Paradigmatic case studies in Asian speech communication culture and its ideological background in Indian and Far Asian literature and the tradition of Western rhetoric terminology.
This article describes the use of rhetoric as an element of cultural contexts in different cultures showing the terminology and the use for rhetoric in India and China in context of their cultural which means in most cases religious- systems, that established with their rhetoric an ethical codex like the term the superior man in Chinese that can be conferred with the vir bonus of Roman rhetoric. So this article doesnt focus on a hypothetical contrastive study method between Eastern and Western cultures of speech, since we have no literary documents for an intellectual exchange between both cultures before late modern time. Scholarly exchange de facto is a 20th-century phenomenon. We will demonstrate how in general the concepts of philosophy took the topos of good speech as an element within their system in order to integrate their teachings.
In the western culture rhetoric traditionally has a close relationship to ethics, criticism, and discourse. Rhetoric is to be found in every use of language. This ancient idea of good speaking is a similarity to ethics, moral or religious precepts that are parts of good speech in Asian systems. In Roman rhetoric the definition as ars bene dicendi and its three main elements to teach (docere), to move (movere) and to bring joy (delectare) demonstrate the social factors of Western rhetoric tradition. The categories for a persons value were in Greek culture ethos, pathos and logos according to the Rhetoric of Aristotle (1.2.2). Greek rhetoric developed the five canons of rhetoric (invention, heuresis, inventio), arrangement (taxis, dispositio), style (lexis, elocutio), delivery (hypokrisis, actio), and memory (mneme, memoria)). This thinking flourished in Western culture to an own species of rhetorical handbooks for all kinds of use as well as for its sister discipline poesy. The term the superior man would correspond to the classical ideal expressed like in books of Aristotle, Cicero, and Quintilian that the orator must be a man of good moral character. From this moral quality speech derives its effectiveness. Like the ideal speaker in the West exhibits or embodies certain characteristics, which make us believe in his moral goodness so also the ideal speaker in the Confucian tradition embodies certain characteristics. In Western culture tradition the system of rhetoric was dominated either by religion or by philosophy, when the renaissance on the artes liberales started in the Middle Ages. In Far Asia the advices of speaking were more or less a permanent part of religious or philosophical thinking.
in the Buddhist conception has the
functions to be true, real and useful. The rhetoric of
The participation of Hindu priests became an essential element in court ritual in some Buddhist states. The earliest history of Buddhism is largely lost, because some 400 years separate the death of the Buddha from the first documented efforts to commit the Buddhist scriptures to writing. There are 5 paths, on which a Bodhisattva develops in succession and among the 8-fold path there is the quality of perfect speech:
Sambharamarga The path of equipment
Prayogamarga The path of training
Darshanamarga The path of seeing
Bhavanamarga The path of intense contemplation
Vimuktimarga The path of freedom
The 8-fold path consists of:
The basic Buddhist concepts base on Four Noble Truths, which include the idea of the perfect speech. The First Noble Truth is that life is suffering mentally and physically in the forms of sickness, injuries, aging, death, tiredness, anger, oneliness, frustration, fear and anxiety. The Second Noble Truth is, that craving causes all these suffering. A self-centered person with continuous wanting from others will cause mental unhappiness. The Third Noble Truth is that all sufferings can be overcome and avoided. When one gives up endless wanting and endures problems that life evolves without fear, hatred and anger, happiness and freedom will then be obtained. Overcome the mentality of selfishness, one will then spend time in meeting others needs and feels life more fulfilled. The Fourth Noble Truth says that there is a Noble Eightfold path leading to overcome the suffering. The Eightfold path includes Perfect Understanding, Perfect Thought, Perfect Speech, Perfect Action, Perfect Livelihood, Perfect Effort, Perfect Mindfulness and Perfect Concentration.
Buddha definies in The Eightfold Path right speech: as absence of lying and useless speech:
What, now, is Right Speech? It is abstaining from lying; abstaining from tale-bearing; abstaining from harsh language; abstaining from vain talk. There, someone avoids lying, and abstains from it. He speaks the truth, is devoted to the truth, reliable, worthy of confidence, is not a deceiver of men.
