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Xiru ermu zi 西儒耳目資

Author:Trigault, Nicolas 金尼閣 (1577-1628)
Imprint:Hangzhou 杭州 : Wang Zheng 王徵, 1626
Language:Chinese 中文
Format:Book

Xiru ermu zi (An Aid to the Eye and Ear of Western Scholars) is an important source for the system of romanization of late Ming guanhua 官話. Based on the later of Ricci’s two transcription schemes, Trigault’s work is essential to study of the Chinese phonology and linguistics of the period.
For a fuller explanation see Standaert, Handbook of Christianity in China, v. 1, p. 260, 263, 268, 270, 425, 866, 869, 873.

Full text of original ed. held by the Bibliothèque national de France is available online. [Slow download, approx. 275 graphic items.]


Jesuit Archives (ARSI) JapSin II, 127

Xiru ermu zi 西儒耳目資
By Jin Nige 金尼閣 (zi 四表, Nicolas Trigault, 1577–1628).

Three ce, bamboo paper, bound in one volume, European style. Published by (Philip) Wang Zheng 王徵 (zi 良甫, hao 葵心 , 了一道人, 1571–1644) in 1626 (Tianqi 6) in Shaanxi.
The title page of the first ce bears the title in seal characters with the date on the left: 天啟丙寅孟春望日, and on the right the name of the publisher: 了一道人良甫梓行. An outer circle contains the Latin alphabet with linguistic signs; on top there are 鳴字元母 (vowels), below 五聲西號 (Western signs for the five vowels) and on both the left and the right 同鳴字元父. The verso of this folio gives the title of the first ce: Yiyin shoupu 譯引首譜 (General introduction to phonology). The outer circle gives the Chinese equivalent of the sounds of the Latin alphabet (the phonological signs are given on the title page). The inscription on the top and at the two sides are the same as those on the title page; at the bottom is: 入去清上濁.

Ce 2 has for its title: Liebian yunpu 列邊韻譜 and lists the Chinese characters according to the rhymes. Ce 3 has for title: Liebian zhengpu 列邊正譜 and lists the Chinese characters according to the radicals, while the equivalent sounds are given in Latin spelling. The verso of the title pages in ce 2 and 3 are the same as in ce> 1, except for the title, given in the middle.

There is a preface (one and one-half folio) by Trigault himself, at the end of which there are two seals: the emblem of the Society of Jesus and 金尼閣印. According to Hsü Tsung-tse (Xu Zongze 1949, p. 321), prefaces were also written by Zhang Wenda 張問達, Wang Zheng and Han Yun 韓雲, only the first two of which he reproduces (pp. 322–325). These three prefaces are not extant in the Jesuit Archive edition.

Ce 1 has a table of contents (one folio). Both ce 1 and 2 give the name of Chen Baohuang: 溫陵陳寶璜檢兌, who is mentioned also at the end of the last folio of ce 3, together with two others (Li Congqian and Li Canran): 溫陵陳寶璜檢兌 | 咸林李從謙書 | 灞陵李燦然刊.

From the title it is clear that this book was written primarily for Western scholars to help them to learn the Chinese characters and to pronounce them. Previously Matteo Ricci had written the Xizi qiji 西字奇跡, which had aroused great admiration among his scholar friends. Trigault’s book made an equal impression on the literati of the time. Wang Zheng in his preface has high praise for the ingenious method of this book. He points out that in the European alphabet there are five vowels and twenty consonants which one can memorize within a day and that once these have been mastered there will be no difficulty in learning how to pronounce the Chinese characters. This book had a definite influence on the Chinese scholars of phonology, men like Fang Yizhi 方以智 (d. 1671?; ECCP 1:232–233) and Liu Xianting 劉獻廷 (1648–1695; ECCP 1:521–522).

According to the prefaces, the Xiru ermu zi went through three revisions and it took five months to prepare it. The book was printed in 1626 at the expense of Zhang Wenda (zi 德允, jinshi of 1583), a native of Jingyang 涇陽 (Shaanxi), who had been Minister of the Ministry of Personnel at the beginning of the Tianqi reign (1621–1627).

