project investigates the intersection of courtly and warrior governance during the rule of the second warrior government, the Ashikaga shogunate (1336–1573) and focuses on the period of its political apex in the first half of the fifteenth century. During this time, the Ashikaga managed to consolidate power not only over warriors, but also established authority in the eyes of religious institutions and civil aristocracy. Every Ashikaga leader of this period pursued his own political course but nevertheless managed to elevate the status of the family and promote the legitimacy of the warrior government as the sole administrative body. This study considers political realities through the lens of ritual, which is understood in its broadest anthropological sense to include not only religious rites and prayers but also imperial court ceremonies, customs of sociability, and diplomatic protocol. Descriptions of these rites and ceremonies which are drawn from courtier diaries, temple records, diplomatic correspondence, and envoy testimonies reveal hidden tools of governance and aspects of non-verbal communication between members of the ruling elite. By giving special attention to ritual interactions between the Ashikaga and the holders of sovereign power, such as the imperial family in Japan and foreign monarchs in East Asia, it refutes the notion of usurpation of the imperial throne being the basis of warrior legitimacy. Instead this work argues that the warrior leaders established their political presence through ritual association with traditional sources of power and contributed to maintaining the legitimacy of the imperial institution. Premeditated ritual association with the sovereign power is particularly evident from the activities of shogunal advisors and immediate circle of supporters who formed the foundations of the aristocratic legitimacy of the Ashikaga family.
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    Tuning In: Nationalist Radio in China, 1928–1937
    Moriarty, William Joseph
    This dissertation has three primary aims. The first is to decentre Euro-America in the Anglophone literature of radio broadcasting during the Interwar Period, and the second is to decentre China in the Sinophone literature on early-period broadcasting before 1949. As radio was a global medium, a history of one without the other would be incomplete. The third aim of this dissertation is to decentre Shanghai in the study of Chinese radio history. To this end, it introduces the history of the Central Broadcasting Station, i.e., Nationalist Radio. Founded by the Chinese Nationalist Party in 1928, Nationalist Radio was the inspiration of a conservative group of revolutionaries within the party called the CC Clique, whose belief in scientism led them to place radio broadcasting at the centre of the party state. During the Nanjing Decade (1928–1937), the CC Clique employed radio as both a tool of governance to promote political tutelage and a weapon of war to mobilise the nation as broadcast propaganda became a fourth front in modern warfare. The mission of Nationalist Radio was one of nationalisation in all senses of the word, which echoed developments in the global oecumene as countries mobilised on the fourth front. This dissertation looks at how the CC Clique carried out the radio nationalisation of China in three phases between 1928 and 1937. In the first phase, the CC Clique used broadcasting technology to unify the party state. As radio became a mass medium in China, the CC Clique embedded propaganda into entertainment to expand the reach of party-state broadcasting to a general audience from 1933 to 1935. During the third phase in 1936 and 1937 as China prepared for war against Japan, the CC Clique established a party-state broadcasting system and nationalised the industry in the name of radio education. Using primary sources from Mainland China, Taiwan, and abroad, this dissertation investigates the spirit of Nationalist broadcast propaganda to show how the CC Clique used radio broadcasting as a tool of governance and a weapon of war during each phase of radio nationalisation. This dissertation shows that CC Clique officials consolidated effective party-state control over a factious industry that they inherited in 1928 and established a national broadcasting network in 1937. It also shows that the spirit of political tutelage, i.e., broadcast propaganda, changed as the CC Clique focused on the radio nationalisation of the party state, the audience, and the industry.
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    Producing and Using Codices in Tenth Century Dunhuang
    Feng, Jing
    In 1900, a cave filled with tens of thousands of manuscripts was discovered near the oasis town of Dunhuang 敦煌 in northwest China. This dissertation, based on some 450 codices recovered from this cave, examines the codex culture in tenth century Dunhuang and explores the early history of the codex in the Sinophone world. Inspired by western codicology and palaeography, this dissertation pays particular attention to the materiality of manuscripts and reconstructs their production and use as well as the human activities and the specific circumstances that shaped the manuscripts. This dissertation includes a wealth of technical details about the codex production, which supplements the history of the Chinese book and benefits comparative codicological research. The dissertation also relates the materiality of manuscripts to the larger dimensions of the past and explores various research topics regarding the social and cultural history of local society, including medieval Buddhism, education and cultural exchange on the Silk Road.
