1st Edition

The Chinese Rhyme Tables Volume I

By Pan Wenguo Copyright 2023
    232 Pages 31 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    As the first volume of a two- volume set that studies Chinese rhyme tables, this book focuses on their emergence, development, structure, and patterns. Rhyme tables are a tabulated tool constituted by phonological properties, which help indicate the pronunciation of sinograms or Chinese characters, marking a precise and systematic account of the Chinese phonological system. This volume first discusses the emergence of the model and factors that determined its formation and evolution, including the Chinese tradition of the rhyme dictionary and the introduction of Buddhist scripts. The second part analyzes the structure and arrangement patterns of rhyme tables in detail, giving insights into the nature of “division” (deng): the classification and differentiation of speech sounds, of vital significance in the reconstruction of middle Chinese. The author argues that deng has nothing to do with vowel aperture or other phonetic features but is a natural result of rhyme table arrangement. He also reexamines the principles for irregular cases (menfa rules) and categorizes the 20 rules into three types.
    The book will appeal to scholars and students who are studying linguistics, Chinese phonology, and Sinology.

    List of Figures

    List of Tables

    List of Abbreviations

    Foreward to the Chinese Edition


    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 Sòng dynasty According to “Yùnjìng yánjiū”

    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 Ryme Tbles, Buddhism and Snogram 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




    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, rhyme divisions, and Chinese-English comparative studies, translation theory and practice, and linguistic philosophy.