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Reconsideration of the origin of the Yongming style and its relationship to the translation of Buddhist sutras

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image of Frontiers of Literary Studies in China

For several decades, scholars have expressed different opinions since Chen Yinque 陈寅恪 brought forward the viewpoint that the creation of Yongming style was influenced by the translation of Buddhist scriptures. People usually pay attention only to the source of sisheng, “the four tones” (四声), but this paper tries to take a leave from this practice and make a concrete survey of the two principal activities, the translation of Buddhist scriptures and the origin of the Yongming style. This paper will then illustrate the obvious connection between the two. Both are related to music and the problems they were meant to solve are similar. Moreover, they both have similar syntatical and phonological characteristics, which are the most important evidence linking the two.


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