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Chapter Summary

With the abolition of the canonical texts from the curricula the classical language lost the very basis of its codification. Language study played an important role in the process of creating national languages. Despite the early rise of the European languages during the Renaissance era, scholars in advanced European countries such as Germany and Great Britain only began to make their own languages an object of conscious study from the late 18th century. The most significant result of the "literary revolution" was not to bring the vernacular written language into existence. A literature in this language had obviously existed for a long time. Rather, the most significant result was that the intellectual elites in China started to see the vernacular not as complementary to the classical language, but as a competitor for prestigious literary writing.

Keywords:canonical texts; China; classical language; European languages; literary revolution; literary writing; national language



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