Therefore examples follow:
Being at a meeting, or amongst people, or in the midst of his relatives, or in a society, or in the king's court, and called upon and asked as witness, to tell what he knows, he answers, if he knows nothing: "I know nothing"; and if he knows, he answers: "I know"; if he has seen nothing, he answers: "I have seen nothing," and if he has seen, he answers: "I have seen.", he never knowingly speaks a lie, neither for the sake of his own advantage, nor for the sake of another person's advantage, nor for the sake of any advantage whatsoever. He avoids tale-bearing, and abstains from it.
Buddha describes with words such as words as gentle, soothing to the ear, loving, going to the heart, courteous and dear right speech in The Eightfold Path:
What he has heard here, he does not repeat there, so as to cause dissension there; and what he heard there, he does not repeat here, so as to cause dissension here. He unites those that are divided; and those that are united, he encourages. Concord gladdens him, he delights and rejoices in concord, and it is concord that he spreads by his words. He avoids harsh language, and abstains from it. He speaks such words as are gentle, soothing to the ear, loving, going to the heart, courteous and dear, and agreeable to many.
In the words of Buddhas right speech is called sammaa-vaacaa. In Majjhima-Nikaya [No. 21] Buddha explains the term right speech as mundane speech in opposition to the ultramundane speech:
Now, right speech, let me tell you, is of two kinds: 1. Abstaining from lying, from tale-bearing, from harsh language, and from vain talk; this is called the "Mundane Right Speech, which yields worldly fruits and brings good results. 2. But the abhorrence of the practice of this four-fold wrong speech, the abstaining, withholding, refraining therefrom-the mind being holy, being turned away from the world, and conjoined with the path, the holy path being pursued-: this is called the "Ultramundane Right Speech, which is not of the world, but is ultramundane, and conjoined with the paths. Now, in understanding wrong speech as wrong, and right speech as right, one practices Right Understanding; and in making efforts to overcome evil speech and to arouse right speech, one practices Right Effort; and in overcoming wrong speech with attentive mind, and dwelling with attentive mind in possession of right speech, one practices Right Attentiveness. Hence, there are three things that accompany and follow upon right attentiveness.
Speech in the Buddhist conception has the qualities of being true and useful. So we find here a combination of speech qualities that in the Western categories is divided into rhetoric and philosophy.
transmission of Buddhist texts to
as a professional genre of oral entertainment goes back more than a thousand years in
Chinese society. The storytelling genres have survived as orally transmitted traditions up
to present time. Written
Buddhist documents are known since the 9th century. The
earliest dated woodblock print, The Diamond Sutra,
was found in northwestern
The rhetoric of the
Chinese Confucianism rhetoric
status of Confucianism as the orthodox philosophy in
Benevolence (jen) because it contains within itself the characteristics of regard for the feelings of others, receptivity, and impartiality manifests itself as the speaker's indifference to his own feelings and his concerns for the rights of others. Within this framework of aretaic notions it would be difficult, if not impossible, to construct a rhetoric, which has as its aim anything but conciliation. The way the narrative texts are composed to document Confucius speeches focuses on the style of these sayings. Confucius taught about the quality of speech of jen:
1:3 Confucius said: "Someone who is a clever speaker and maintains a 'too-smiley' face is seldom considered a person of jen."
13:27 Confucius said: "With firmness, strength, simplicity and caution in speaking, you will be close to jen."
15:7 Confucius said: "When a person should be spoken with, and you don't speak with them, you lose them. When a person shouldn't be spoken with and you speak to them, you waste your breath. The wise do not lose people, nor do they waste their breath."
Taken from the Confucian Analects reflecting wisdom Chinese proverbs consist of different layers. The superficial message becomes apparent immediately. But as one re-reads, one discovers deeper meaning. A wide difference in pronunciation exists in between the dialect-languages for the more or less uniform writing system in the Chinese languages. Some proverbs and idioms come from written documents like the speeches of Confucius. Many expressions develop around a rhyme or rhythm of intonation. The verbal distinction in Chinese is tied to the regional dialect. A proverb or idiom would not necessarily be understood or used outside of that region.
instead of a
in the Greek rhetoric system certain basic characters. So Jen
is the essence of all kinds of manifestations of virtuosity like wisdom, filial piety,
reverence, courtesy, love and sincerity. Jen,
also ´benevolence, charity, humanity, love´, is the fundamental virtue of Confucianism.
