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ABC Etymological Dictionary of Old Chinese

Axel Schuessler

Publication Year: 2007

This is the first genuine etymological dictionary of Old Chinese written in any language. As such, it constitutes a milestone in research on the evolution of the Sinitic language group. Whereas previous studies have emphasized the structure of the Chinese characters, this pathbreaking dictionary places primary emphasis on the sounds and meanings of Sinitic roots. Based on more than three decades of intensive investigation in primary and secondary sources, this completely new dictionary places Old Chinese squarely within the Sino-Tibetan language family (including close consideration of numerous Tiberto-Burman languages), while paying due regard to other language families such as Austroasiatic, Miao-Yao (Hmong-Mien), and Kam-Tai. Designed for use by nonspecialists and specialists alike, the dictionary is highly accessible, being arranged in alphabetical order and possessed of numerous innovative lexicographical features. Each entry offers one or more possible etymologies as well as reconstructed pronunciations and other relevant data. Words that are morphologically related are grouped together into "word families" that attempt to make explicit the derivational or other etymological processes that relate them. The dictionary is preceded by a substantive and significant introduction that outlines the author’s views on the linguistic position of Chinese within Asia and details the phonological and morphological properties, to the degree they are known, of the earliest stages of the Chinese language and its ancestor. This introduction, because it both summarizes and synthesizes earlier work and makes several original contributions, functions as a useful reference work all on its own.

Published by: University of Hawai'i Press

Title Page, Copyright

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CONTENTS

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pp. v-x

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PREFACE

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pp. xi-xii

This etymological dictionary attempts to provide information on the origin of Old Chinese words, including possible word family relationships within Chinese and outside contacts. When traditional Chinese scholars discuss "etymology...

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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pp. xiii-xiv

This project has profited from conversations with, and suggestions and advice from, many scholars and friends, including the late P. K. Benedict, William Baxter HI, Wolfgang Behr, W. South Coblin, Richard Cook, Gerard Diffloth...

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ARRANGEMENT OF THE DICTIONARY

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pp. xv-xvi

This etymological dictionary groups related words into word families (wf[s]), which are listed either under the most common member or under what appears to be the shortest and most basic word from which the others are...

SYMBOLS AND ABBREVIATIONS

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pp. xvii-

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1 OLD CHINESE AND ETYMOLOGY

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pp. 1-11

...widely quoted as a reference for historical phonological categories; and later transcriptions of Chinese. The different stages of written Chinese probably represent koines which are not necessarily descended from one another in a straight line (§ 1.3). Modern dialects (more properly Sinitic languages), including Mandarin...

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2 MORPHOLOGY AND WORD DERIVATION

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pp. 12-28

Comments and discussions on morphology and morphemes are divided between this chapter, which provides a broad overview, and later chapters and sections, which deal with specific phonemes and morphemes...

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3 MIDDLE CHINESE TONES AND THEIR OLD CHINESE EQUIVALENTS

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pp. 29-37

...'entering' tone) for words which end in a stop consonant (p, t, k), i.e., this short-stopped syllable type was toneless. These tonal categories are projected back to OC where tone A is thought to have been...

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4 TONES B, C, AND VOICING: DIRECTION AND DIATHESIS

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pp. 38-50

Because MC tones and phonemes at issue are projected back to identical ones in LHan, subsequently examples will often be cited in simpler LHan forms...

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5 INITIAL CONSONANTS

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pp. 51-67

Because MC initial consonants and other phonemes are projected back to (nearly) identical ones in LHan, subsequently examples will often be cited in simpler LHan forms. Most of the OC - TB or foreign initial consonant equations...

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6 FINAL CONSONANTS

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pp. 68-79

Because MC initial consonants and other phonemes are projected back to (nearly) identical ones in LHan, subsequently examples will often be cited in simpler LHan forms. Most of the OC - TB or foreign initial consonant...

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7 OLD CHINESE AND FOREIGN *R

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pp. 80-87

Many different MC / LHan reflexes are believed to derive from OC *r: initial 1-; retroflex consonants; QYS div. II and chongniu div. III vocalism; final -n or -i; or no trace at all. Because MC initial and final consonants...

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8 OLD CHINESE AND FOREIGN *L

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pp. 88-93

Middle Chinese initial ji- I LHanj- derives often from OC *l-, but also corresponds to OC *j( §9) and OC *wi- (§ 10). This initial MC ji- < OC *1- alternates in phonetic series with MC d-, th_, sj-, gj-as well as {hJ- (see §12.1.2...

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9 INITIAL AND MEDIAL JAND THE MIDDLE CHINESE DIVISIONS (~)

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pp. 94-99

The Song Dynasty rime tables, which interpret the QiI~yun, divide syllables within a traditional rime category into four "divisions" or "grades...

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10 INITIAL AND MEDIAL *W

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pp. 100-101

MCjw- (div. III) goes back to LHan and OC *w- (Karlgren's *giw-, Li F.jwi-). ST *w- is preserved in many TB languages; in WT it has disappeared completely. Examples for the survival of ST *w- in CH are numerous (see dictionary part under W), for example:...

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11 OLD CHINESE VOWELSAND THEIR FOREIGN COUNTERPARTS

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pp. 102-118

...OC and TB phonemes agree rather closely, but consistent correspondence involving *e, *?, and *i, and especially *0 and *u within TB and ST, is often elusive. See § 12 for the vowels of individual TB languages. Vowel alternations...

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12 TRANSLITERATIONS OF FREQUENTLY QUOTED LANGUAGES

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pp. 119-130

This chapter deals with frequently cited languages; they are, in alphabetical order: 12.1 Chinese, 12.2 Jingpo, 12.3 Lushai, 12.4 Mikir, 12.5 Tai, 12.6 Tibeto-Burman, 12.7 Tiddim Chin, 12.8 Written Burmese, 12.9 Written Tibetan. This work draws mostly,,,

APPENDIX A LANGUAGES AND LANGUAGE FAMILIES IN EAST ASIA

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pp. 131-133

APPENDIX B ALPHABETIC LIST OF FREQUENTLY CITED LANGUAGES

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pp. 134-135

APPENDIX C TEXT SOURCES FOR EARLIEST OCCURRENCES

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pp. 136-137

REFERENCES

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pp. 138-148

Dictionary A-Z

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pp. 149-638

ENGLISH INDEX

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pp. 639-656

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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pp. 657-

Axel Schuessler studied Classical Chinese, Tibetan, and other Asian languages, as well as Indo-European linguistics and Sanskrit at the Universitat Miinchen, where he received his Ph.D. in Chinese philology...


E-ISBN-13: 9780824861339
Print-ISBN-13: 9780824829759

Publication Year: 2007