Old Chinese phonology

Old Chinese phonology

The phonology of Old Chinese describes the language reflected by the rhymes of the Shijing and the phonetic components of Chinese characters, corresponding to the earlier half of the 1st millennium BC. Scholars have attempted to reconstruct the sounds of this language by comparing this data with what is known of Middle Chinese. Many details are still disputed, but most recent reconstructions agree on the basic structure. It is widely agreed that unlike later forms of the language, Old Chinese allowed consonant clusters at the beginning and end of the syllable, the latter developing into tone distinctions in Middle Chinese.


Syllable structure

Although many details are still disputed, recent formulations are in substantial agreement on the core issues.[1] For example, the Old Chinese initial consonants recognized by Li Fang-Kuei and William Baxter are given below, with Baxter's (mostly tentative) additions given in parentheses:[2][n 1]

Nasal Lateral Fricative/
Labials p b m
Dentals t d n l (r̥) r
Sibilants ts tsʰ dz s (z)
Palatals[n 2] (j̥) (j)
Velars k g ŋ̊ ŋ
Labiovelars kʷʰ ŋ̊ʷ ŋʷ
Laryngeals ʔ h (ɦ)
Labiolaryngeals ʔʷ (w)

Most scholars reconstruct clusters of s- with other consonants, and possibly other clusters as well, but this area remains unsettled.[5]

In recent reconstructions, such as the widely accepted system of Baxter, the rest of the Old Chinese syllable consists of

  • an optional medial -r-, -j- or the combination -rj-
  • one of six vowels:
i ə u
e o
  • an optional coda, which could be a glide -j or -w, a nasal -m, -n or , or a stop -p, -t, -k or -kʷ,
  • an optional post-coda or -s.

In such systems, Old Chinese has no tones; the rising and departing tones of Middle Chinese are treated as reflexes of the Old Chinese post-codas.[6]


The reconstruction of Old Chinese often starts from "Early Middle Chinese", the phonological system of the Qieyun, a rhyme dictionary published in 601, with many revisions and expansions over the following centuries. These dictionaries indicated pronunciation by dividing a syllable into an initial consonant and the rest, called the final. According to its preface, the Qieyun did not reflect a single contemporary dialect, but incorporated distinctions made in different parts of China at the time (a diasystem). Rhyme tables from the Song dynasty contain a sophisticated feature analysis of the Qieyun initials and finals, though not a full phonemic analysis. Moreover they were influenced by the different pronunciations of that later period. Scholars have attempted to determine the phonetic content of the various distinctions by examining pronunciations in modern varieties and loans in Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese (the Sinoxenic materials), but many details regarding the finals are still disputed.[7]

The Qieyun distinguishes the following initials, each traditionally named with an exemplary word and classified according to the rhyme table analysis:[8]

Initials of Early Middle Chinese
Labials[n 3] [p] [pʰ] [b] [m]
Dentals[n 4] [t] [tʰ] [d] [n] [l]
Retroflex stops [ʈ] [ʈʰ] [ɖ] [ɳ]
Dental sibilants [ts] [tsʰ] [dz] [s] [z]
Retroflex sibilants [tʂ] [tʂʰ] [dʐ] [ʂ]     [ʐ][n 5]
Palatal sibilants[n 6] [tɕ] [tɕʰ] [dʑ][n 7] [ɲ] [ɕ] [ʑ][n 7] [j][n 8]
Velars [k] [kʰ] [ɡ] [ŋ]
Laryngeals[n 9] [ʔ] [x] / [ɣ][n 8]

The Qing philologist Qian Daxin discovered that the Middle Chinese dental and retroflex stop series were not distinguished in Old Chinese.[16] The resulting inventory of 32 initials (omitting the rare initial [ʐ]) is still used by some scholars within China, such as He Jiuying.[17]

Evidence from phonetic series

Cover page with the name of the book in small seal characters
The cover of a modern reprint of a Song dynasty copy of the Shuowen Jiezi, an early source on the structure of characters

Although the Chinese writing system is not alphabetic, comparison of words whose characters share a phonetic element (a phonetic series) yields much information about pronunciation. Often the characters in a phonetic series are still pronounced alike, as in the character 中 (zhōng, "middle"), which was adapted to write the words chōng ("pour", 沖) and zhōng ("loyal", 忠).[18] In other cases the words in a phonetic series have very different sounds in any known variety of Chinese, but are assumed to have been similar at the time the characters were chosen.[19]

A key principle, first proposed by the Swedish sinologist Bernhard Karlgren, holds that the initials of words written with the same phonetic component had a common point of articulation in Old Chinese. For example, since Middle Chinese dentals, retroflex stops and palatal sibilants occur together in phonetic series, they are traced to a single Old Chinese dental series, with the retroflex stops and palatal sibilants conditioned by Old Chinese medials *-r- and *-j- respectively. The Middle Chinese dental sibilants and retroflex sibilants also occur interchangeably in phonetic series, and are similarly traced to a single Old Chinese sibilant series, with the retroflex sibilants conditioned by the Old Chinese medial *-r-.[20][n 10]

