Festschrift for John DeFrancis now available for free

Most readers of Pinyin News will already know of John DeFrancis, editor of the ABC Chinese-English Comprehensive Dictionary and author of The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy and many other important works. (If you haven’t read The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy yet, order it now.)

In recognition of the 95th(!) birthday today of Professor DeFrancis, Sino-Platonic Papers is rereleasing Schriftfestschrift: Essays in Honor of John DeFrancis on His Eightieth Birthday. Previously, this important compilation, which runs more than 250 pages, was available only in a printed edition priced at US$35. The fifteenth-anniversary edition, however, is being released for free as a PDF (15 MB — so have a fast Internet connection, or a lot of patience).

I’d like to draw special attention to an article written in Pinyin: “Hanzi Bu Tebie Biaoyi,” by Zhang Liqing. (Zhang’s work also appears here on Pinyin Info, in her translations of The Historical Evolution of Chinese Languages and Scripts and of the amazing Comparing Chinese Characters and a Chinese Spelling Script — an evening conversation on the reform of Chinese characters.)

Feel free to print out a copy of the Schriftfestschrift for your own use or for inclusion in a library. Just don’t sell it.

The original publication contained several color photos. I’ll add those later. Also, the English tex is searchable to some degree, as I used OCR after scanning these pages; but the results weren’t perfect.

Here are the contents:

  • Tabula Gratulatoria
  • Introduction, by Victor H. Mair
  • Publications of John DeFrancis
  • Hanzi Bu Tebie Biaoyi, by Zhang Liqing
  • Typology of Writing Systems, by Zhou Youguang
  • Dui Hanzi de Jizhong Wujie, by Yin Binyong
  • The Information Society and Terminology, by Liu Yongquan
  • A Bilingual Mosaic, by Einar Haugen
  • The Polysemy of the Term Kokugo, by S. Robert Ramsey
  • Memorizing Kanji: Lessons from a Pro, by J. Marshall Unger
  • Why Chinese Is So Damn Hard, by David Moser
  • Ethnolinguistic Notes on the Dungan, by Lisa E. Husmann and William S-Y. Wang
  • Korean Views on Writing Reform, by Wm. C. Hannas
  • Language Policies and Linguistic Divergence in the Two Koreas, by Ho-min Sohn
  • Okinawan Writing Systems, Past, Present, and Future, by Leon A. Serafim
  • Proposal of a Comparative Study of Language Policies and Their Implementation in Singapore, Taiwan, and China (PRC), by Robert L. Cheng
  • The Topical Function of Preverbal Locatives and Temporals in Chinese, by Feng-fu Tsao
  • Yes-No Questions in Taipei and Peking Mandarin, by Robert M. Sanders
  • Patronizing Uses of the Particle ma: Bureaucratic Chinese Bids for Dominance in Personal Interactions, by Beverly Hong Fincher
  • Gender and Sexism in Chinese Language and Literature, by Angela Jung-Palandri
  • A zhezi Anagram Poem of the Song Dynasty, by John Marney
  • Some Remarks on Differing Correspondences in Old Chinese Assumed to Represent Different Chinese Dialects, by Nicholas C. Bodman
  • Can Taiwanese Recognize Simplified Characters?, by John S. Rohsenow
  • Simplified Characters and Their (Un)relatedness, by Chauncey C. Chu
  • The Teaching of Culture and the Culture of Teaching: Problems, Challenges, and Opportunities in Language Instruction, by Eugene Eoyang
  • The Culture Component of Language Teaching, by Kyoko Hijirida
  • Thinking About Prof. John DeFrancis, by Apollo Wu
  • Wo suo Renshi de De Xiansheng, by Chih-yu Ho
  • Two Poems for Professor John DeFrancis, by Richard F. S. Yang
  • Announcement, by Stephen Fleming

Happy birthday, John! And many happy returns!

14 thoughts on “Festschrift for John DeFrancis now available for free

  1. I had no idea he was still alive. What a giant in the field. I remember reading his book, ‘Chinese Language-Fact and Fiction’, while in the army. I’ve had my disagreeements with him over the years, but I sure did enjoy his textbook series. In many ways, it is superior to Integrated Chinese that is so popular today.

  2. Couldn’t agree more with Prince Roy – a giant. His ABC Chinese dictionary is a concept so simple and yet so well executed that I’d consider it the essential Chinese dictionary. Fact and Fantasy for me is one of those books that cuts through all the crap surrounding a subject (in this case Chinese characters) and gives insights both profound and readily understandable. Truly something to admire and I congratulate the man on his 95th birthday.

  3. A giant, indeed. I post-date his textbook series — which is a shame, as what I’ve seen of them really does seem to be way ahead of Integrated Chinese — but have benefitted in my studies from Fact and Fantasy, and Visible Speech, to say nothing of having been inspired by his memoirs.

    I don’t suppose this PDF is password-protected, is it? I’m stuck accessing the internet from a creaky old Linux box, and the built-in PDF reader is claiming that it needs a password. I assume it’s a glitch or archaism in the program.

  4. It’s not password protected against reading, printing, or selecting the text — just against making changes. It is backwards-compatible with Adobe Acrobat Reader 6 but not 5. If you still have problems, please let me know and I’ll try making some adjustments to the file.

  5. What is his textbook called? I’ve been looking for a good alternative to Integrated Chinese, so far without success.
    I taught Chinese last year at a high school in the US and was required to use Integrated Chinese. Lord it was awful, it caused so much confusion. In the end I tried to ignore it as much as possible, without confusing the students and letting my bosses hear of it.

  6. Many thanks for Mr DeFrancis! His works provide those rare moments of epiphany. Two articles mentionned at the beginning of the Festschrift, “My Stupidest Student” and the often quoted “Why Johnny can’t read Chinese” seem very interesting but I never had the chance to read them so far.

    Thanks for your site and for the Festschrift and the people who contributed to it.

  7. I am currently using Mr. DeFrancis’ Intermediate Chinese and Intermediate Chinese Reader. I praise these texts to the skies every time anyone gives me half a chance. I’ve located most of his other books either second-hand, off the Internet, or at public libraries, in which case I borrowed them and xeroxed them off. I paid $90 for the index volume for the series (very much worth it) and finally located and bought all the audiotapes from Seton Hall Bookstore. Even though some of the vocabulary is no longer in use, the vast bulk of it, as well as all the grammar, is still perfectly current. I do supplement this home study course with occasional classes at my local community college, and I’m getting straight A’s. One of my teachers asked me if I had studied in China because my accent was so good. If it weren’t for Mr. DeFrancis, I’m very sure I would have given up on Chinese by now. The more I use his texts, the more impressed I am by how extensive and thorough they are. They’re an incredible feat of scholarship not likely to be duplicated anytime soon. Do I need to add, John DeFrancis is my hero?!

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  9. Happy belated birthday to John DeFrancis! I love his series of Chinese language instruction books and I am sad that they are no longer used. How can I find a copy of the Index volume?

  10. Pingback: Free book on Chinese, other Asian languages « Language and Humor Blog

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