A Brief History of the Chinese Language I: The Basics of Chinese Phonetics (Hardcover)
As the first volume of a multivolume set on Chinese phonetics, this book gives a full picture of the historical development of the Chinese language and studies the phonetics of the early form of Chinese, that is, Old Chinese.
Chinese language history is generally split into three phases: (1) Old Chinese, the form of the Chinese language spoken between the 18th century BCE and the 3rd century CE; (2) Middle Chinese, between the 4th century CE to around the 12th century CE; and (3) Modern Chinese, since the 13th century. In this volume, the author first introduces basic issues in Chinese language study, including research objectives, methodology, existing scholarship, periodization, and the distinctive linguistic characteristics of each period. The core chapters then describe and analyze the phonetical systems of Old Chinese, covering the initials system and related eight aspects, two types of rhyme groups, ancient finals, and the tonal system.
This comprehensive groundwork on Chinese phonetical history will be a must read for scholars and students studying Chinese language, linguistics and especially for those wishing to become acquainted with Old Chinese phonetics.