The Chinese Typewriter

A History

Author: Thomas S. Mullaney

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262536102

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 504

View: 6009

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How Chinese characters triumphed over the QWERTY keyboard and laid the foundation for China's information technology successes today. Chinese writing is character based, the one major world script that is neither alphabetic nor syllabic. Through the years, the Chinese written language encountered presumed alphabetic universalism in the form of Morse Code, Braille, stenography, Linotype, punch cards, word processing, and other systems developed with the Latin alphabet in mind. This book is about those encounters—in particular thousands of Chinese characters versus the typewriter and its QWERTY keyboard. Thomas Mullaney describes a fascinating series of experiments, prototypes, failures, and successes in the century-long quest for a workable Chinese typewriter. The earliest Chinese typewriters, Mullaney tells us, were figments of popular imagination, sensational accounts of twelve-foot keyboards with 5,000 keys. One of the first Chinese typewriters actually constructed was invented by a Christian missionary, who organized characters by common usage (but promoted the less-common characters for “Jesus" to the common usage level). Later came typewriters manufactured for use in Chinese offices, and typewriting schools that turned out trained “typewriter girls” and “typewriter boys.” Still later was the “Double Pigeon” typewriter produced by the Shanghai Calculator and Typewriter Factory, the typewriter of choice under Mao. Clerks and secretaries in this era experimented with alternative ways of organizing characters on their tray beds, inventing an input method that was the first instance of “predictive text.” Today, after more than a century of resistance against the alphabetic, not only have Chinese characters prevailed, they form the linguistic substrate of the vibrant world of Chinese information technology. The Chinese Typewriter, not just an “object history” but grappling with broad questions of technological change and global communication, shows how this happened. A Study of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute Columbia University
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A History of East Asia

Author: Charles Holcombe

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107118735

Category: History

Page: 481

View: 9458

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The second edition of Charles Holcombe's acclaimed introduction to East Asian history from the dawn of history to the twenty-first century.
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A History of the Chinese World, 1891-1961

A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Communication and Journalism and the Committee on the Graduate Division of Stanford University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts

Author: Ronald Leslie Soble

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Chinese-American newspapers

Page: 238

View: 7382

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Sound and Script in Chinese Diaspora

Author: Jing Tsu

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674055403

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 306

View: 3682

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In this original and interdisciplinary work, Jing Tsu advances the notion of “literary governance” as a way of understanding literary dynamics and production on multiple scales: local, national, global. “Literary governance,” like political governance, is an exercise of power, but in a “softer” way - it begins with language, rather than governments. In a globalizing world characterized by many diasporas competing for recognition, the global Chinese community has increasingly come to feel the necessity of a “national language,” standardized and privileging its native speakers. As the national language gains power within the diasporic community, members of the diaspora become aware of themselves as a community. Eventually, they move from the internal state of awakened identity to being recognized as a community, and finally exercising power as a community. But this hegemony of the “national language” is constantly being challenged by different, nonstandard language uses, including various Chinese dialects, multiple registers, contested alphabet usage, and Chinese men and women who write in foreign languages. “Literary governance” reflects both the consensus-building power and the inherent divisiveness of these debates about language and is useful as a comparative model for thinking about not only Sinophone, Anglophone, Francophone, Lusophone, and Hispanophone literatures, but also any literary field that is currently expanding beyond the national.
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A New Literary History of Modern China

Author: David Der-wei Wang

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674967917

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 1032

View: 6253

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Featuring over 140 Chinese and non-Chinese contributors, this landmark volume, edited by David Der-wei Wang, explores unconventional forms as well as traditional genres, emphasizes Chinese authors’ influence on foreign writers as well as China’s receptivity to outside literary influences, and offers vibrant contrasting voices and points of view.
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