The Confucian ideal uses
principle of government by example and by ´not doing´ (wu wei), putting Confucianism closer to Daoism than
to modern practices of authoritarian control. Confucius thought that government by laws
and punishments could keep people in line
by example of virtue (de) and good manners (li) would enable
control themselves (Analects II. 3). During the
Tang Dynasty, the canon of Confucian Classics became the basis for the great civil service
examinations that henceforth provided the magistrates and bureaucrats called Mandarins for
the Chinese government. The Han Chinese are to be contrasted with the Hui Chinese, who are
simply those who practice Islam. Buddhism became so popular after the fall of the Later
Han Dynasty (
The character of the superior man, in contrast to the sage, is being taught as a tangible model. In 4:24 the following sentence is written: ´Confucius said: "The Superior Man desires to be hesitant in speech, but sharp in action.´ In the Analects of Confucius is written:
[1:3] Confucius said: "Someone who is a clever speaker and maintains a 'too-smiley' face is seldom considered a humane person."
In the Analects Confucius gives an example of humanity and speech:
????? ??:?? ?????, ? ????????, ??
[5:5] Someone said: "Yung is a humane man, but he is not sharp enough with his tongue." Confucius said, "Why does he need to be sharp with his tongue? If you deal with people by smooth talk, you will soon be disliked. I don't know if Yung is a humane man, but why should he have to be a clever speaker?"
In the Analects Confucius describes himself as a transmitter:
????, ????, ??????
[7:1] Confucius said: "I am a transmitter, rather than an original thinker. I trust and enjoy the teachings of the ancients. In my heart I compare myself to old P'eng."
The teachings are preserved in dialogues:
[12:3] Ssu Ma Niu asked about the meaning of humaneness.
Confucius said, "The humane man is hesitant to speak." Niu replied, "Are you saying that humaneness is mere hesitancy in speaking?" Confucius said, "Actualizing it is so difficult, how can you not be hesitant to speak about it?" 
ming had different
meanings and implications to different people. Confucius viewed ming as titles
one's social status, and one's kinship with others. In an abstract sense, ming signified cultural code or prescribed
behaviours for society and acted as means of social transformation. Laozi referred to ming as honour, an indication of success,
popularity, and achievement. Daoism sponsors a rhetoric emphasizing
as the avoidance of action, wu-hsin as negation
of mind, and te as the principle of spontaneous functioning. Most
of his rhetoric was presented in a political context, so its influence on the political
nature of the ethical appeal in Confucian rhetoric is not one that differs in an extreme
way from the nature of the ethical appeal in classical rhetoric. Although there is no
obvious correspondence between the notions of fronesis and li or any of the other virtues in the Confucian
triad the whole notion of the ideal speaker may be summed up in the idea of the superior
man, the chün-tsu. Li, i, and jen
lend a person credibility. The nature of a rhetoric that
has as its chief virtues propriety, righteousness, and benevolence and which sees these
virtues as being the primary aretaic virtues will necessarily be different than a rhetoric
which sees different virtues as qualities. The man who exhibits benevolence (jen) manifests goodwill towards his fellow men. The
man who exhibits li, or righteousness, obviously manifests good character.
Likewise the man who exhibits li, or propriety, may be considered to exhibit not so
much good sense except insofar as the li arise out of a social setting to which
they are a response and their violation is an act of rashness, as, again, good character. The
rhetoric of the
Mencius (ca. 371-289 B.C.) was a prominent Confucian philosopher of social order and humanism. Mencius enforced the acceptance of benevolence as a major principle of political rule and promoted the retention of his messages in the auditor. The teachings of Mencius are composed in questions and answers and stand in a dialectic tradition. The ultimate goal was to transcend his main theme. Through the transcendence it was believed that the benevolent leader is able to overcome any difficulty including a disaster caused by water.