The Tōyō bunkashi daigei 東洋文化史大系 (Tokyo, 1940), vol. 5, p. 343 gives the title page of the 1626 edition of the Xiru ermu zi, which was published in Hangzhou. It contains the following announcement:

自利泰西先生觀光 ‖ 中國, 而有唐之景教重光。茲刻通會華夷字學, 以集大成為後賢習字要 ‖ 訣者, 遍改沈韻篇海諸書, 訂正字母翻切之謬, 法簡理精。得是書也。不惟 ‖ 中國無難識之字, 誤讀之字, 且補 ‖ 中國有音無字之缺, 又通遠國歧異之字, 此 ‖ 聖朝同文盛事, 而博雅者所樂觀也。故因張太宰之刻, 而廣行之 ‖ 景風館藏板 ‖ .
At the margin there is a line that reads: 武林李衙藏板, 翻刻必究 | 嚴少萱發行. Here we have a clear mention of two different sets of printing blocks, namely, that of the Jingfengguan 景風館 and that of the Liya 李衙 (the Li government-office) of Wulin 武林 (Hangzhou). So far we have found no way of identifying the Jingfengguan, but we are of the opinion that this must refer to the printing house where the original edition was published in 1626. In 1625 Wang Zheng left Beijing for his native place, Jingyan (Shaanxi), to observe mourning for the death of his stepmother. During his stay there he invited Nicolas Trigault to come from Shanxi to preach in Shaanxi, where Trigault wrote his Xiru ermu zi and had it published the following year. The Hangzhou edition was published from the Liya printing blocks, after he had gone there in 1627 or later.

Hsü Tsung tse (Xu Zongze 1940, pp. 187–188) discusses the different editions of the Xiru ermu zi. He describes the original 1626 edition, which was then kept in the Dongfang tushuguan 東方圖書館 in Shanghai. The book is in six ce and is divided as follows: 譯引首譜 (two ce, 111 folios), 列音正譜 (two ce, 155 folios) and 列邊正譜 (two ce, 135 folios). Juan 1 contains six prefaces: one each by Zhang Wenda, Wang Zheng, Han Yun, Zhang Zhongfang 張緟芳 and Trigault, and a sixth (for unknown reasons the name of the author of this preface is not given). All together these six prefaces cover twenty-four folios. Except for the prefaces, the description of this edition agrees with our copy.

When the Siku quanshu 四庫全書 was being compiled (1772), books were sent to the capital from all over the empire. The Siku caijin shumu 四庫採進書目 (Catalogue of books sent to the capital) lists the Xiru ermu zi as one of the books sent for the first time from Jiangsu and Zhejiang. It is said to have been in ten volumes (十本), cf. Siku caijin shumu (Beijing, 1960), p. 33. According to the reviewer of the Siku quanshu zongmu tiyao, even then the book was not complete, but he did not mention what was missing (SKTY 1:949). Hsü Tsung-ts’e mentions other incomplete copies of this book at the London Royal Library, the Vatican Library and the Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris). The Shunde Wen Shi cangshumu 順德溫氏藏書目 (Catalogue of the Wen family library of Shunde [Guangdong]) lists a handwritten copy of the Yiyin shoupu, (the first ce). The Xiru ermu zi was reproduced by Peking University in 1922.

Cf. Couplet, p. 14 (Vocabularium Sinarum ad vocabula Europaea & pronuntiationes iuxta accentus, 3 vol.); Pfister, p. 117; Feng 1938, p. 138; DMB 2:1294–1296 (Trigault); ECCP 2:807–809 (Wang Zheng); Fang Hao 1954, 5:70–77; JWC 1:183–184; Kondō Moku 近藤杢, Shina gakugei daijiten 支那學藝大辭典 (Tokyo, 1943), p. 678; Wang Li 王力, Hanyu yinyunxue 漢語音韻學 (Beijing, 1956), pp. 158–160; Luo Changpei 羅常培 (1899–1958), “Yesuhuishi zai yinyunxue shang de gongxian 耶穌會士在音韻學上的貢獻” , in: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan lishi yuyan yanjiusuo jikan 中央研究院歷史語言研究所集刊, vol. I, no. 3 (1930), pp. 267–338; Lu Zhiwei 陸志韋 (1894–1970) “Jin Nige Xiru ermu zi suo ji de yin 金尼閣西儒耳目資所記的音” , in: Yanjing xuebao 燕京學報, vol. 33 (1947, 12), pp. 115–128; Yu 鈺, “Mingdai zhi waiguoyu zishu 明代之外國語 字書” in: Nanyang zazhi 南洋雜誌, vol. I, no. 5 (1946, 3).

Source: Albert Chan, S.J., Chinese Books and Documents in the Jesuit Archives in Rome, pp. 430-432.


