This paper is mainly an inquiry into Sengzhao’s (Eastern Jin dynasty; 384-414C.E.) point of view on language. I aim to illustrate that the basis of Sengzhao’s philosophy of language is his theory of provisional designation (jiaming). According to this theory, language is not precisely correspondent with its referent—a fact which reveals both the function and limitations of language. I then elaborate on Sengzhao’s theory of provisional designation from the discussions of “language is not correspondent with its referent (ming-shi-wu-dang),” “indeterminacy of a word (ci-bi-mo-ding-hu-yi-ming),” and “language should be indefinite (yu-ying-wu-fang)” and show that there is a theoretical similarity between Sengzhao’s views and Quine’s theory of the inscrutability of reference. I conclude by showing that the philosophical foundation of Sengzhao’s theory of provisional designation is based on the two theories of emptiness and non-apprehension from the Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra, and the Mādhyamika theory of the two truths. Sengzhao recognizes the temporary meaning of language in a conventional context, accordingly, theoretical similarities and differences between Sengzhao’s and Quine’s views are that they both adopt empirical, naturalistic, and behaviorist perspectives on language. Furthermore, Sengzhao’s theory of provisional designation has particular relevance to the dynamic process of gaining insight into ultimate truth. Since language functions only as a temporary transitional instrument, language is remaining on the level of conventional truth. The ultimate truth however, shows that “the true nature of all things is silent (zhen-jing-wu-yen).” This is the difference between Sengzhao’s theory of provisional designation and Quine’s theory of the inscrutability of reference.