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    Guardians of the Social Collective: The Legal Regulation of Religion and Morality in Modern Egypt
    Abdeltawwab, Ahmed
    This dissertation examines the history of the legal regulation of religion and religious morality and the discourse of rights pertinent to religion within the modern Egyptian legal system. The dissertation assesses the influence of Islamic legal practices on the modernization of Egyptian juridical institutions during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The common understanding in many historical, anthropological, and legal accounts is that Islamic Law was secularized in Egypt due to the translation of several Western or liberal legal concepts and integrating them into legal theory and practices prevailing in Egypt during this period. This process of secularization is understood to have transformed legal norms, and communal arrangements that used to regulate society were replaced by Western-styled state law enforced through obedience, punishment, and discipline. Therefore, Egyptian legal codes starting from 1883 are referred to as French codes or French laws. This interpretation is not necessarily based on studying the practices of Egyptian legal institutions but on looking at legal theories in isolation from the way they were applied. In this dissertation, I recognize the agency of Egyptian jurists, politicians, and bureaucrats and the Egyptian legal culture in the modernisation of law. The dissertation thus revises two common understandings of the legal historiography of modern Egypt: that religion and Islamic Law were relegated to the private sphere of family disputes and that positive Western law replaced them in the realm of public law. Based on archival work, the dissertation gives greater attention to the state's role in Egyptian legal thought and practice as well as in Islamic law. This study also considers several factors that influenced the development of the legal system and the legal regulation of religion during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Such factors include the transformations in the nature of state authority through the expansion of bureaucracy; the unprecedented growth of the public sphere, which, in turn, involved the emergence of a political press, the development of the urban landscape, and the establishment of various forms of political and intellectual platforms; and, finally, the bureaucratization of traditional Islamic authorities and mechanisms. Within this framework, I focus on how modern law regulated censorship on printing religious books; punished those who insulted, criticized, or questioned the main tenets of religion; imposed certain punitive and disciplinary measures on conversion from Islam, and policed public behaviour that violated accepted norms of decency and morality.
  • ItemControlled Access
    Disentangling Colonial Migration: Koreans to the Metropole, 1910-1945
    Cho, Mi Kwi
    This study explores colonial Korea and its relation to imperial Japan through the lens of Korean emigrants to Japan who acted as a bridge between the periphery and metropole of the Japanese empire. Because Korean residents in the labouring class occupied the largest population of foreigners in imperial Japan since the latter years of World War I, much attention has been given to Korean labourers in existing scholarship. While rethinking the migration of Korean labourers to the metropole through the prism of immigration regulations issued by the Japanese authorities, this research also casts a spotlight on groups of Korean emigrants who either appear most or least frequently in dominant narratives: overseas students, Christian adherents, and women who were not mobilized to serve the Japanese Imperial Army. Through the examination of government documents, newspapers, journal articles, and memoirs, it probes the multifarious motives behind the migration of each group and the empire’s regulation of their activities and mobility within the empire. My project aims to unravel the dynamic mobility of Korean emigrants by depolarizing the memories of Korean migration that are not confined to a singular experience of colonial migration. Korean migration, in turn, will reveal the ability and the limitation of the Japanese empire in regulating and accommodating the mobility of Korean emigrants, while simultaneously working to integrate them into the tentacles of the empire.
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    Navigating the Smellscape of Medieval China
    Fang, Xi
    Smell mattered in medieval China. Through the sense of smell, people navigated the natural and social world, structured human-divine relationships. Medieval Chinese texts are replete with references to smells of people, things, and places. Mediated through the minds of their recorders, olfactory accounts vividly reveal hitherto overlooked patterns of the beliefs and ideas that people in medieval China had on the human person, their surrounding world, as well as the unseen realms of the dead and divine. This study traces historical smells of medieval China and examines how the people navigating that smellscape made sense of their olfactory perceptions. It analyses the moral significance of olfaction in medieval China and its expression in ethno-cultural discourse as well as in the relationship with the unseen worlds of ghosts, spirits, and the divine. Through its analysis, this dissertation makes two interrelated claims: first, for medieval Chinese people, smell was not only a physical sensation, it also embodied a combination of social, moral, and cosmological significance. It was the conduit to the worlds of the gods and the spirits; it was a marker of social status and cultural alignments; it symptomised virtue or moral decadence; and it could also signify a divine manifestation. Second, smells were not only perceived, but also constructed. Conscious of the social, moral, and cosmological connotation odours implied, medieval Chinese literati employed smells – both in their own right and in the form of rhetoric – to create and assert social and cultural distinctions. Smells separated us from the Other, the poor from the wealthy, the virtuous from the corrupted, the civilised from the barbarians, and the sacred from the profane. This study situates medieval Chinese olfactory history in the context of an increasingly open world characterised by dynamic cross-cultural contacts, remaking of demographic and religious landscapes, as well as growing knowledge about hygiene and medicine. Building on the established scholarship in multiple disciplines, this first study on smells and smelling in medieval China seeks to contribute to the understanding of medieval views and practices regarding the body, identity, religion, culture, and society.
  • ItemControlled Access
    Native and Non-native Grammars of Chinese Gapping-like Verb Ellipsis
    Zhang, Chenyang
    This study sets off to fill in a gap in the L2 research literature on empty categories in Mandarin Chinese by examining second language (L2) acquisition of a type of Chinese verb-less constructions by English-speaking learners. The verb-less constructions in question are Chinese gapping-like constructions which bear a surface resemblance to English canonical gapping constructions. Despite the surface similarities shared by Chinese gapping-like constructions and English canonical gapping, the two verb-less constructions derive from different syntactic representations, which is reflected in their different distributions. Moreover, there exist some semantic constraints unique to Chinese gapping-like constructions. The present study investigates both offline acceptability judgment and online production of Chinese gapping-like constructions by native MC speakers and L2 learners. It sets off to explore whether the similarities and differences between Chinese and English affect the developmental course and ultimate attainment of L2 Chinese gapping-like constructions at both the narrow syntax and the interface levels. The present study aims to contribute to the ongoing debates on two major topics in L2 research: i. the learnability of interface properties; ii. the effect of L1. 29 native Chinese speakers and 70 English-speaking learners of Mandarin Chinese ranging from beginners to advanced learners participated in the study, taking an online elicitation imitation task as well as an offline acceptability judgment task. It is found that both narrow syntactic properties and interface properties pose challenges in L2 acquisition of Chinese gapping-like VBE (Verb Ellipsis), which indicates that learnability issues are not specific to interfaces. The present study regards L1-L2 asymmetry as the primary cause for the persistent non-nativelike L2 attainment at both the narrow syntax level and the interface level. Meanwhile, other factors such as proficiency and input also play important roles in shaping learners’ L2 grammars and L2 speech production mechanisms.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Jewish Arabic Dialect of Gabes (Southern Tunisia): Phonology, Morphology, Syntax
    Gebski, Wiktor
    The thesis presents a linguistic study of the Arabic dialect spoken by the Jews of Gabes (Southern Tunisia). This variety belongs to the group of sedentary North-African dialects and nowadays is spoken by a limited number of native speakers in Israel and France. As with virtually all modern varieties of Judeo-Arabic, and indeed many other Jewish languages, Jewish Gabes faces imminent extinction. This thesis, therefore, aims at the documentation and the description of its major features while there are still good speakers alive. The data for this study have been collected during several stints of fieldwork in Israel and France between December 2018 and March 2022. Due to the COVID pandemic, the collection of data for the syntax chapter also involved the use of social media and other online methods of communication. The linguistic analysis is based on questionnaires, as well as a corpus of transcribed tales and memoires. The thesis attempts to answer some of the most immediate challenges posed by Maghrebi Arabic dialectology. In contradistinction to the eastern branch of Arabic, many North-African dialects have not received a thorough linguistic description, particularly those spoken outside of large, historic towns. Even less studied are Jewish dialects, whose linguistic features and isoglosses remain terra incognita. A lack of text corpora and appropriate data, in turn, has caused an almost complete absence of syntactic studies in the field. The main objective of the thesis is thus a detailed comparative analysis of Jewish Gabes with particular focus on syntax. The thesis comprises three main sections: phonology, morphology, and syntax. The first two sections follow a traditional grammatical model. Syntax has been approached from the historical and typological point of view. In order to ascertain if certain linguistic features are unique to Jewish Gabes, a comparison with other North-African dialects has been applied throughout the thesis.