Chinese rhetoric following Daoism and the I-Ching
In Far Asia the I-Ching is an oracle based on geometric forms. The I Ching or Book of Changes is the most widely read of the five Chinese classics. The book was traditionally written by the legendary Chinese Emperor Fu Hsi (2953-2838 B.C.). It is possible that the I Ching originated from a prehistoric divination technique, which dates back as far as 5000 B.C. it may be the oldest text at this site. King Wen and the Duke of Chou added Futher commentaries in the eleventh century B.C. Making six binary decisions in a hexagram with figures to be interpreted performs an I Ching interpretation. The I Ching was supposed to have authored by Duke of Chou in Chou Dynasty around 10th century B.C. It had been used as the book of division for the emperor and the feudal lords. An Asian genre of statements, which the Western civilization calls aphorisms, is the opposite to the system of science Aristotle attempted to establish. The I Ching is an ancient Chinese oracular text, which consists of a core work from the Western Zhou dynasty (ca. 825 BCE) called Zhouyi and a set of commentaries (`The Ten Wings') from later periods.
The Dao-te Ching is the basic text of the Chinese religious system of Daoism and shapes a mentality that is as inherent in certain Chinese poetry as in the oratory, dance, painting, architecture, and government of that ancient culture. According to Stan Rosenthal's Dao Te Ching translation the Dao can be reached through speech:
1. THE EMBODIMENT OF DAO
Through knowledge, intellectual thought and words,
the manifestations of the Dao are known,
but without such intellectual intent
we might experience the Dao itself.
Both knowledge and experience are real,
but reality has many forms,
which seem to cause complexity.
A leader acts without unnecessary speech:
17. LEADERSHIP BY EXCEPTION
Man cannot comprehend the infinite;
only knowing that the best exists,
the second best is seen and praised,
and the next, despised and feared.
The sage does not expect that others
use his criteria as their own.
The existence of the leader who is wise
is barely known to those he leads.
He acts without unnecessary speech,
so that the people say,
"It happened of its own accord".
The method of comprehending
those words is to immediately grasp by once again presenting in one's own mind concrete
instances of the issue, so the meaning of the statement is unambiguously and intuitively
Daoims is a basically agnostic system, created by cognitive and conceptual differences, which occur in westerners' translations of esoteric texts, which cannot be understood or properly translated apart from a lineage derived koujue tradition. Put in more specific terms, texts found in the mid 15th century Ming Dynasty Zhengtong Canon, and more recent sources, are like prompt books which derive from a basically oral tradition. Both the tradition and the texts can only be understood or translated through access to a Daoist master, who knows the koujue lineage tradition. Koujue Daoism is learned from a licensed lineage master. The scholar of Daoism acts as a transmitter of oral evidence, as well as explicator of performance- based liturgical and meditative texts. This tradition of oral teachings called koujue, is an essential factor in understanding Chinese Daoism.
In Daoism of the Dao Te Ching the following about archiving evidence is written:
When temptation arises to leave the Dao,
banish temptation, stay with the Dao.
When the court has adornments in profusion,
the fields are full of weeds, and the granaries are bare.
It is not the way of nature to carry a sword,
nor to over-adorn oneself,
nor to have more than a sufficiency
of fine food and drink.
He who has more possessions than he can use,
deprives someone who could use them well.
In the Dao Te Ching we find sentences about speaking:
For dwelling, the Earth is good.
For the mind, depth is good.
The goodness of giving is in the timing.
The goodness of speech is in honesty.
In government, self-mastery is good.
In handling affairs, ability is good.
To speak little is natural.
Therefore a gale does not blow a whole morning.
A good traveller leaves no tracks.
Good speech lacks faultfinding.
A good counter needs no calculator.
Great perfection seems flawed, yet functions without a hitch.
Great fullness seems empty, yet functions without exhaustion.
Great straightness seems crooked,
Great skill seems clumsy,
Great eloquence seems stammering.
One who knows does not speak.
One who speaks does not know.
Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism constitutes the main
rhetoric cannot be discussed as a unified whole deriving from a common tradition, which is
one legitimate way of describing the Western practice of rhetoric insofar as it can be
said to derive from Aristotle and the classical orators of
As a daily
phenomenon of human societies, the practice of communication as well shows its diversity
and variations in Chinese societies. The concept of communication has been emerged in
is generally agreed that Chinese rhetoric does not have straightforward terminology as
explicated by the Greek tradition.
But terms equivalent to the Greek ones exist. We find also a highly differentiated system
of speech communication types. Figures
of speech are always of making our language figurative.
long been claimed as a Western intellectual property.
rhetoric is characterized by an emphasis on harmony, deprecation of speeches, and lack of
logic. The augurs and zhu guan were the elites
of society and, more importantly, the first trained 'rhetoricians' in
The formal communication, usually between the emperor and government officials or common people, was conducted through nine common channels in the traditional Chinese society of zhao, chi, cheng, zou, biao, yi, jian, shu and xi. Both zhao and chi are imperial decree, mandate, or edict by which the emperor conveyed an order, proclamation, or benevolence to government officials or citizens. If the message targets an individual, it would be read openly to the person. If the message aims to reach the public, it would be posted prominently in the town. Cheng is an appeal letter written by an official to the emperor. The purpose of cheng is to express a subordinates appreciation for the reward, grant, or benevolence. Zou is an impeach report, issued by lower-rank government officials, to the emperor to report the disloyal of another official. Provocative language usually was used in zou to describe the disloyal behaviours of an official and how to impeach him or her. Biao is a formal statement that states ones situation in order to let the emperor understand, for example, why the subordinate cannot carry out the obligation or accept the order. The message in biao is usually highly emotion-laden. Yi is an argumentative statement used by government officials to express their disagreement or different opinions to the emperor when the jian (oral admonition) is not available. Although using yi or jian to admonish the emperor often put the presenters in a risky situation for being executed, it was a common way for Chinese literate elite, as a government official, trying to persuade the emperor for a good deed. The language in yi or jian tends to be acute and sharpened. Shu is a petition letter, in which grievance or suggestion is expressed, used in the upward communication. Xi is a summons to arms, which lists the crimes of a tyrant and is usually issued by an emperor or a challenger.
Virtues are the ethic categories to achieve the quality of good speaking both in Western rhetoric tradition and Eastern culture. We find the use of the ancient system in the writings of the Church fathers as well as in later Christian literature and theology, which means also the appearance of the forth genus dicendi, the homiletic speech. Bian emphasizes more wisdom of the rhetor than logical development of arguments, though there was a hidden logical relation in bian to the rhetorical situation. When a bian shi (messenger) was sent to speak to the king of another country in order to prevent a potential war, he would tell a story that had a moral in it, and usually there was a pun, an analogy, or a smart saying that took high intelligence to decode.
Chinese rhetoric is called xiu-ci. The meaning of ci relates to speech, language, and discourse overlapping with yan and also to explanation and the artistic presentation of language, associations which are not emphasized in yan. Jian (advising, persuasion) is advising activities that take place in a hierarchical (unequal) relationship with the advisee (the king, lord, ruler). Shui (persuasion), shuo (explanation) and jian are similar in some ways, but where jian shi relied primarily upon quotations or citations from the antiquities and classics the you shui (traveling persuaders) used an analysis of advantages and disadvantages for the persuadee and his state. While jian relied on ethical appeal, shui appealed to the persuadee with utilitarian considerations and an analysis of practical benefits. Chinese used the characters ma for persuasion and bian for to debate, to argue.
Key terms for the categories of speech types exist. Chuan means ´to turn, to revolve´ referring to delivering or forwarding a message, teaching knowledge and skills, recording a persons life, and orally distributing information. Bo means ´to sow seed´, referring to spreading or disseminating messages. Yang means ´to rise up and flutter as a flag, to flourish, to manifest´, referring to consciously making a message or person flourishing or manifesting in pubic. Liu means ´to flow (like water)´, referring to a process in which ones reputation or virtuous message is disseminated naturally and unintentionally. Bu means ´the woven cloth´, referring to the downward process of announcing or disseminating organized information or government order to the public. Xuan means ´the emperors room or the imperial decree or edict´, referring to the dignified declaration or proclamation of emperors order. Tong means ´unobstructed´, referring to the free flow of oral communication. Di means ´to deliver or exchange´, referring to the exchange or delivery of materials via, for example, the courier system.
