tiǎowò 挑斡



  • tiaowo (Pinyin without tones)
  • 挑斡 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 挑斡 (Simplified Chinese)
  • tiǎowò (Pinyin)1
  • t'iao-wo (Wade-Giles)
  • to prop and rotate (lit.) (English)2


    Meaning literally to prop and rotate (Kroll 2015 453, 479), the term tiao‘wo, as most scholars believe, is a noun that refers to a component in the timber frame structure used in the interior of a building with an open-frame roof structure (cheshang mingzao 徹上明造; i.e. without a ceiling). Tiao'wo appears in the Yingzao fashi (1103) four times (YZFS 2009, 1.8a, 4.6a, 6.9b, 18.7a). There are two types of tiao'wo. (1) As a part of a component, tiao'wo refers to the upward end of a xia'ang in a bujian puzuo. This kind of tiaowo is also called an "ang-tail tiaowo" (angwei tiaowo 昂尾挑斡) by some scholars. Sometimes it can also refer to the upward end of a shuatou. (2) As a separate component, tiaowo refers to an oblique element without pointed shape, a particular form of xia'ang. Some scholars believe this is the angting tiaowo 昂桯挑斡 mentioned in Yingzao fashi (Zhu 2018). 3

    This kind of tiaowo is also called "tiaowo without ang" (buchu ang tiaowo 不出昂挑斡) by some scholars. Whether it is a separate element or a part of a component, modern scholars agree that there are two essential features of tiaowo. One is that a tiaowo must have one end reaching up towards the xiapingtuan 下平榑; the other is that a tiaowo works like a cantilever structurally (Zhang 2002; Zhu 2018). Its function is to connect bujian puzuo and xiapingtuan in a cheshang mingzao building (Yu and Xu, 2016).4

    Chen Mingda once argued that tiaowo originally functioned as a verb (Chen 1981,99). He suggested that the meaning of the word could be extended to refer to an action of an element in a building in which one end is overhanging and is load-bearing from above (Chen 2010, 253). Both tiao and wo are verbs and have a similar range of meanings (Hanyu dacidian). Furthermore, the Yingzao fashi includes texts from the Song and Yuan dynasties in which tiaowo functions as a verb. Therefore, although few scholars believe tiaowo functions as a verb now, the hypothesis that tiaowo once indicated an action rather than a name of a specific object has merit and should be taken into consideration.5

    Scholars have thus far not been able to conclusively distinguish tiaowo from shang'ang and angting. However, if we agree with Chen and Pan that shang’ang was not used on the interior of eaves puzuo (bracketing), that tiaowo is an action instead of a term for a specific component part, and that angting is a strut without ang tip, then all of these elements in the Yingzao fashi can be reasonably explained. However, further evidence is necessary to form a concrete conclusion.

    營造法式》(1103)中出現四處“挑斡”(李 2009,1.8a,4.6a,6.9b,18.7a),但挑斡一詞並非僅見於《營造法式》。目前最通常的觀點是《營造法式》中的“挑斡”是構件名稱,並有兩種看法:(1)指補間鋪作下昂的後尾,用於徹上明造建築的室內;(2)或是不出昂尖的斜向構件,是特殊的下昂,有學者認爲這即是《營造法式》提及的“昂桯挑斡”(朱 2018)。3


    然而,陳明達認為“挑斡”原為動詞 (陳 1981,99);這一含義也延申為構件一端懸空,上面承受荷重的形式,并不限於用于斗栱的構件 (陳 2010, 253)。儘管目前學者通常並不將“挑斡”視爲動詞,但結合“挑”“斡”二字的本意(漢語大詞典),《營造法式》同時代其他文本中“挑斡”的用法,及《營造法式》中與鋪作無關的兩處“挑斡”來看,“挑斡”解為動詞或一種動作,而非特定構件的名稱,是有説服力和解釋力的觀點,也能使《營造法式》中的四處“挑斡”都得到較為合理的解釋。5



Works Cited

Any information without attribution has been created following the Syriaca.org editorial guidelines.

  • 1 陳. 2010. 《營造法式》辭解, 253.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 2 KROLL. 2015. A Student's Dictionary of Classical and Medieval Chinese, 453, 479.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 3 KROLL. 2015. A Student's Dictionary of Classical and Medieval Chinese, 453, 479.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 李. 2009. 營造法式 (1103; 故宫藏抄本), 1.8a, 4.6a, 6.9b, 18.7a.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 朱. 2018. 《营造法式》中“挑斡”与“昂桯”及其相关概念辨析, 28-31.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 4 张. 2002. 南方上昂与挑斡作法探析, 31-45, 290.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 俞. 2016. 晋东南地区五代宋元时期补间铺作挑斡形制分期及流变初探, 21-40.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 5 陳. 1981. 營造法式大木作研究, 99.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 陳. 2010. 《營造法式》辭解, 253.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 漢語大詞典編纂処. 2011. 漢語大詞典Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record

Broad Match: building frame

How to Cite This Entry

ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净 et al., “ 挑斡 tiǎowò” in Architectura Sinica last modified November 8, 2021, https://architecturasinica.org/keyword/k000138.


ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净 et al., “ 挑斡 tiǎowò.” In Architectura Sinica, edited by Tracy Miller. Entry published March 12, 2021. https://architecturasinica.org/keyword/k000138.

About this Entry

Entry Title: 挑斡 tiǎowò

Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

  • Tracy Miller, editor, Architectura Sinica
  • ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净, associate editor, Architectural Terminology
  • ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净 and CAO Yiming 曹一鳴, entry contributors, “ 挑斡 tiǎowò

Additional Credit:

  • Website coordination by Yuh-Fen Benda
  • Preliminary research CMW 2021
  • Data entry, adding citations and gloss 2021 by Sarah Brooker
  • Peer review by ATTCAT 2021
  • English proofreading by Aurelia Campbell Tracy Miller
  • Chinese proofreading by ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净 ZUO Lala 左拉拉
  • Adding links by XIE Qizheng 謝祺錚

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