LINGUIST List 10.962

Fri Jun 18 1999

Books: Chinese Historical Phonology

Editor for this issue: Scott Fults <>

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  1. LINCOM EUROPA, Chinese historical Phonology

Message 1: Chinese historical Phonology

Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1999 11:21:54 +0200
Subject: Chinese historical Phonology

A Compendium of Beijing and Cantonese Pronunciations of Characters and
their Derivations from Middle Chinese 

John Newman & Anand V. Raman; Massey University; John Hopkins University

This volume is an explicit summary of the phonological histories of
Beijing and Cantonese dialects, based on earlier accounts proposed by
Matthew Chen and John Newman and which appeared in the Journal of
Chinese Linguistics (1976, 1984/1985). Approximately 2,700 characters
appear here with their Middle Chinese reconstructions (the 'Simplified
Middle Chinese' reconstructions proposed by Chen) and arranged by
their Middle Chinese rime, initial, and tone class. For each
character, the complete derivations (as sequences of rule labels) from
Middle Chinese to Beijing pronunciation and from Middle Chinese to
Cantonese pronunciation are given, including indications of
exceptional application or non-application of rules. A full statement
of the regular phonological rules referred to in the derivations is
provided. The meanings of the characters (in English) are also
included. A Hanyu Pinyin-Middle Chinese index enables the reader to
determine the Middle Chinese reconstruction from the Hanyu Pinyin
representation. The detail of Beijing and Cantonese phonological
histories is here made accessible to linguists outside the specialist
field of Sinology. The material is explicit, comprehensive, and
transparent in a way which will be appreciated by Sinologists and
non-Sinologists alike.

The enclosed disk contains the data relevant to Part 3 of Newman and
Raman's "Chinese Historical Phonology". In particular, it contains
approximately 2,700 Chinese characters (as encapsulated Postscript
files), Simplified Middle Chinese reconstructions, the modern reflexes
of these reconstructions in Beijing and Cantonese dialects, and the
sequences of phonological rules to derive each of the modern reflexes.
The material allows one to carry out original computational linguistic
tasks on the data, such as searches for phonetic forms, rules,
sequences of rules, and exceptions to rules.

The data has been compiled for LaTeX (a free and easily downloadable
software application) and users should have this software to enjoy the
full benefit of the diskette. However, the files can also be opened
and edited using ordinary text editors. The fonts are transcribed for
processing with wsuipa, the Washington State University's IPA font for
LaTeX. Characters and phonetic transcriptions do not appear as such on
screen, but can be printed out as in Newman and Raman's
book. Available for both PC and Mac.

ISBN 3 89586 543 3. 
LINCOM Studies in Asian Linguistics 27. 
Ca. 240 pp. USD 70 / DM 107 / pound sterling 38. July 1999.

CD-ROM ISBN 3 89586 588 5. USD 28 / DM 42 / \163 16.40. July 1999.

Ordering information for individuals: Please give us your creditcard no.
/ expiry date or send us a cheque. Prices in this information include
shipment worldwide by airmail. A standing order for this series is
available with special discounts offered to individual subscribers. 

LINCOM EUROPA, Paul-Preuss-Str. 25, D-80995 Muenchen, Germany; FAX +4989
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