This article reviews the newly published Old Chinese: A New Reconstruction by Baxter and Sagart from three perspectives: attitude toward languages, methodology and types of evidence. This book contains many defects that cannot be overlooked and some suggestions are given regarding how to prevent these defects. This review consists of six sections and examines the following problems: 1) One rhyme group with many vowels, 2) Retention of old features in the Xiaoyi dialect, 3) Using phonetic transliteration to prove final coda, 4) 午 and 五 not homophonous, 5) Calling a horse a deer and 6) “A mountain is a river bank.” After careful investigation, we regret to say that many of the errors from this new book could have been avoided. These errors reflect the outdated concepts of the authors and the insufficiency of their basic training. In summary this monograph is rather disappointing.


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pp. 175-230
Launched on MUSE
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