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Ruhr University Bochum, Germany
12-13th Jul 2019
Semantic analysis based on character interpretation once formed an indispensable part of traditional Chinese lexicography and has led to many fanciful claims and speculations. Thus, the character for the word nü, “woman”, , has been argued to depict a kneeling woman, a posture that reflects women’s generally inferior position in pre-modern Chinese society. Or Guo Moruo (1892–1978) once came to the conclusion that the term min , “people”, must originally have designated slaves who had been punished by having had one of their eyes gouged out.