By William H. Baxter
A guide of previous chinese language Phonology is the normal reference for the reconstruction of outdated chinese language, i.e. the language of the pre-Qin interval.
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Additional info for A Handbook of Old Chinese Phonology (Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs)
3. 4 lists the initials of Middle Chinese as they are written in my transcription. 4 have their standard phonetic values, with the following exceptions: 1. Aspiration of SlOpS and affricates is indicated by the letter -h-; this -h- is equivalent to the [hI or ['I of the International Phonetic Alphabet. 2. The letter -r- is not intended as a sepantte segment, but rather :repre· sents reuoflex articulation of me preceding consonant. 3. y. indicates palatal articulation of me preceding consonant. 4.
And inlo ·w in others. ) Whemer we ultimarely accept this hypomesis will depend, of course, on funher evidence and argumentation; but me hypothesis is not contaminated by the fact that we got the idea from looking at Tibeto-Bunnan. In fact. if this hypomesis can account for me facts, then (by our third assumption above) it has an advantage over other competing explanations, since it not only explains the Chinese evidence but also contributes to a plausible account of the evolution of Old Chinese within the larger Sino-Tibetan family.
1 are a goc:xl. example: the words ~ ml < mit 'dense' and ~ ml < mjit 'honey', and many similar pairs of words. are systematically distinguished in the rhyme books and rhyme tables, and there is ample evidence that these distinctions were real. But the distinc· lions have been almost entirely lost in modem dialects, and would be difficult to recover without the written sources. At the same time. these distinc· tions are crucial, I believe, for a correct reconstruction of the Old Chinese vowel system.
A Handbook of Old Chinese Phonology (Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs) by William H. Baxter