1st Edition

The Chinese Rhyme Tables A New Probe Into the Nature of Middle Chinese Phonology

    488 Pages 395 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    By studying the emergence, development, structure, and pattern, the two-volume set seeks to reconstruct the ancient rhyme Chinese tables based on extant materials and findings.

    A rhyme table is a tabulated tool constituted by phonological properties, which helps indicate the pronunciation of sinograms or Chinese characters, marking an accurate and systematic account of the Chinese phonological system. The first volume discusses its formation and evolution and analyzes the structure and arrangement patterns of rhyme tables in detail. The author gives insights into principles for some irregular cases (menfa rules) and the nature of “division” (deng), a method of classifying and differentiating speech sounds vital to the reconstruction of Middle Chinese. The second volume first explores the relationship and identifies the prototype of the extant rhyme tables and then presents the reconstructed rhyme tables with detailed annotations and add-on indexes.

    The book will appeal to scholars and students studying Sinology, Chinese linguistics, and especially Chinese phonology.

    Volume 1  Introduction  Part I: When was the rhyme table born?  1. Traditional views on the issue  2. The debate on this issue in recent years and its progress  3. Views that the Yùnjìng originated from the “Yùnjìng yánjiū” in the Sòng dynasty  4. Determining the era in which rhyme tables were produced  5. Analysis of the development of rhyme dictionaries in the Suí and Táng dynasties  6. Problems in the Qièyùn and the understanding of it in the Táng dynasty  7. The historical process of the generation of rhyme tables  8. The relationship between rhyme tables, Buddhism and sinogram initials  9. Rhyme tables and the Shǒuwēn yùnxué cánjuàn  Part II: The methods with which rhyme tables were arranged  10. How was the question proposed?  11. The Concept of Division and the Birth of Rhyme Tables  12. The Nature of the Phonology of the Qièyùn  13. The Conditions Satisfied when Rhyme Tables were Arranged  14. The Method of Arranging the Rhyme Tables  15. A New View of Ménfǎ Rules  Volume 2  1. Status of the extant rhyme tables 2. The principles and methods used for reconstructing the ancient rhyme tables 3. The reconstruction of the ancient rhyme tables


    Pan Wenguo is a tenured professor and doctoral supervisor at East China Normal University and the honorary president of the Chinese Association for Comparative Studies between English and Chinese. He is a renowned linguist and has a significant impact on fields of Chinese linguistics, including sinogram ontology, word formation, and rhyme divisions, and also Chinese-English comparative studies, translation theory and practice, and linguistic philosophy.