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Classical Chinese: 與 / 乎

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by Skatinginbc, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin 國語
    A member posted a question regarding the interchangeability between 與 vs 乎as interrogative particles in Old Chinese. The original post is unfortunately lost due to "serious problems" the Wordreference Forums had earlier on Monday. Here is my response:

    Just as [FONT=&amp][/FONT]and [FONT=&amp]嗎[/FONT] are different in modern Mandarin, so are 與 and 乎 in Old Chinese. Their respective linguistic environments are as follows:
    1. 乎 (*wa in Old Chinese, also written [FONT=&amp]于 [/FONT]*wa) is a post-verbial interrogative particle. It follows a verb or an adjective (Note: In Old Chinese, there is no clear-cut between verbs and adjectives. We may consider them as a single word class). For instance, 論語:「為人謀而不忠乎?與朋友交而不信乎? 傳不習乎?」[FONT=&amp]呂氏春秋[FONT=&amp]:「然則先王聖于?[/FONT][FONT=&amp]」[/FONT]忠,[/FONT]信,[FONT=&amp]and 聖[/FONT] belong to the "verb" class (including adjectives as well), and therefore ([FONT=&amp]于[/FONT]) is the appropriate interrogative particle.
    2. 與 (*lha in Old Chinese, also written [FONT=&amp]歟 *lha) is [/FONT]usually a post-nominal interrogative particle and in complementary distribution with 乎. For instance, [FONT=&amp]《史記》[/FONT][FONT=&amp]: [/FONT][FONT=&amp]子非三閭大夫歟[/FONT][FONT=&amp]? [/FONT][FONT=&amp]柳宗元《梓人傳》[/FONT]: [FONT=&amp]能者用而智者謀[/FONT][FONT=&amp],彼其智者歟?[/FONT][FONT=&amp]大夫 and [/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]智者 are noun phrases and therefore [/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]歟 ([/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]與) is the correct particle. There are situations however where the noun phrase is implied but not explicitly stated. For instance, [/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]孟子[FONT=&amp]•[/FONT][FONT=&amp]告子: [/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]為是其智弗若[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]與[/FONT][/FONT]?[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]Conventionally, it is taken as [/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]為是其智弗若[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]者與[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]and translated as "[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]能说这是他的聪明才智不如前一个人吗" [/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]So [/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]與 is used because of the implied noun phrase [/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]者 ([/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT] [/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]前一个人[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]).

    The above is only a rule of thumb applied to only Old Chinese. Since the Han Dynasty, people started to replace [/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]與 with [/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]乎. And eventually we have sentences like [/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]宋. 蘇軾: [/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]“[FONT=&amp]汝[/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]識[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]之乎[FONT=&amp]?[/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT] [FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]. [/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp] is a pronoun and would have gone with [/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]與[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT] in Old Chinese.
    [/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]
    [/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
  2. lyx1692

    lyx1692 Senior Member

    汉语
    你怎么这么厉害!用中文我也讲不清啊,佩服呐!
     
  3. Pierre_zane Junior Member

    Beijing
    Chinese
    [FONT=宋体]Skatinginbc is really an expert! I've learned a lot from your post. But also some question resulting from this:
    It seems 乎 can also be used after nous, as shown in the quotation below:
    贤人乎,贤人乎!非质有其内,恶能用之哉?——《史记
    According to 汉典 http://www.zdic.net/zd/zi/ZdicE6ZdicACZdicA4.htm, 与\欤 is used to express exclamation, pose questions/rhetoric questions. Therefore it can well be replaced by 乎 in all context, but not vice versa, as I see it.
    [/FONT]
     
  4. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin 國語
    Indeed, the picture becomes far more complex if we include rhetoric questions and exclamations (e.g., [FONT=宋体]贤人乎[/FONT]). 乎 as an exclamation roughly corresponds to 啊 and is to imitate the sound when one finally gives out a breath that can no longer be held back [FONT=&amp]象氣之舒[/FONT]. In early Old Chinese (e.g, 诗经), it is usually in [FONT=&amp]disyllabic exclamations (e.g., [/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]呜虖, 嗟乎, [/FONT][/FONT]于嗟[/FONT][FONT=&amp] *wa ciaj, which sounds so much like [/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]哇[/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]噻[/FONT][/FONT]). As far as interrogative particles in Old Chinese (上古漢語/先秦漢語) are concerned, [FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]與[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]/歟 [/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]is usually used for true questions (in contrast to [FONT=&amp]哉[/FONT], which is used for rhetoric/retorting questions or exclamations), whereas 乎 are equally found in retorting questions as well as in true questions (http://mt.china-papers.com/2/?p=153230).

    The interrogative 乎 ([FONT=&amp]于[/FONT]/虖) seems to be closely associated with its function as a verbial suffix (后缀, 嵌在动词或形容词后面), for instance, 不在乎,[FONT=&amp]《[/FONT][FONT=&amp]国[/FONT][FONT=&amp]》[/FONT]越于诸侯. This function is to some degree similar though not identical to modern 了 (e.g., 我吃了饭), which is also attached to a verb/adjective. The interrogative 乎 roughly corresponds to 了, for instance,有朋自遠方來,不亦樂乎?有朋友從遠來,不快樂? It has a stronger retorting flavor than [FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]與[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]/歟[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT] ("a final particle used to express admiration, doubt, surprise, or to mark a question" according to [FONT=宋体]汉典[/FONT]), which roughly corresponds to in a rhetoric question expressing guess, doubt or uncertainly. For instance, [FONT=&amp]道不行,乘桴[/FONT][FONT=&amp]浮于海,从[/FONT][FONT=&amp]我者,其由与?! ([/FONT][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]如果我的主[/FONT]张行不通,我就乘上木筏子到海外去。能跟从我的大概只有仲由吧?!). [/FONT]

    I admit that the rule I gave in my original post is oversimplified. That's why I emphasized it is "[FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]only a rule of thumb applied to only Old Chinese". [/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013

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