See also


Kind Of


Old Chinese Criteria

睡虎地秦墓竹簡 1978: 226 臣邦人不安秦主而欲去夏者, 勿許. 何謂夏 ? 欲去親屬是謂夏.

The words for China have this in common that they do NOT designate any one state. 中國 "the central states" is implicitly plural when it does not refer to the capital city. 諸夏 the various Xià (states)" is explicitly plural. The standard Imperium Romanum has no counterpart in Chinese until very late, unless one admits 天下 "all under Heaven" as a designation for the empire. But 天下 does not define any bounded empire. It remains to be seen exactly when a standard term for China was took shape. Compare the problems of finding a term for the Chinese language.

Based on 顧頡剛 & 王樹民, “ 夏 ” 和 “ 中國 ”— 祖國古代的稱號, Zhongguo lishi dili luncong, Vol. 1 (Xi'an, 1981), 6-22).

In the Shu and Shi sections relating to the early Zhou, 區夏 (= 夏區 ), 有夏 and 時夏 (= 是夏 ) refers to the place in which the Zhou established their capital after their conquest of Shang, in contradistinction to Zhou 掇 homeland in the West ( 西土 ) and the close Zhou allies ( 一二邦 ). The Zhou referred to their own domain as 烠 he central city-state � ( 中國 ). Since 中國 in this usage refers to the territory directly governed by the Zhou, it is singular and used in exchange with 京師 and in contradistinction with 四方 and 四國. Other states also referred to their capital regions as 啎什縕 (thus Wu in GY 19.09.01/618); a (perhaps late) variant of this word is 啎尹塹 (Yugong).

After becoming strong, the states enfeoffed by Zhou asserted the community with the 周 by commencing to refer to themselves as 堔 L �, leading to the plural designation 埣悎 L �, used in contrast with designations like 啈 i 狄�. The distinction between the two groups was viewed as cultural, and its precise reference shifted over time, originally excluding states (like 楚 ) from the community of 諸夏 but later including them, or including them in the beginning, whilst later excluding them (like 秦 ). Some of the non- 諸夏 states were viewed as subservient to 諸夏 states, others as their enemies. The membership of 楚 to the 諸夏 circle was always insecure; it was, so to speak, was"always on probation.

The 東夏 made up a subdivision of the 諸夏, including states such a 齊 and 魯.

In parallel with the 堔 L � appellations arose the 埽寊 appellations, 埽寊 on its own and 埣捄寊, and, the two words may well be cognate, the common 埽堮 L �.

In the Warring States period the cultural distinction gave way to a geographical distinction, and the 中國 states were now the state occupying the Central Plain

Modern Chinese Criteria














rough draft to BEGIN TO identify synonym group members for analysis, based on CL etc. 18.11.2003. CH /

LUNHENG TONGYI 2004 論衡同義詞研究 29

QIAN YULIN 1996 中華古代文化辭典 Zhonghua gudai wenhua cidian 11-29

This provides a survey of basic geographic terms.

WU SANXING 2008 中國文化背景八千詞 Zhongguo wenhua beijing ba qian ci 35-38

HONG CHENGYU 2009 古漢語常用詞同義詞詞典 161/164

CHEN ZHI 2004 From Exclusive Xia to Inclusive Zhu-Xia Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society

Attributions by syntactic funtion

  • NPpr : 38
  • NP{vadN} : 36
  • NP{PadN} : 12
  • NPadS : 7
  • NP : 6
  • nadN : 6
  • npr : 6
  • n : 4
  • n[adN] : 4
  • NPadN : 1

Attributions by text

  • 史記 : 23
  • 春秋左傳 : 21
  • 論衡 : 11
  • 祖堂集 : 8
  • 禮記 : 6
  • 韓非子 : 6
  • 新論-漢-桓譚 : 6
  • 管子 : 5
  • 呂氏春秋 : 4
  • 鹽鐵論 : 4
  • 六祖壇經 : 4
  • 戰國策 : 3
  • 翻譯名義集 : 3
  • 法言 : 3
  • 說苑 : 2
  • 孟子 : 2
  • 尚書 : 2
  • 墨子 : 1
  • 論語 : 1
  • 春秋穀梁傳 : 1
  • 賢愚經 : 1
  • 淮南子 : 1
  • 文選 : 1
  • 鮑氏集 : 1


中國   zhōng guó OC: krluŋ kʷɯɯɡ MC: ʈuŋ kək 37 Attributions
  • NP{vadN}pluralcentral states (often, but not always, excluding states like Chu and Qin)
  • NPadNof the central state(s) 中國民
  • NPprvery late texts only: China
九州   jiǔ zhōu OC: kuʔ kju MC: kɨu tɕɨu 28 Attributions
  • NPprthe Nine Provinces (of China) [This is pervasively difficult to distinguish from the more universal and almost cosmographic notion of the Nine Continents.)
諸夏   zhū xià OC: klja ɡraaʔ MC: tɕi̯ɤ ɦɣɛ 12 Attributions

諸夏 refers to the various territories construed as originally under Xià influence; the various successor peoples of the (civilised 雅) Xià

