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Minimal Old Chinese and Later Han Chinese

A Companion to Grammata Serica Recensa

Axel Schuessler

Publication Year: 2009

Although long out of date, Bernard Karlgren’s (1957) remains the most convenient work for looking up Middle Chinese (ca. A.D. 600) and Old Chinese (before 200 B.C.) reconstructions of all graphs that occur in literature from the beginning of writing (ca. 1250 B.C.) down to the third century B.C. In the present volume, Axel Schuessler provides a more current reconstruction of Old Chinese, limiting it, as far as possible, to those post-Karlgrenian phonological features of Old Chinese that enjoy some consensus among today’s investigators. At the same time, the updating of the material disregards more speculative theories and proposals. Schuessler refers to these minimal forms as "Minimal Old Chinese" (OCM). He bases OCM on Baxter’s 1992 reconstructions but with some changes, mostly notational. In keeping with its minimal aspect, the OCM forms are kept as simple as possible and transcribed in an equally simple notation. Some issues in Old Chinese phonology still await clarification; hence interpolations and proposals of limited currency appear in this update. Karlgren’s Middle Chinese reconstructions, as emended by Li Fang-kuei, are widely cited as points of reference for historical forms of Chinese as well as dialects. This emended Middle Chinese is also supplied by Schuessler. Another important addition to Karlgren’s work is an intermediate layer midway between the Old and Middle Chinese periods known as "Later Han Chinese" (ca. second century A.D.) The additional layer makes this volume a useful resource for those working on Han sources, especially poetry. This book is intended as a "companion" to the original Grammata Serica Recensa and therefore does not repeat other information provided there. Matters such as English glosses and references to the earliest occurrence of a graph can be looked up in Grammata Serica Recensa itself or in other relevant dictionaries. The great accomplishment of this companion volume is to update an essential reference and thereby fulfill the need for an accessible and user-friendly source for citing the various historically reconstructed stages of Chinese.

Published by: University of Hawai'i Press

Front matter

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CONTENTS

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pp. v-vii

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PREFACE

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pp. ix-xii

Bernhard Karlgren's Archaic Chinese (= Old Chinese, OC) as presented in his standard work Grammata Serica Recensa (GSR) of 1957 has long been outdated. This present manual is an attempt to update GSR with a relatively simple "Minimal Old Chinese" (OCM, for OCMinimal) which incorporates those features on which there is broad agreement among investigators today. Though this manual can be thought of as...

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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pp. xiii-

This manual is a by-product of the project by A. Schuessler, Etymological Dictionary of Old Chinese, Honolulu 2007. Therefore I wish once more to express my gratitude and appreciation to Victor Mair who secured financial support through grants from the Freeman Foundation and other generous sources. Furthermore, this manual has benefitted from helpful suggestions by W. S. Coblin, Victor Mair and especially Ch. Harbsmeier. Of course the mistakes are this author's responsibility....

GSC ENTRIES

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pp. xv-xvii

TRANSCRIPTIONS

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pp. xix-xx

SYMBOLS AND ABBREVIATIONS

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pp. xxi-xxiv

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INTRODUCTION

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pp. 1-39

The Chinese language has a long documented history that started with the writing on the Shang Dynasty oracle bones around 1250 BC. The most important pre-modern stages of the language are Old Chinese (ca. 1000 to 200 BC) and Middle Chinese (around AD 600). This 'Companion to Grammata Serica Recensa' ('Grammata Serica Companion', or GSC for short) is concerned with Old Chinese, but cites the conventional Middle Chinese forms, and adds an...

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REFERENCES

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pp. 40-44

This list of References is taken from the EDOC; it may include works that are not mentioned in GSC; however, additional works that have been cited are included. For a full bibliography on works on Old Chinese, see Baxter 1992....

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pp. 45-63

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pp. 91-106

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pp. 107-113

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pp. 114-118

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pp. 119-128

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pp. 129-134

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pp. 135-144

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pp. 145-155

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pp. 156-161

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pp. 162-169

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pp. 170-184

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pp. 185-189

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pp. 190-192

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pp. 193-204

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pp. 205-209

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pp. 210-218

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pp. 219-224

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pp. 225-229

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pp. 230-238

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pp. 239-243

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pp. 244-250

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pp. 251-263

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pp. 264-274

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pp. 275-285

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pp. 286-289

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pp. 290-295

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pp. 296-304

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pp. 305-310

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pp. 311-315

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pp. 316-324

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pp. 325-332

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pp. 333-340

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pp. 341-345

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pp. 346-353

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pp. 354-358

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pp. 359-368

GSR NUMBER = GSC NUMBER

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pp. 369-374

PINYIN INDEX

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pp. 375-421

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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pp. 423-


E-ISBN-13: 9780824863623
Print-ISBN-13: 9780824832643

Publication Year: 2009

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Subject Headings

  • Chinese language -- Ancient Chinese, 600-1200 -- Phonology.
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