  • ItemControlled Access
    Interregional Style and Taste: Water-moon Avalokiteśvara Paintings From Goryeo and Beyond
    Ma, Ye
    This thesis examines the interregional style of Goryeo Water-moon Avalokiteśvara paintings, of which there are 51 around the world. The majority are anonymous, and are found in Japanese collections where they had once been mistakenly attributed to professional Chinese painters. The rediscovery of Goryeo Buddhist paintings in the twentieth century was enabled by an awareness of a “style”, which varied from the neighbouring countries of China and Japan, by groups of Japanese scholars. This ignorance or the uncertainty of the true Korean identity of the corpus of paintings, which had existed for hundreds of years, was in turn shaped by their interregional style and route of transmission. This is explored across the four chapters of this thesis. Chapter one surveys the core information related to connoisseurship, including the inscriptions, titles, Yuan-Goryeo relations and the history of transmission. Chapter two examines the studio production in which artisans created paintings using an assembly line system. The iconography, motifs, settings, and figures depicted in the Goryeo Avalokiteśvara paintings are studied as “movable segments”. The third chapter explores the mobility of the white-robe tradition and the exchanges of artifacts brought about by the travels of two Goryeo royals and the Goryeo embassies sent to China. The final chapter investigates the reasons behind the resemblances between Goryeo Water-moon Avalokiteśvara paintings and the Avalokiteśvara paintings excavated from the Khara Khoto site.
  • ItemControlled Access
    Gifts from Afar: The Creation of an Imperial Lapdog in Tang–Song China
    Granger, Kelsey
    This thesis directly addresses a significant gap in the fields of sinology and pet studies by exploring pre-modern Chinese pet-keeping practices in detail for the first time in either discipline. More specifically, this thesis centres on the social and economic practice of lapdog-keeping across the seventh to twelfth centuries, i.e. the Tang and Northern Song dynasties. Not only does this study provide an adapted framework for identifying pets in medieval China, but the formation of a definitive corpus of lapdog references from this timeframe closely defines what a lapdog was and what it did, moving beyond prior cursory research into these diminutive trick-dogs. Analysis of how humans talked about, with, and through the lapdog further asserts the relevance of pets in the study of human history – revealing the lapdog to be a potent metonym for women and a medium for articulating male sexual desire. In sharing intimate human spaces and emotions as a living treasure, childhood playmate, and female companion, the lapdog thus uncovers nuanced insight into medieval elite culture. When considering the later trajectory of the lapdog in the Song period, we see an entire industry dedicated to producing and selling ornamental animals and animal accessories. Pets were not just emotional beings but economic products, shaped by the shifting socioeconomic dynamics of commercialisation and commodification. The lapdog, China’s first systematic pet, was both a physical creature and an abstract site of complementary, contradicting, and competing meanings. With relevance to the study of medieval Chinese animal studies; early childhood; the male gaze; female isolation; animal commodification; aesthetic connoisseurship; and the writing of official historiography, this thesis reaffirms that the history of humanity cannot truly be written without including the animals which shared their most intimate lives.
