A Brief History of the Chinese Language
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The eight-volume set systematically studies the phonetic and lexical system and evolution of the Chinese language in three phases.
The history of the Chinese language is generally split into three phases: 1) Old Chinese, the form of the Chinese language spoken between the 18th century BC and the 3rd century AD, 2) Middle Chinese, between the 4th century AD to around the 12th century AD, and 3) Modern Chinese, since the 13th century, comprised of an ‘early modern’ phase before the early 20th century and the contemporary period since. The first three volumes examine the phonetical systems of the language in each period and distinct changes across time, covering the initials system, finals system and tone system. The subsequent 5 volumes focus on lexical development throughout the different phases. The author also analyses basic issues of Chinese language study, the standardization of a modern common language and the foreign influence on the lexicon, helping us to better understand the history and development of the Chinese language.
Illustrated with abundant examples, this comprehensive groundwork on Chinese phonetical history will be a must read for scholars and students studying Chinese language, linguistics and especially Chinese phonetics and lexicon.
Table of Contents
Volume I 1. Research Purpose, Significance, Perspectives, and Methodology 2. Grounded Basis of Studying the History of Chinese Language 3. The Development of Chinese Language and the Race of Han Society 4. The Development of Chinese Characters and the Developmental History of Chinese Language 5. Phases and Stages of the Developmental History of Chinese Language 6. The Initial System of Old Chinese Language 7. The Rhyme Group System (1) of Old Chinese Language 8. The Rhyme Group System (2) of Old Chinese Language 9. The Tone System of Old Chinese Language Volume II 1. Middle Chinese Initials System 2. Middle Chinese Finals and Tone System 3. The Evolution of Initial System from Old Chinese to Middle Chinese Language 4. The Evolution of Final System from Old Chinese to Middle Chinese Language I 5. The Evolution of Final System from Old Chinese to Middle Chinese Language II 6. The Evolution of Final System from Old Chinese to Middle Chinese Language III 7. The Evolution of Tone System from Old Chinese to Middle Chinese Language Volume III 1. Phonetic System of Modern Chinese Language 2. The Development of Initial System from Middle Chinese to Modern Chinese 3. The Development of Vowel Final System from Middle Chinese to Modern Chinese 4. The Development of Nasal Final System from Middle Chinese to Modern Chinese 5. The Development of Entering Final System from Middle Chinese to Modern Chinese 6. The Development of Tone System from Middle Chinese to Modern Chinese 7. Formation of the Standard Pronunciation of Common Language of Modern Han Nationality Volume IV 1. Studying Words of the Shang Dynasty from Oracle Bone Inscriptions 2. The Progress of Monosyllabic Words of Old Chinese 3. The Progress of Polysyllabic Words of Old Chinese 4. The Progress of Lexical Meanings of Old Chinese 5. The Progress of Synonyms of Old Chinese 6. The Progress of Idioms and Proverbs of Old Chinese Volume V 1. The Development of Monosyllabic Words of Middle Chinese 2. The Development of Polysyllabic Words of Middle Chinese 3. The Development of Lexical Meanings of Middle Chinese Volume VI 1. The Influence of Foreign Culture on the Development of Middle Chinese Lexicon 2. The Development of Synonyms of Middle Chinese 3. The Development of Idioms and Proverbs of Middle Chinese Volume VII 1. The Emergence of Modern Neologisms and Penetration of Mongolian and Manchu into the Chinese Lexicon 2. The Innovation of Polysyllabic Words of Modern Chinese 3. The Development of Chinese Lexicon in Modern Times Volume VIII 1. The Influence of Modern Western Culture on the Development of the Chinese Lexicon 2. The Innovation of Synonyms in Modern Chinese 3. The Innovation of Idioms and Proverbs of Modern Chinese 4. The Innovation of Chinese Lexicon after the May Fourth Movement
Xi Xiang is Professor at Sichuan University (China) and a distinguished linguist. His research interests are focused on Chinese language history and Chinese linguistics. His major works include A Brief History of Chinese, Dictionary of Poetry Classics, Commentary on the Translation of Poetry Classics, Dictionary of Ancient Chinese Knowledge, Concise Ancient Chinese Dictionary, etc.