Middle Chinese

Middle Chinese (simplified Chinese: 中古汉语; traditional Chinese: 中古漢語; pinyin: zhōnggǔ Hànyǔ), formerly known as Ancient Chinese is the system of Chinese pronunciation contained in the Qieyun, a rime dictionary first published in 601 and followed by several revised and expanded editions. The fanqie method used to indicate pronunciation in these dictionaries, though an improvement on earlier methods, proved awkward in practice. The 12th-century Yunjing and other rime tables incorporate a more sophisticated and convenient analysis of the Qieyun phonology. The rime tables attest to a number of sound changes that had occurred over the centuries following the publication of the Qieyun. Linguists sometimes refer to the system of the Qieyun as Early Middle Chinese and the variant revealed by the rime tables as Late Middle Chinese.

The dictionaries and tables describe pronunciations in relative terms, but do not give their actual sounds. The Swedish linguist Bernard Karlgren believed that the dictionaries recorded a speech standard of the capital Chang'an of the Sui and Tang dynasties, and produced a reconstruction of its sounds. However, based on the more recently recovered preface of the Qieyun, most scholars now believe that it records a compromise between northern and southern reading and poetic traditions from the late Southern and Northern Dynasties period. This composite system contains important information for the reconstruction of the preceding system of Old Chinese phonology (1st millennium BC).

The Middle Chinese system is often used as a framework for the study and description of various modern varieties of Chinese. Branches of the Chinese family such as Mandarin Chinese (including Standard Chinese, based on the speech of Beijing), Yue Chinese and Wu Chinese can be largely treated as divergent developments from the Qieyun system. The study of Middle Chinese also provides for a better understanding and analysis of Classical Chinese poetry, such as the study of Tang poetry.

Read more about Middle ChineseSources, Methodology, Phonology, Changes From Old Chinese To Middle Chinese To Modern Varieties

Other articles related to "middle chinese, chinese":

Hokkien - History - Zhangzhou
... They settled in Zhangzhou and brought the Middle Chinese phonology of northern China during the 7th century into Zhangzhou In 885, (during the reign of Emperor Xizong of Tang ... They brought the Middle Chinese phonology commonly spoken in Northern China into Zhangzhou ... These two waves of migrations from the north generally brought the northern Middle Chinese languages into Fujian region ...
Standard Chinese Phonology - Tones - Relationship Between Middle Chinese and Modern Tones
... Relationship between Middle Chinese and modern tones V- = unvoiced initial consonant L = sonorant initial consonant V+ = voiced initial consonant (not sonorant) Middle Chinese Tone Ping ...
Sino-Xenic - Sound Correspondences
... words inevitably only approximated the original Chinese, and many distinctions were lost ... had far fewer consonants and much simpler syllables than Chinese, and also lacked tones ... developments from the categories of the Middle Chinese rhyme dictionaries ...
Changes From Old Chinese To Middle Chinese To Modern Varieties
... Middle Chinese had a structure much like many modern varieties (especially conservative ones such as Cantonese), with largely monosyllabic words, little ... Old Chinese, on the other hand, had a significantly different structure ...
Historical Chinese Phonology
... Historical Chinese phonology deals with reconstructing the sounds of Chinese from the past ... As Chinese is written with logographic characters, not alphabetic or syllabary, the methods employed in Historical Chinese phonology differ ... Chinese is documented over a long period of time, with the earliest oracle bone writings dated to c ...

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