[KS] formal question (which version of Chinese characters?)

Adam Bohnet abohnet at uwo.ca
Sat May 30 22:33:36 EDT 2015

Well, I think I agreed with Frank more when he was rightly reminding us of the freedom from stultifying consistency in personal names that was enjoyed by Europeans in the late 19th century! 

In any case:
 "such as this one (Rob's example), no misunderstanding will occur. But in the earlier examples, such as the Japanese term denshō 伝承 vs. the same in traditional characters, denshō 傳承, the latter one might be irritating for both Western scholars and native East Asian speakers (exactly because that would be a term that has a specific meaning Japan that it does not have in Korea, and the Japanese writing variation of the characters immediately clarifies the "local" semantics of the term!"
I am having some trouble imagining the context in which writing 伝承 instead of 傳承 would be terribly irritating, especially as in all cases that I can imagine, if the term was immensely important for the paper, one would presumably already have the Romanized denshō available. I haven't looked into it, but presumably denshō has been written 傳承 in the past without notable semantic shifts. In other cases, if it was simply in a title in the biography, any irritation would be brief and insignificant. No matter, I think I follow Marion, with a minor Frank amendment - keep to one system of characters, except where context requires one to distinguish simplified and traditional forms,etc. 
This, as it happens, seems to be already usual practice in Korea. I think, by the by, that I have encountered cases of historiographic scholarship in Korea where people were concerned to keep the proper version of the script of the title or term - but, going by vague memory, those were cases were the term or title were extremely important for the paper. Otherwise, it strikes me as merely causing oneself an editing nightmare, to no good effect. I know that I am an unusually disorganized person, but even better organized people are likely to spend hours sorting out which type of characters was used, and then having to explain and sort out the inevitable inconsistencies - new editions, different publishers, perhaps even a different character set on the cover from the title page (I am sure I have seen that, and I expect others have as well). 

 In order to find examples of best practice among current scholars working in Chinese, Japanese and Korean, I look up the works of several scholars who are obviously best, because they are in my bookshelf at home [the fabled Adam Bohnet's bookshelf test!] . 

 Among them, Han SOngju, ChosOn chOn'gi sujik yOjinin yOn'gu (KyOng'in munhwasa, 2011), cites an impressive range of scholarship in Korean, Chinese and Japanese, but uses only the Korean "traditional" characters throughout.

Hasumi Moriyoshi, Mindai Ryōtō to Chōsen (Tōkyō : Kyūko Shoin, Heisei nijūroku, 2014) uses the Japanese forms throughout for all titles, including those of books and articles published in Korea, the PRC, and Taiwan
Liu Xiaomeng, Man zu cong bu luo dao guo jia de fa zhan (Shenyang Shi : Liaoning min zu chu ban she, 2001), also uses PRC simplified characters throughout, regardless (notably also for Chinese works written before the 1950s).
Or to phrase matters differently: Use one character set. An exception is denshō. If denshō, den show us 伝承 and not 傳承.

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