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This paper investigates the phylogenetic relationships (the relationships of shared ancestry) of ten Chinese dialects: eight generally classified as Mandarin, and two others (Chángshā 長沙 and Hángzhōu 杭州). Using six of the Mandarin dialects, a ‘Proto-Macro-Mandarin’ (PMM) phonological system is reconstructed, from which the other four dialects also appear to be derivable. Taking 29 phonological innovations as a basis, the phylogeny of the ten dialects is estimated using a technique borrowed from biology (Camin-Sokal parsimony). The results suggest that a classification of Chinese dialects based on phylogeny could be rather different from the generally accepted classification.

In: Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale

It is proposed that oc pharyngealized onset consonants—that is, ‘type-A’ onset consonants—arose out of Proto-Sino-Tibetan plain consonants followed by geminate vowels separated by a pharyngeal fricative. When the first copy of the geminate vowel fell, the initial consonants formed clusters with the pharyngeal fricative, evolving into the oc pharyngealized consonants we reconstruct. In the Kuki-Chin branch of Tibeto-Burman, the pharyngeal fricative fell, and long vowels resulted. This proposal supposes a statistical correlation between Kuki-Chin long vowels and oc type-A words on the one hand, and between Kuki-Chin short vowels and oc type-B words on the other, as originally proposed by S. Starostin. A significant statistic bearing on forty-three probable Chinese-Kuki-Chin cognates supports this correlation. Thus reconstructed, a precursor language of Proto-Sino-Tibetan was aligned with Proto-Austronesian and Proto-Austroasiatic in exhibiting a surface constraint against monomoraic free words: by that constraint, the vowel of an underlying monosyllable was realized as a geminate with an intervening parasitic consonant such as a glottal stop or a pharyngeal fricative, while the vowels of a disyllable remained nongeminate. After reduction of disyllables to monosyllables, this process resulted in a pharyngealized vs. nonpharyngealized consonant distinction in oc.

論文提出對上古漢語咽化聲母(即“A類聲母”)來源的一個假設,認為咽化聲母來源於原始漢藏語的無標記輔音,並且此無標記輔音後跟隨著由咽部擦音[ʕ]分割的雙胞元音(geminate vowels)。在雙胞元音的前半部分脫落後,輔音聲母跟咽部擦音形成了複輔音。新形成的複輔音最終演變為上古漢語的咽化聲母。而在藏緬語庫基-欽(Kuki-Chin)語支中,則是咽化擦音脫落,使雙胞元音變為長元音。本文解釋了漢語與庫基-欽語中一個統計學的顯著相關性:一方面,庫基-欽語含長元音的詞與上古漢語含A類聲母的詞呈顯著相關;另一方面,庫基-欽語含短元音的詞與上古漢語含B類聲母的詞呈顯著相關,正如斯塔羅金(S. Starostin)所說。據此構擬,我們提出原始漢藏語、原始南島語與原始南亞語中的一個共同限制(constraint):禁止在語流中出現單音拍(monomoraic)詞。在這一限制的作用下,單音節詞的單元音發生了雙胞化(germination),雙胞元音中間插入了喉塞音或咽部擦音之類的次聲輔音。而同時,雙音節詞的元音無變化。漢語經過雙音節詞的單音節化,就形成了無標記輔音與咽化輔音的音位對立。(This article is in English.)

In: Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics

This paper discusses the reconstruction of uvular and labio-uvular stops in Old Chinese, originally proposed by Pan Wuyun. The following two improvements are proposed: (1) the Old Chinese non labialized voiced uvular stop evolved to Middle Chinese y- (???) rather than hj- (???) in Pan's theory (which implies that Middle Chinese y- has two sources in Old Chinese: *1- and *G-); (2) uvulars and labio-uvulars evolve to MC velars when preceded by a minor syllable. This explains why velars and uvulars frequently alternate in phonetic series. The article also explores the evolution of (labio)uvulars in the context of different prefixes.

In: Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale
Winner of the 2015 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award
Also available in paperback. The work is also included in the Chinese-English Dictionary Online.

A Student’s Dictionary of Classical and Medieval Chinese is the long-desired Chinese – English reference work for all those reading texts dating from the Warring States period through the Tang dynasty. Comprising 8,000+ characters, arranged alphabetically by Pinyin.
As a lexicon meant for practical use, it immensely facilitates reading and translating historical, literary, and religious texts dating from approximately 500 BCE to 1000 CE. Being primarily a dictionary of individual characters (zidian 字典) and the words they represent, it also includes an abundance of alliterative and echoic binomes (lianmianci 連綿詞) as well as accurate identifications of hundreds of plants, animals, and assorted technical terms in various fields. It aims to become the English-language resource of choice for all those seeking assistance in reading texts dating from the Warring States period through the Tang dynasty.
Previous Chinese-English dictionaries have persistently mixed together without clarification all eras and styles of Chinese. But written Chinese in its 3,000 year history has changed and evolved even more than English has in its mere millennium, with classical and medieval Chinese differing more from modern standard Chinese than the language of Beowulf or even that of Chaucer differs from modern English. This dictionary takes the user straight into the language of early and medieval texts, without the confusion of including meanings that developed only after 1000 CE. An added feature of the dictionary is its identification of meanings that were not developed and attached to individual graphs until the medieval period (approximately 250-1000 CE), setting these off where possible from earlier usages of the same graphs.
Those who have, or are acquiring, a basic understanding of classical grammar, whether approaching the language from a background either in modern Chinese or Japanese, will find it eases their labors appreciably and helps to solve countless problems of interpretation. Advanced students will find it to be the one reference work they want always close at hand.
The dictionary has an index by “radical” and stroke-number, and contains various appendices, including one with reign-eras and exact accession dates of emperors given according to both Chinese and Western calendars.

Corrections have been provided by William Baxter for some of the Middle Chinese (MC) readings in this revised edition of the dictionary. These are also reflected in the online version of the dictionary, available through chinesereferenceshelf.brillonline.com/chinese-english. They are also available in a downloadable file on this page under More Information for those who have purchased the first edition of this work.
Since its fi rst publication in 2014, A Student's Dictionary of Classical and Medieval Chinese has proven itself the essential resource for reading and translating historical, literary, and religious texts dating from approximately 500 BCE to 1000 CE.
This third edition has been extensively revised and expanded, with over a thousand additions and improvements to existing entries, plus numerous wholly new entries. Referencing more than 8,300 characters, it also includes an abundance of alliterative and echoic binomes (lianmianci), accurate identifications of hundreds of plants, animals, and assorted technical terms in various fields, as well as the Middle Chinese reconstructed pronunciation of every character, and various useful appendices.