Beauty of language in words, sounds, not rules: Tang Prize laureate

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2018/09/22
By: Shih Hsiu-chuan

Taipei, Sept. 22 (CNA) The beauty of language is not necessarily dictated by linguistic features but by the way words and sounds are associated, Stephen Owen, a Harvard Sinologist and a 2018 Tang Prize laureate in Sinology, said in Taipei on Saturday.

Owen, who has completed the first English translation of the complete works of Tang Dynasty poet Du Fu, said the most moving recitation of Tang poetry he has heard is by somebody who read it in Sino-Korean who loved the sound.

“But the sounds in Sino-Korean are not the same sounds as the Tang,” Owen said.

“In some ways, the beauty of the poem makes the particular way it’s expressed sound beautiful,” Owen said. “The sound and sense are bound together.”    [FULL  STORY]

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