There are numerous interpretations of the word “却/que” in the following stanza of Du Fu’s poem, “Qiang Village”: “My darling child clutches my knee; dreading that I will leave again (Jiaoer bu lixi, Weiwo fu quequ).” However, barely any accurate explanations were given in classical annotations. The controversy over the ways in which the word should be annotated has continued in contemporary scholarship for over 60 years, contributing another case to the list of scholarly debates in history. Despite such research that comprehensively delineates and reviews these debates, including several voluminous publications of annotations to Du Fu’s poetry in recent years, the philology of the word “que” as such in terms of its sound and meaning remains obscure. This article attempts to offer an apporach to interpreting “que” through the lens of the Minnan dialect. It argues that “que” in Du Fu’s poem semantically means “again” or “once more,” which should be pronounced close to “搁/ge” and written as “卻” with “却” as its vernacular form.


Du Fu’s poetry, “Qiang Village”, fuque, quequ, que

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