A Reading of the Dialect Chapter of Zhāng Wèi’s Wènqíjí

in Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics

The Wènqíjí of the late sixteenth century Míng scholar Zhāng Wèi 張位 contains a short chapter entitled “Local Pronunciations of Various Areas”. The work comprises a number of direct sound glosses on Chinese characters, with the glossing words used to indicate dialectal pronunciations of the glossed words. In the present article, we assume that Zhāng's glossing characters were to be read in the standard pronunciation of that period, i.e., in the so-called Nányīn pronunciation of the Guānhuà koine. Using the nearly contemporary romanized sound glosses of Nicholas Trigault, which are also thought to represent this type of Guānhuà pronunciation, we then attempt to determine how Zhāng Wèi believed the dialect readings of the glossed characters were pronounced.

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A Reading of the Dialect Chapter of Zhāng Wèi’s Wènqíjí

in Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics

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