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    Unity in Diversity: The Scholarly Community of the Ḥaramayn in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
    Aldabbagh, Maan
    This doctoral thesis illuminates the intellectual life of the Hijaz during the early modern period. The research considers the Ḥaramayn as a region, studying the intellectual trends through reconstructing the scholarly networks that existed in the Hijaz during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Furthermore, it illustrates how a diverse environment was permitted to develop and flourish, given the Hijaz’s nature as a melting pot of traditions; this broadened the space for tolerance and encouraged ʿulamāʾ to be open to various perspectives. This research shows that the status of scholarship in the Ottoman Hijaz was equivalent to the sophistication of Cairo, Damascus, and Fez. Additionally, the thesis assesses the scholarly community in the Hijaz primarily as a Ḥadīth-focused community, exploring how the emphasis on Ḥadīth affected the way in which ʿulamāʾ approached other disciplines and subjects and vice versa, where novel syntheses and developments were ushered in. In an atmosphere of tolerance, prominent scholars were inspired by the spirit of taḥqīq (verification) in Ḥadīth, Sufism and theology; this was a hallmark of scholarship. Nevertheless, verification resulted in varied implications for ʿulamāʾ across various disciplines. Moreover, the thesis presents how several ideas developed in taḥqīq scholarship during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, which were subsequently picked up by various renewal and reform movements in the fields of theology, Sufism and Ḥadīth during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
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    From Retreat to Victory: The Rise of the Communist Party in the Chinese Civil War, 1935–1949
    Char, James Tze Siang
    More than seventy years since the end of the Chinese Civil War, the western treatment of those decisive military encounters that led to establishment of the People’s Republic of China remains hobbled by a number of issues. Not only do most of the English-language literature focus exclusively on the period after the Second World War (i.e., from 1945 to 1949) – in so doing, neglecting the critical period of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) expansion amidst China’s war with Japan – other equally important developments prior to the Japanese invasion in July 1937 are similarly overlooked. Instead of considering those eras as separate events, this dissertation examines the key campaigns across the protracted struggle between the CCP and the Nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) government. How did the Communists – following their military collapse after surrendering their Jiangxi Soviet against the larger and stronger KMT forces in late-1934 – manage to recover, before eventually overcoming their nemesis to take control of China in 1949? By examining the trajectory of the CCP-KMT conflict from the perspective of the insurgency, this study seeks to proffer a military explanation for the CCP’s victory from the vantage point of military history. Towards that end, the thesis will analyse those key events on the battlefield in each important stage of the fighting, establish the contiguity between them, and discuss the consequences of each phase. Adopting a Clausewitzian framework to study those pivotal stages of the armed revolution, the story traces the Party’s strategic retreat during the Long March; its activities during the interregnum of China’s war with Japan; its strategic counteroffensive into the Central Plains; and the most definitive campaign of its strategic offensive that finally delivered the coup de grâce to topple Nationalist rule in China.
  • ItemControlled Access
    Black and White Proselytism: The Publishing Revolution that Changed Religious Propaganda in Twentieth-Century Japan
    Triola, Luigi Ivan
    The twentieth century was an era that praised science and rationality in which religion seemed superfluous. However, despite the dominance of secularist and positivist thought, religious organizations in Japan and around the world continued to flourish. While there have been studies on the importance of religion in modern societies, it is not clear yet why and how religions survived or even prospered in such a hostile environment. The primary aim of this project was to identify the practical reasons behind the emergence and preservation of New Religions. To achieve this, my dissertation draws liberally from several publications produced by different New Japanese Religions. I reconstructed the history that revolutionized religious propaganda and helped religions maintain their position by analyzing magazines, newspapers, and books produced by prewar groups Tenrikyō, Ōmoto, Kurozumikyō, and Sekai Kyūseikyō; and postwar Soka Gakkai, Happy Science, and Aum Shinrikyō. These religions were selected as the most popular and representative of their era. As they were very influential and promoted ideas often in contrast with state ideology, I also analyzed laws and decrees that tried to limit their freedom to understand the power dynamics at play. This project is the first to investigate the practical reasons behind the development of New Religions in Japan. The key finding is that religions, following existing dynamics within their milieus, used publishing as a powerful instrument for role-negotiation and proselytism, which allowed them to maintain currency in a secularist society. Secondly, I identified continuities between the prewar and postwar periods, which indicate a unique pattern for religious propaganda throughout the twentieth century. Contrary to what other studies suggest, this has demonstrated that 1) the Pacific War (1941–1945) was not a clear-cut watershed that changed Japanese society forever; 2) interrelation and intellectual cross-pollination were fundamental for the development of New Religions and need to be addressed; 3) publications were not dethroned by newer media such as DVDs and the Internet, but the latter became additions to the new twentieth-century relationship between media and religions.
