LINGUIST List 10.1529

Thu Oct 14 1999

Books: Chinese Historical Linguistics

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  1. Paul Peranteau, Chinese Historical Ling- L. Sagart, The Roots of Old Chinese

Message 1: Chinese Historical Ling- L. Sagart, The Roots of Old Chinese

Date: Wed, 13 Oct 1999 14:05:58 -0400
From: Paul Peranteau <>
Subject: Chinese Historical Ling- L. Sagart, The Roots of Old Chinese

John Benjamins Publishing makes available the following work on the
development of Chinese:

The Roots of Old Chinese.
Laurent SAGART (C. R. L. A. O., Paris)
Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 184
US & Canada: 1 55619 961 9 / USD 85.00 (Hardcover)
Rest of World: 90 272 3690 9 / NLG 170.00 (Hardcover)

The phonology, morphology and lexicon of late Zhou Chinese are
examined in this volume. It is argued that a proper understanding of
Old Chinese morphology is essential in correctly reconstructing the
phonology. Based on evidence from word-families, modern dialects and
related words in neighboring languages, Old Chinese words are claimed
to consist of a monosyllabic root, to which a variety of derivational
affixes attached. This made Old Chinese typologically more like
modern languages such as Khmer, Gyarong or Atayal, than like Middle
and modern Chinese, where only faint traces of the old morphology

In the first part of the book, the author proposes improvements to
Baxter's system of reconstruction, regarding complex initials and
rhymes, and then reviews in great detail the Old Chinese affixal
morphology. New proposals on phonology and morphology are integrated
into a coherent reconstruction system.

The second part of the book consists of etymological studies of
important lexical items in Old Chinese. The author demonstrates in
particular the role of proportional analogy in the formation of the
system of personal pronouns. Special attention is paid to contact
phenomena between Chinese and neighboring languages, and - unlike most
literature on Sino-Tibetan - the author identifies numerous Chinese
loanwords into Tibeto-Burman. The book, which contains a lengthy list
of reconstructions, an index of characters and a general index, is
intended for linguists and cultural historians, as well as advanced

 John Benjamins Publishing Co.
Offices: Philadelphia Amsterdam:
Phone: +215 836-1200 +31 20 6762325
Fax: +215 836-1204 +31 20 6739773
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