Editions claimed:

Trigault, Nicolas, 1577-1628.
Xiru ermu zi 西儒耳目資 / 金尼閣撰.
景風館藏版 -- 3 v. in 1. ; 22 cm.
Beiping 北平 : Beiping Wenkuitang 北平文奎堂, 民國22 [1933]
上.譯引譜-中.音韵譜-下.邊正譜.
OCLC# 45334141 (NUI)

Xiru ermu zi西儒耳目資 / 金尼閣撰.
影印.-- 3 v. (on double leaves) ; 22 cm.
Beiping 北平 : Guoli Beijing daxue, Beiping tushuguan 國立北京大學,北平圖書館, [1933?]
"國立北平圖書館藏本"
上.譯引譜-中.音韵譜-下.邊正譜.
OCLC# 34445114 (CUT) [Note rec. below. Same edition?]

Xiru ermu zi 西儒耳目資 / 耶穌會教師金尼閣[N. Trigault]撰.
北京 : 國立北京大學 : 國立北平圖書館, 1933.
3 v. (double leaves) ; 22 cm. -- "國立北平圖書館藏本."
Originally published: 1626.
OCLC# 17288768 (7 held)

Xiru ermu zi 西儒耳目資 / 金尼閣[Nicolas Trigault]著.
北京 : 文字改革出版社, 1957.
3 v. in 1 ; 21 cm. Originally published: Beijing : Guoli Beijing daxue 國立北京大學, 1933.
Series: Pinyin wenzi shiliao congshu 拼音文字史料叢書
OCLC# 30679771 (3 held)

Xiru ermu zi 西儒耳目資 / 金尼閣撰; [主編方師鐸].
Taibei 台北 : Tianyi chubanshe 天一出版社, [1977?]
3 v. ; 20 cm. On double leaves.
Reprint of the 1933 ed. issued by 北京大學 and 北京圖書館.
Fang Shiduo 方師鐸, b. 1912
LCCN 77-839024 ; OCLC# 25121721 (4 held)

Xiru ermu zi 西儒耳目資 / 金尼閣撰.
第1版. -- p. 425-653 [229] p. ; 27 cm.
Shanghai 上海 : Shanghai guji chubanshe 上海古籍出版社, 1995. Re-issued 2002.
Series: Xuxiu Siku quanshu 續修四庫全書 ; [259:5]
Series: Xuxiu Siku quanshu 續修四庫全書. Jingbu 經部. Xiaoxuelei 小學類
"據北京大學圖書館藏明天啟六年王徵張問達刻本影印."
Bound with : Menggu zi yun -- Yun lue yi tong -- Bing yin lian sheng zi xue ji yao -- Yin yun zheng e.
OCLC# 43293183 (1995 ed.) ; # 41664931 (2002 ed.)

Xiru ermu zi 西儒耳目資 : 3卷 / 金尼閣撰.
Jinan 濟南 : Qi Lu shushe chubanshe 齊魯書社出版社, 1997.
p. 537 ; 27 cm.
Series: Siku quanshu cunmu congshu四庫全書存目叢書. Jingbu 經部 ; 213
Series: Siku quanshu cunmu congshu 四庫全書存目叢書. Jingbu, Xiaoxuelei 經部, 小學類
“影印明天啓6年刻本.”
OCLC# 42078067 (2 held)

Xiru ermu zi 西儒耳目資 : 三卷 / 金尼閣撰.
初版. -- p. 537-768 : ill. ; 27 cm.
Tainan Xian Liuying Xiang 臺南縣柳營鄉 : Zhuangyan wenhua shiye youxian gongsi 莊嚴文化事業有限公司, 1997.
Series: Siku quanshu cunmu congshu四庫全書存目叢書. Jingbu 經部 ; 第 213 冊
Series: Siku quanshu cunmu congshu四庫全書存目叢書. Jingbu xiaoxuelei 經部小學類
據"影印明天啟六年(1626)刻本"影印.
每面載原書兩葉.
Fu "Siku quanshu zongmu, Xiru ermu zi wujuan shu" tiyao 附巜四庫全書總目・西儒耳目資無卷數》提要.
Yu xialie tongben: Gujin yunhui juyao xiaobu (2) 與下列同本: 古今韻會舉要小補 (二) / Fang Risheng zhuan 方日升撰.
Fang Risheng 方日升, 16th cent.
OCLC# 44004762 (CVU)


Subject headings:
Chinese language--Phonology.
Chinese language--Lexicography.
Rare books, Chinese—17th century
Chinese language--Middle Chinese, 1200-1919--Intonation.
Chinese language—Transliteration—Early works to 1800.

Added Subject Keywords:
Guanhua 官話—Ming dynasty, 1368-1644
Early Chinese romanization systems –Late Ming Mandarin—Nanking, Nanjing dialect—Chinese rare books—Printing—Jesuit works in Chinese—phonetic spelling of Chinese.