  • ItemOpen Access
    In Pāṇini We Trust: Discovering the Algorithm for Rule Conflict Resolution in the Aṣṭādhyāyī
    Rajpopat, Rishi
    If two rules are simultaneously applicable at a given step in a Pāṇinian derivation, which of the two should be applied? Put differently, in the event of a ‘conflict’ between the two rules, which rule wins? In the Aṣṭādhyāyī, Pāṇini has taught only one metarule, namely, 1.4.2 vipratiṣedhe paraṁ kāryam, to address this problem. Traditional scholars interpret it as follows: ‘in the event of a conflict between two rules of equal strength, the rule that comes later in the serial order of the Aṣṭādhyāyī, wins.’ Pāṇinīyas claim that if one rule is nitya, and its simultaneously applicable counterpart is anitya, or if one is antaraṅga and the other bahiraṅga, or if one is an apavāda (exception) and the other the utsarga (general rule), then the two rules are not equally strong and consequently, we cannot use 1.4.2 to resolve the conflict between them. The nitya, antaraṅga and apavāda rules are stronger than their respective counterparts and thus win against them. But this system of conflict resolution is far from perfect: the tradition has had to write numerous additional metarules to account for umpteen exceptions. In this thesis, I propose my own solution to the problem of rule conflict which I have developed by relying exclusively on Pāṇini’s Aṣṭādhyāyī. I replace the aforementioned traditional categories of rule conflict with a new classification, based on whether the two rules are applicable to the same operand (Same Operand Interaction, SOI), or to two different operands (Different Operand Interaction, DOI). I argue that, in case of SOI, the more specific i.e., the ‘exception’ rule, wins. Additionally, I develop a systematic method for the identification of the ‘more specific’ rule – based on Pāṇini’s style of rule composition. I also argue that, in order to deal with DOI, Pāṇini has composed 1.4.2, which I interpret as follows: ‘in case of DOI (vipratiṣedha), the right-hand side (para) operation (kārya) prevails.’ I support my conclusions with both textual and derivational evidence. I also discuss my interpretation of certain metarules teaching substitution and augmentation, the concept of aṅga, and the asiddha and asiddhavat rules and expound on not only their interaction with 1.4.2 but also their influence on the overall functioning of the Pāṇinian machine.
  • ItemControlled Access
    Chinese Null and Covert Arguments and their Behaviours in L2 Chinese Grammars
    Xu, Lilong
    This study aims to shed light on the debates related to the Interface Hypothesis (IH) (Sorace & Serratrice, 2009), which argues that syntactic properties involving other cognitive domains may not be acquirable. Abundant L2 studies on the IH have focused on null-subject languages with rich inflection. By contrast, less attention has been paid to L2 acquisition of null arguments in languages with no subject-verb agreement, like Chinese. To fill in this gap, this study investigates the interpretation of null subjects and the semantic constraint on null objects in L2 Chinese. However, it has been argued recently that gaps in the subject and object position in some constructions in Chinese should, instead of being seen as “true” null arguments, be viewed as the result of movement and ellipsis (e.g., Holmberg, 2015) (gaps resulting from ellipsis are referred to hereafter as ‘covert arguments’ to distinguish them from ‘null arguments’). Given that previous L2 studies have overlooked the role of ellipsis in accounting for perceived gaps in Chinese, this study investigates covert arguments in parallel monologues, answers to yes-no questions and wh-questions in L2 Chinese. 176 English-speaking learners of L2 Chinese ranging from beginners to advanced learners and 30 native controls were recruited in this empirical study, which included a cross-modal picture description task, a self-paced reading task, an interpretation task and an acceptability judgement task. Although null and covert arguments share identical surface patterns in Chinese, they derive from distinct underlying syntactic representations. This causes a learnability problem for English-speaking learners of Chinese. Specifically, their L1 English allows neither null nor covert arguments, and they are faced with the challenge of distinguishing between these two different underlying structures in L2 Chinese. By investigating the syntactic, semantic and pragmatic/discourse properties of null and covert arguments in L2 Chinese, the empirical study finds that L1-L2 difference is not a problem specific to interfaces per se. Other factors such as computational complexity, proficiency, L1-L2 asymmetry, input and different L1-L2 cue weighting strategies should all be considered when explaining L1-L2 convergence or non-convergence.