  • NP{PadN}the various states originally under Xià influence
   xià OC: ɡraaʔ MC: ɦɣɛ 10 Attributions
  • n[adN]N=humthe Chinese;
  • nthe place inhabited by the Xia people
  • nsubj=nonhumanwhat is Chinese
  • nadNChinese-style
   hàn OC: qhlaans MC: hɑn 9 Attributions
  • nadNChinese
  • nprChina
此土   cǐ tǔ OC: tsheʔ kh-laaʔ MC: tshiɛ thuo̝ 7 Attributions
  • NPthis land> China
  • NPadSin this land> China
諸華   zhū huá OC: klja ɢʷraal MC: tɕi̯ɤ ɦɣɛ 3 Attributions
  • NPthe various Chinese states
   táng OC: ɡ-laaŋ MC: dɑŋ 1 Attribution
  • NPadSin China
   qín OC: dzin MC: dzin 1 Attribution
  • nadNChinese
  • nprchina
中夏   zhōng xià OC: krluŋ ɡraaʔ MC: ʈuŋ ɦɣɛ 1 Attribution
  • NPprChina BAN GU, 西京賦 T50n2059_p0326c12(02)║ 還歸中夏。 自燉煌至長安。 沿路傳譯寫為晉文。
中州   zhōng zhōu OC: krluŋ kju MC: ʈuŋ tɕɨu 1 Attribution
  • NPprChina
唐國   táng guó OC: ɡ-laaŋ kʷɯɯɡ MC: dɑŋ kək 1 Attribution
  • NPprChina
大漢   dà hàn OC: daads qhlaans MC: dɑi hɑn 1 Attribution
  • NPprChina (during Han dynasty AND AFTERWARDS)
州里   zhōu lǐ OC: kju ɡ-rɯʔ MC: tɕɨu lɨ 1 Attribution
  • NPprthe civilised regions with regular administration
東土   dōng tǔ OC: tooŋ kh-laaʔ MC: tuŋ thuo̝ 1 Attribution
  • NPprthe Eastern Lands> China??
東方   dōng fāng OC: tooŋ paŋ MC: tuŋ pi̯ɐŋ 1 Attribution
  • NPprChina
漢土   hàn tǔ OC: qhlaans kh-laaʔ MC: hɑn thuo̝ 1 Attribution
  • NPthe territory of the Hàn > China
聖國   shèng guó OC: qhljeŋs kʷɯɯɡ MC: ɕiɛŋ kək 1 Attribution
  • NPprthe "Holy" Country
華夏   huá xià OC: ɢʷraal ɡraaʔ MC: ɦɣɛ ɦɣɛ 1 Attribution
  • NPprChina 《書‧武成》:"華夏蠻貊,罔不率俾。"
震旦   zhèn dàn OC: kljɯns taans MC: tɕin tɑn 1 Attribution
  • NPpr(BUDDH:) China (in Buddhist texts only)
我國家   wǒ guó jiā OC: ŋaalʔ kʷɯɯɡ kraa MC: ŋɑ kək kɣɛ 1 Attribution
  • NPadSin China
   zhōng OC: krluŋ MC: ʈuŋ 0 Attributions
  • nadNChinese
中土   zhōng tǔ OC: krluŋ kh-laaʔ MC: ʈuŋ thuo̝ 0 Attributions
中華   zhōng huá OC: krluŋ ɢʷraal MC: ʈuŋ ɦɣɛ 0 Attributions
中邦   zhōng bāng OC: krluŋ prooŋ MC: ʈuŋ pɣɔŋ 0 Attributions
  • NPprChina
九區   jiǔ qū OC: kuʔ kho MC: kɨu khi̯o 0 Attributions
  • NPprthe Nine Regions> China
九有   jiǔ yǒu OC: kuʔ ɢʷɯʔ MC: kɨu ɦɨu 0 Attributions
  • NPprthe Nine Existing Ones> China
京夏   jīng xià OC: kraŋ ɡraaʔ MC: kɣaŋ ɦɣɛ 0 Attributions
  • NPprChina 蔡邕
函夏   hán xià OC: ɡuum ɡraaʔ MC: ɦəm ɦɣɛ 0 Attributions
  • NPprChina HANSHU
區夏   qū xià OC: kho ɡraaʔ MC: khi̯o ɦɣɛ 0 Attributions
  • NPprChina SHU
方夏   fāng xià OC: paŋ ɡraaʔ MC: pi̯ɐŋ ɦɣɛ 0 Attributions
  • NPprChina SHU
河洛 / 河雒   hé luò OC: ɡlaal ɡ-raaɡ MC: ɦɑ lɑk hé luò OC: ɡlaal ɡ-raaɡ MC: ɦɑ lɑk 0 Attributions
  • NPprcentral China between the Luo and the Yellow River.
漢地   hàn dì OC: qhlaans lils MC: hɑn di 0 Attributions
  • NPprChina
神州   shén zhōu OC: ɢljin kju MC: ʑin tɕɨu 0 Attributions
  • NPprChina SHIJI
神縣   shén xiàn OC: ɢljin ɢʷeens MC: ʑin ɦen 0 Attributions
  • NPprChina 江淹
赤縣   chì xiàn OC: khjaɡ ɢʷeens MC: tɕhiɛk ɦen 0 Attributions
  • NPprChina

Existing SW for

Here are Syntactic Words already defined in the database: