Chinese Medical Chinese: Grammar & Vocabulary



By: Nigel Wiseman and Ye Feng

The book is presented in three parts. The first part describes the basic features of the literary language of Chinese medicine, its relationship to the language of the classical period and to the modern vernacular of northern China, known as "Mandarin." It explains many grammatical constructions commonly encountered in Chinese medical texts, and describes in detail how Chinese medical terms are composed. The second part presents the terminology of Chinese medicine as its component characters. The characters are introduced in sets according to subject matter; for example, the terms related to the five phases. The Pinyin pronunciation and English rendering are given with Kenyon and Knott phonetic transcriptions of the English renderings for the benefit of non-English-speaking learners. Each of these lists is followed by a third section that presents examples of compound terms that use the characters thus far introduced. The examples are then followed by drills that self-test the vocabulary items that should have been acquired. The answers to questions are given at the end of the book.

The text begins with an explanation of the grammar and continues with vocabulary sections covering Basic Theories, Diseases, Pathomechanisms and Pattern Identification, Principles and Methods of Treatment, Chinese Pharmaceutics and Acupuncture. Students wishing to find out more about the Chinese medical terms and concepts can consult A Practical Dictionary of Chinese Medicine by the same authors. The appendices include the answers to the 912 self-test questions, Chinese medicinals and formulas by treatment principle (e.g., exterior-resolving formulas) and the names of channel points. A complete English-Pinyin-Chinese and Pinyin-Chinese-English index of all the single characters introduced in the text provides access to the basic elements of the terminology.

This work assumes that the student has already acquired a knowledge of how Chinese characters are composed, how they are written by hand, and how they are pronounced. While the text itself can be navigated entirely in Pinyin, students should know how to use Chinese language dictionaries. Anyone who has this basic knowledge of Chinese can use this book to acquire the more than 2,500 terms covered in the text.

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  • ISBN: 0912111658