  • ItemControlled Access
    Accents, Pausal Forms and Qere/Ketiv in the Bible Translations and Commentaries of Saadya Gaon and the Karaites of Jerusalem
    Habib, Joseph
    Towards the end of the Geonic period (ca. 598–1038 C.E.) the Rabbanite figure Saadya Gaon (882–942) and scholars affiliated with the Karaite movement in Judaism developed and brought into prominence Biblical translation and exegesis. This period also roughly coincided with the end of what is known as the Masoretic period (ca. 500–900). The school of Masoretes whose reading tradition eventually became the most authoritative was the Tiberian school. Parts of the Tiberian reading tradition can reflect exegesis. The accents and pausal forms affect exegesis by demarcating syntactic/semantic boundaries through pauses in reading. Some scholars have noticed, however, that, at times, the pausal forms and accents reflect different pauses within the same verse. The oral reading (qere) sometimes offers a different interpretation from that of the written text (ketiv). The purpose of this thesis is to determine whether and to what extent these three components are discernable in the Bible translations and commentaries of Saadya Gaon and the Jerusalem Karaites. This question is primarily investigated through comparing these scholars' exegesis of verses where: (1) the accents mark a boundary which likely would have been ignored had the accents not been there (Chapter 2), (2) a pausal form marks a boundary different from that of the accents (Chapter 3), (3) the qere reads a lexeme with a different interpretation from that of the ketiv (Chapter 4). Chapters 2 and 3 begin with considerations of evidence relating to accents and pausal forms, respectively, which mostly falls outside of Saadya and the Karaites' works. On the basis of the primary and secondary evidence, I conclude that Saadya more often reflects the division of the accents, whereas the exegesis of the Karaites does not. The Karaites prefer divisions reflected by pausal forms in most cases. This thesis clearly demonstrates therefore that the Jerusalem Karaites did not regard the accents as an integral part of the Biblical text that was the object of exegesis, whereas Saadya considered the accents to be an integral part of the language of the text and should therefore be taken into account in exegesis. All scholars generally prefer the Biblical qere.
  • ItemOpen Access
    From Victory to Defeat: The Chinese Mission in Japan, 1946-1952
    Lee, Kan
    Through the lens of the Chinese Mission in Japan, this dissertation explores how the Chinese Nationalists (Kuomintang) under Chiang Kai-shek adjusted to the post-war international order between 1945 and 1952. The history the governmental delegation representing the Republic of China (ROC) in Tokyo during the allied occupation of Japan reveals a hitherto overlooked aspect of post-war China and East Asia’s Cold War history, one coinciding with the seven-year period that witnessed the military defeat of the Kuomintang. As the Kuomintang fought to retain control of the Chinese mainland between 1945 and 1949, the Chinese Mission vied for influence in Japan with the three leading Allied powers—the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union—and participated in trying war criminals, obtaining reparations, and concluding the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty. The Chinese Mission thus endeavoured to be an active member of the “Big Four” as envisaged by President Franklin Roosevelt in the final years of World War II. However, the standing and eminence of the Chinese Mission in Japan ebbed away as the Kuomintang lost ground in the Chinese Civil War and eventually retreated to the island of Taiwan in 1949. Following the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in October of that year, the fundamental legitimacy of the Chinese Mission came under threat as the Chinese Communists and the Soviet Union continuously challenged its position in Japan. Despite the signing of the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty in 1952, which officially ended the war between China and Japan and recognized the ROC as the legitimate Chinese government in the eyes of Japan, the perception of the ROC in the minds of most Japanese, in comparison to the new regime in Beijing, was little different to that of any other defeated power. The title of this dissertation “From Victory to Defeat” not only characterises the history of the Chinese Mission in Japan, but also alludes to the fate of the Kuomintang and ROC during those seven years.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A Codicological and Linguistic Typology of Common Torah Codices from the Cairo Genizah
