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What is the meaning of 罔不曰 here?
Is 罔不 a person? (Can't find a 罔不先生)
Is 罔不 = 没有?
Something else?

I think 夫 is 那个 here.

马建忠, 《马氏文通》序:

至于逐字之部分类别,与夫字与字相配成句之义 .... 罔不曰, 此在神而明之耳,未可以言传也。噫嘘!此岂非循其当然而不求其所以然之蔽也哉!

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  • 2
    what is before 罔?
    – Tang Ho
    May 29 at 1:36
  • I got this as a quote in a book that Betty recommended: 名词和动词,沈家煊。So I didn't know what was left out.
    – Pedroski
    May 29 at 21:20

1 Answer 1

5

the quoted text is from ctext.org, paragraph 5:

慨夫蒙子入塾,首授以四子書,聽其終日伊吾;及少長也,則為之師者,就書衍說。至於逐字之部分類別,與夫字與字相配成句之義,且同一字也,有弁於句首者,有殿於句尾者,以及句讀先後參差之所以然,塾師固昧然也。而一二經師自命與攻乎古文詞者,語之及此,罔不曰此在神而明之耳,未可以言傳也。噫嚱!此豈非循其當然而不求其所以然之蔽也哉!後生學者,將何考藝而問道焉?

about “罔不曰”, we need to consider

而一二經師自命與攻乎古文詞者,語之及此,罔不曰此在神而明之耳,未可以言傳也

roughly is:

also, (而) some “self-claimed” scholars (一二經師自命), and (與) ancient texts experts (攻乎古文詞者), [when they] talked about this (語之及此); none [of them] (罔) would not (不) say (曰) this is (此在) . . .

basically, ”罔不” is a double negative structure. “罔” refers to the scholars and experts, “不” refers to negative of saying.

together, “罔不曰” means “all scholars and experts would say”

I think 夫 is 那个 here

至於逐字之部分類別,與夫字與字相配成句之義

well, i would interpret it as:

as for (至於) the categorisation of each character (逐字之部分類別); and (與), sigh (夫), the meaning of characters combinations (字與字相配成句之義)

“夫” is a modal particle here, to display author’s disappointment.

have fun :)

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  • Thanks for your very complete answer!《马氏文通》was published 1898. Why was the author still using classical Chinese? Because he could?
    – Pedroski
    May 29 at 21:25
  • @Pedroski, the author used western method, “葛郎瑪” (grammar) 🙀 to comprehend literatures of yore. at 1898, the formal, virtually all intellectuals, using was literary chinese 😼 May 30 at 1:53

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