When we use words in other than their ordinary or literal sense to lend force to an idea, to heighten effect, or to create suggestive imagery, we are said to be speaking or writing figuratively. Terms used in rhetoric (??) and Chinese rhetoric (?????) are metaphor (??), metonymy (??), personification (??), irony (??), hyperbole (??), understatement (??), euphemism(???), contrast (??), oxymoron (?????), transferred epithet (??), pun (??), syllepsis (??), zeugma (??), parody (??), paradox (??), repetition (??), catchword repetition (??), chiasmus (??), parallelism (????), antithesis (??), rhetoric question (??), anticlimax (??)and syllogism (????). In Chinese the terms of rhetoric do exist. Figures of speech (??) are ways of making our language figurative.
Now we are going to talk about some common forms of figures of speech. Simile (??) is a figure of speech, which makes a comparison between two unlike elements having at least one quality or characteristic (??) in common. When we use words in other than their ordinary or literal sense to lend force to an idea, to heighten effect, or to create suggestive imagery, we are said to be speaking or writing figuratively. Forms of figures of speech like simile, metaphor, analogy, personification, hyperbole, understatement, euphemism, metonymy, synecdoche, antonomasia, pun, syllepsis, zeugma, irony, innuendo, sarcasm, paradox, oxymoron, antithesis, epigram, climax, anti-climax / bathos, apostrophe, transferred epithet, alliteration and onomatopoeia have their equivalent in Chinese. A metaphore (??) is like a simile, also makes a comparison between two unlike elements, but unlike a simile, this comparison is implied rather than stated. For example, the world is a stage. Analogy (??) is also a form of comparison, but unlike simile or metaphor which usually uses comparison on one point of resemblance, analogy draws a parallel between two unlike things that have several common qualities or points of resemblance. Personification (??) gives human form of feelings to animals, or life and personal attributes (??) to inanimate (????) objects, or to ideas and abstractions (??). Hyperbole (??) is the deliberate use of overstatement or exaggeration to achieve emphasis. Understatement (????) is the opposite of hyperbole, or overstatement. It achieves its effect of emphasizing a fact by deliberately (???) understating it, impressing the listener or the reader more by what is merely implied or left unsaid than by bare statement. Euphemism (??) is the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive (???) expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant. Metonymy (??) is a figure of speech that has to do with the substitution of the mane of one thing for that of another. Synecdoche (??) involves the substitution of the part for the whole, or the whole for the part. Antonomasia (??) has to do with substitution. Pun (???) is a play on words, or rather a play on the form and meaning of words. A syllepsis ( ???) has two connotations. Zeugma (????) is a single word which is made to modify or to govern two or more words in the same sentence, wither properly applying in sense to only one of them, or applying to them in different senses. Irony (??) is a figure of speech that achieves emphasis by saying the opposite of what is meant, the intended meaning of the words being the opposite of their usual sense. Innuendo (??) is a mild form of irony, hinting in a rather roundabout (??) way at something disparaging (???) or uncomplimentary (???) to the person or subject mentioned. Sarcasm (??) is a strong form of irony. Paradox (???????) is a figure of speech consisting of a statement or proposition which on the face of it seems self-contradictory, absurd or contrary to established fact or practice, but which on further thinking and study may prove to be true, well-founded, and even to contain a succinct point. Oxymoron (????) is a compressed paradox, formed by the conjoining (??) of two contrasting, contradictory or incongruous (???) terms as in bitter-sweet memories, orderly chaos (??) and proud humility (??). Antithesis (??) is the deliberate arrangement of contrasting words or ideas in balanced structural forms to achieve emphasis. An epigram (??) states a simple truth pithily (???) and pungently (???). It is usually terse and arouses interest and surprise by its deep insight into certain aspects of human behavior or feeling. Climax (??) is derived from the Greek word for ladder implying the progression of thought at a uniform or almost uniform rate of significance or intensity. Anti-climax (??) is the opposite of climax. In an apostrophe (??) a thing, place, idea or person (dead or absent) is addressed as if present, listening and understanding what is being said. Alliteration (??) has to do with the sound rather than the sense of words for effect. It is a device that repeats the same sound at frequent intervals (??) and since the sound repeated is usually the initial consonant sound. Onomatopoeia (??) is a device that uses words which imitate the sounds made by an object (animate or inanimate), or which are associated with or suggestive (???) of some action or movement.
