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Old Chinese in the Excavated Late Archaic Script: Problems of Working with Competing Ideas In Old Chinese Reconstruction
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1  The Journal of Chinese Linguistics (Preprint) ISSN 0091-3723/ Old Chinese in the excavated late archaic script: Problems of working with competing ideas in old Chinese reconstruction©2017 by The Journal of Chinese Linguistics. All rights reserved. (0315) OLD CHINESE IN THE EXCAVATED LATE ARCHAIC SCRIPT1: PROBLEMS OF WORKING WITH COMPETING IDEAS IN OLD CHINESE RECONSTRUCTION Haeree Park University of Hamburg (Germany) ABSTRACT Excavated bamboo  or wooden manuscripts dating from the 5th to 3rd centuries BCE have now become important new sources of data for Old Chinese phonology. The ways these sources are interpreted are necessarily based on methodological assumptions for Old Chinese reconstruction. So when debated issues in the latter are involved, disparate observations about the same materials turn out to manifest differences in the methodologies themselves. The study of Old Chinese through excavated manuscripts seems to become further complicated by considerations of the nature of the ‘pre-Qin’ archaic script and the provenances of the manuscripts. In response to these problems, as argued in this article, it is essential to recognize that the writings from the ancient Chu and Qin regions, notwithstanding the impressive range of graphic variability reaffirm the logographic nature of the Chinese writing system. The imperial ‘script-unification’ of the Qin dynasty was primarily an orthographic standardization in accordance with the norms of the old ___________________________________________________________________________________  Acknowledgment I would like to thank the anonymous peer reviewers for their useful comments and suggestions. An earlier draft of this paper was presented at the workshop “Recent Advances in Old Chinese Historical Phonology” (convened as part of “Beyond Boundaries: Religion, Region, Language and the State”, a European Research Council Synergy Project), School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, November 5-6, 2015. The research for this paper was supported by the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft). The author claims no conflict of interests to publish this paper in Journal of Chinese Linguistics Dr. Haeree Park 朴慧莉 [haereep@gmail.com]; University of Hamburg, Center for the Study of Manuscript Cultures, Warburgstr. 26, D-20354 , Hamburg, Germany. 2 JOURNAL OF CHINESE LINGUISTICS (PREPRINT) The Journal of Chinese Linguistics (preprint) ISSN 0091-3723/ Old Chinese in the excavated late archaic script: Problems of working with competing ideas in old Chinese reconstruction©2017 by The Journal of Chinese Linguistics. All rights reserved. (0315)  Qin region, whereby distinct regional variants were purged and preexisting internal variants were diminished. This by no means implicated such a drastic change in the writing system as a syllabary transforming to a logography. It is therefore necessary that the principles of OC reconstruction should be applied consistently to both the excavated archaic-script writings and transmitted early Chinese textual sources. It should be maintained first of all that the xiesheng (shared-phonophorics) and Shijing (the Book of Odes) rhymes in principle converge on a single phonological system, even though the actual history of the former is most probably older than the latter. This leads us to suppose about the OC vowel system that the Rounded Vowel Hypothesis does not hold, and that excavated texts have not yielded any data suggesting otherwise. Instead, this article suggests an alternative analysis of Middle Chinese (MC) -w- Kw and their unrounded counterparts *K > K are divided in xiesheng phonetic series. Agreed 2) */m ̥ , m, n ̥ , n, ŋ ̊ , ŋ/ The voiceless nasals are reflected in MC as x(w) l; *l̥ a , *r̥ > th; *la > d; *lb > y. Besides these, the *L series contains several other members explaining xiesheng contacts among various dental stops and palatal sibilants. Agreed Treatment of y- entering xiesheng relation with the (post)velar initials [see also item (9) and down below] Debated 4) Origins of MC ping, shang, qu and ru tones MC ping, shang and qu tones are well distinguished from one another in Shijing rhymes; syllables with the ru tone endings /-p, -t, -k/ also rhyme separately. Agreed Whether the MC tones were still tonal (suprasegmental) in OC or they evolved from consonantal endings, viz., *-Ɂ > shang and *-s > -qu Debated 6 JOURNAL OF CHINESE LINGUISTICS (PREPRINT) The Journal of Chinese Linguistics (preprint) ISSN 0091-3723/ Old Chinese in the excavated late archaic script: Problems of working with competing ideas in old Chinese reconstruction©2017 by The Journal...


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