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A Phonological History of Chinese

A Phonological History of Chinese


  • Publication planned for: March 2020
  • availability: Not yet published - available from March 2020
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107135840

£ 85.00

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About the Authors
  • The phonological history of Chinese can be traced back to two main traditions: one starting with the Qieyun of 601, and the other starting with the Zhongyuan Yinyun of 1324. The former marks the beginning of Middle Chinese, and the latter marks the beginning of Old Mandarin. Both of these systems, as well as reconstructed Old Chinese, should be understood as ideal phonological standards and composite in nature. Until modern times, phonological standards were never based strictly on the phonology of a single dialect. This book provides the first study written in English, of the phonological history of Chinese. It provides information about the standard phonological systems for each of the language's major historical periods, drawing on a range of historical materials such as dictionaries, rhyming tables and poetry, and is the reference book for understanding the key developments in the Chinese sound system.

    • Introduces new research originally written in Chinese, and makes it accessible to researchers whose dominant language is English
    • Source materials are systematically introduced and explained to aid understanding of context
    • Covers all major historical periods of the past 2500 years
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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: March 2020
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107135840
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
    • contains: 25 b/w illus. 420 tables
    • availability: Not yet published - available from March 2020
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Keys to Traditional Phonology:
    1. An introduction to Chinese historical phonology
    Part II. Old Chinese:
    2. Old Chinese
    Part III. Middle Chinese:
    3. Middle Chinese: the Tang and Song Dynasties
    4. Middle Chinese: the Tang and Song Dynasties
    Part IV. The Beginnings of Mandarin:
    5. Chinese of the Liao, Jun, and Xixia Dynasties
    Part V. A New Standard:
    6. Old Mandarin: the Ménggǔ Zìyùn 蒙古字韻
    7. Old Mandarin: the Zhōngyuán Yīnyùn 中原音韻
    8. Old Mandarin: the Persian transcriptions
    Part VI. Towards Modern Mandarin:
    9. The Mandarin of the Ming Dynasty
    10. The Mandarin of the Qing Dynasty and the modern era.

  • Author

    Zhongwei Shen, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
    Zhongwei Shen is a Full Professor of Chinese Linguistics in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has served as a co-editor of the Journal of Chinese Linguistics, and the co-editor-in-chief of the Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics.

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