Although the meaning of communication in the traditional China, which more emphasized verbal exchange or delivery, is not identical with the modern perception of the concept. It is found that the following terminologies were used to represent communication activities. Benevolence (jen) is a virtue the speaker wants to archieve similar to the benevolentia as aim of the Western rhetorical tradition. In Chinese the terms shisen for ´line of vision´ and sjikako for ´vision, sense of sight´ are known. In Chinese the terms ´shi ´ for ´to inspect´, shiyoku for ´sight´ and shikai for ´field of vision´ and shisatsu for inspection come from the same root. Riso means ´ideal´, riron and gakusetsu are ´theory´ and meian ´bright idea´. Teiken is ´definite view´. Ji has the meaning ´chararacter´, ´symbol´ and ´letter´. Goki is the ´way of speaking´, wahei a ´topic of conversation´ and sho is ´to persuade´. In the Book of Poems, She King, artful speaking is described:
Alas that (right words) cannot be spoken,
Which come not from the tongue (only)!
The speakers of them are sure to suffer.
Well is it for the words that can be spoken!
The artful speech flows like a stream,
And the speakers dwell at ease in prosperity.
In another ode the ethic quality of speaking is mentioned:
Do not speak lightly: - your words are your one: -
Do not say, This is of little importance.
No one can hold my tongue for me;
Words are not to be cast away.
Every word finds its answer;
Every good deed has its recompense.
If you are gracious among your friends,
And to the people, as if there where your children,
Your descendants will continue in unbroken line,
And all the people will surely be obedient to you.
In addition to formal written channels of the Chinese communication Chinese has long elaborated messages exchanged through oral communication, especially in the practice of informal communication among common people. Prince and philosopher Han Fei, born in around 280 B.C., has pointed out 12 kinds of obstacle and 12 kinds of taboo in the process of oral communication. In informal communication in addition to channels such as shuo (to say), tan (to talk), jiang (to speak), and lun (to comment) used for oral interaction and channels such as song (to intone), yin (to chant), yong (to hum), and chang (to sing) next to literary exchanges. Shui fu (persuasion) was the most common practice, which was used in both formal and informal communication. Chinese not only considered shui fu as a skill, but also developed a systematic theory to explain it, one must go through a rigid learning and training process in order to fully acquire the ability of shui fu. Although the Confucian tradition did not put an emphasis on this line of oral communication, writings and anecdotes on persuasion exist in the Chinese literary history. The tradition continues today and scholars have begun to systematically study the Chinese persuasive communication decades ago. So no comprehensive exclusive rhetoric handbook exist from Chinese history.
Chinese canon was transmitted to
context of traditional Chinese rhetoric was Confucianism's emphasis on self-restraint,
civility, duty, loyalty to others, and respect for the norms of society. Certain
principles of ancient Chinese rhetoric may be observed to operate in regard to rhetoric of
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Mass communication in
 Cf.: Chang, H. C.: The 'well-defined' is 'ambiguous': Indeterminacy in Chinese conversation. Journal of Pragmatics, 1999 31. Pp. 535-556. Chen, L., Nadamitsu, Y.: Lee, B. K.: Traditional cultural values and argumentative tendency: A comparison of Japanese, Hong Kongers, and Mainland Chinese. Human Communication. 2001. 4. Pp. 57-70.
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(eds.): Communication and culture.
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by Charles Muller.
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Sincronía General Index
Sincronía Winter 2004