    Arrant, Estara
    This PhD thesis develops a typology of common Torah codices from the Cairo Genizah. As many of these codices have a non-standard form of Tiberian vocalisation (NST) the thesis also develops a typology of this vocalisation present in the corpus. These codices lack the full features associated with exemplary Bibles (having at least two columns of text, written on parchment, with Masoretic notes), and NST is the use of Tiberian Hebrew vowel signs and orthography which deviates from standard Tiberian vocalisation (ST), the main reference point for which is Codex Leningradensis. Previous research only studied a small number of NST MSS in order to contextualise them within the development of standard Tiberian, and they pay little attention to codicology. Likewise, Bibles which do not fit a certain level of codicological sophistication have never been systematically assessed (for a significant corpus). This thesis takes a representative sample of ~ 1,500 Torah fragments (~1,800 if numbers from a preliminary case study are included in the count) and subjects them to a holistic statistical, codicological, and linguistic analysis. My thesis aims to establish whether the codicological and linguistic features of these Torahs fall into meaningful, correlating patterns reflecting regional variations in codicological style and vowel sign usage. I store the MS data in a MySQL database which I built, and I employ statistical machine learning algorithms to find naturally occurring patterns in this data. These patterns are then analysed for their linguistic and codicological meaningfulness. Each chapter analyses a subsection of MSS: (a) parchment Torahs with 2 columns, but no Masoretic notes; (b) single-column parchment Torahs; (c) paper Torahs written in scribal hands; (d) Torahs written by children and non-scribe laymen. This research has uncovered some crucial insights for our knowledge of the popular writing of the Torah in the Masoretic and immediate post-Masoretic period. First, common Torahs show rich diversity of regional codicological styles. Second, their NST falls into different regional patterns; these can reflect a mixture of phonological language contact with dialectal Arabic, Aramaic influence from Targums, and an imperfect application of Standard Tiberian vocalisation rules. Third, these codicological and NST patterns tend to complement each other, so that NST and codicology generally correlate, region-by-region, throughout the world of the Genizah.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Writing Nature in Hebrew Literature: An Ecofeminist Reading
    Pearce, Susannah
    Nature in literature is often seen as a given, either a simple backdrop, or a means to reflect back some aspect of character, plot or theme. Yet, ecofeminists show, the construction of nature put forward by the literary hegemony has an effect on the way in which we conceptualise both our relationship with the natural world, and our relationships with one another. Indeed, the oppression of the human ’other’ and the domination of the natural ‘other’ have their origins in the very same source, and work to reinforce, legitimise and naturalise one another. In this thesis, I analyse Hebrew literature, putting nature at the forefront. In doing so, I extract three competing but supposedly complementary modes of viewing nature by the Zionist hegemony: as ‘barren wilderness’, as a ‘lover’ or ‘bride’, and as a ‘mother’. Paying attention to the gendered associations implicit in all three of these modes, I use Karen Warren’s ‘Logic of Domination’ as a conceptual key to investigate the interplay between gender, nation and nature in modern Hebrew literature. In doing so, I uncover an underlying tension in the threefold Zionist reading of nature, one which threatens to undermine the very model of the man-nature relationship that it creates. The Zionists wished to rescue the land from its perceived state of abandonment, barrenness, and abuse via their mastery and cultivation of it, to redeem it through ‘conquest of the wilderness’. Yet in doing so, I argue, they did not truly redeem nature from its fallen state, but simply re-imprisoned it in new chains of their own making: those of the hegemonic Zionist discourse. Nature for and of itself was not truly seen, but merely co-opted to serve the ‘redemption’ of the Jewish nation. Reading Meir Shalev’s The Blue Mountain (Roman Rusi) and other texts through an ecofeminist lens, I investigate the workings of this layered discourse, and its implications both for nature and for Zionism’s other ‘others’.