However there are several cases where quite different Middle Chinese initials appear together in a phonetic series. Karlgren and subsequent workers have proposed either additional Old Chinese consonants or initial consonant clusters in such cases. For example, it is proposed that the *-r- medial could occur after labials and velars, complementing the instances proposed as sources of Middle Chinese retroflex dentals and sibilants, to account for such connections as[22][n 11][n 12]

  • pjet (< *pr-) "writing pencil" and 律 ljwet (< *br-) "law, rule"[25]
  • kam (< *kr-) "look at" and 藍 lâm (< *gr-) "indigo"[26]

Thus the Middle Chinese lateral l- is believed to reflect the Old Chinese medial *-r-. Old Chinese voiced and voiceless laterals *l- and *l̥- are proposed to account for a different group of series such as

  • dwât (< *l-) and thwât (< *l̥-) "peel off", 悅 jwät (< *lj-) "pleased" and 說 śjwät (< OC l̥j-) "speak"[27][n 13]

Voiceless nasal initials *m̥-, *n̥- and *ŋ̊- are proposed (following Dong Tonghe and Edwin Pulleyblank) in series such as[28]

  • mək "ink" and 黑 xək (< *m̥-) "black"[29]
  • nân "difficult" and 灘 thân (< *n̥-) "foreshore"[30]
  • ngjak "cruel" and 謔 xjak (< *ŋ̊-) "to ridicule"[31]

Clusters *sn- and so on are proposed (following Karlgren) for alternations of Middle Chinese nasals and s- such as

  • ńźjwo (< *nj-) "resemble" and 絮 sjwo- (< *snj-) "raw silk"[32]

Other cluster initials, including *s with stops or stops with *l, have been suggested but their existence and nature remains an open question.[33]

Back initials

The Song dynasty rhyme tables classified Qieyun syllables as either "open" (開 kāi) or "closed" (合 ), with the latter believed to indicate a medial -w- or lip rounding.[34] This medial was unevenly distributed, being distinctive only after velar and laryngeal initials or before -ai, -an or -at. This is taken (following Sergei Yakhontov) to indicate that Old Chinese had labiovelar and labiolaryngeal initials but no labiovelar medial. The remaining occurrences of Middle Chinese -w- are believed to result from breaking of a back vowel before these codas (see Vowels below).[35]

Pan Wuyun has proposed a revision of the above scheme to account for the fact that words with Middle Chinese laryngeal initials occurred together in phonetic series, unlike dental stops and fricatives, which were usually separated. Instead of the glottal stop initial *ʔ- and fricatives *h- and *ɦ-, he proposed uvular stops *q-, *qʰ- and *ɢ-, and similarly labio-uvular stops *qʷ-, *qʷʰ- and *ɢʷ- in place of *ʔʷ-, *hʷ- and *w-.[36]

Evidence from Min Chinese

Modern Min Chinese varieties, particularly inland ones, show reflexes of distinctions not reflected in Middle Chinese. For example, the following dental initials have been identified in reconstructed proto-Min:[37]

Voiceless stops Voiced stops Nasals Laterals
Example word
Proto-Min initial t -t th d -d dh n nh l lh
Middle Chinese initial t th d n l

Other points of articulation show similar distinctions within stops and nasals. The phonetic values of the proto-Min initials are uncertain, except for the voicing distinction, which is inferred from the development of Min tones. The evidence of words shared with Miao–Yao languages suggests that the "softened stops" such as -t and -d were prenasalized.[38]

Most workers assume that these distinctions date from the Old Chinese period, but they are not reflected in the widely accepted inventory of Old Chinese initials given above. For example, although Old Chinese is believed to have had both voiced and voiceless nasals, only the voiced ones yield Middle Chinese nasals, corresponding to both sorts of proto-Min nasal. The Old Chinese antecedents of these distinctions are not yet agreed, with researchers proposing a variety of consonant clusters.[39][n 14]


The most contentious aspect of the rhyme tables is their classification of the Qieyun finals into four divisions (等 děng).[n 15] Most scholars believe that finals of divisions I and IV contained back and front vowels respectively. Division II is believed to represent retroflexion, and is traced back to the Old Chinese *-r- medial discussed above, while division III is usually taken as indicating a -j- medial.[41] Since Karlgren, many scholars have projected this medial (but not -w-) back onto Old Chinese. The following table shows Baxter's account of the Old Chinese initials and medials leading to the combinations of initial and final types found in Early Middle Chinese.[42]

EMC initial type EMC final type
3 4
Labials *P- *Pr- *Prj- *Pj- *P-
Dental stops *T- *T-
Retroflex stops *Tr- *Trj-
Dental sibilants *TS- *TSj- *TS-
Retroflex sibilants *TSr- *TSrj-
Palatals *Tj-, *Kj-
Velars, laryngeals *K- *Kr- *Krj- *Kj- *K-
*Kʷ- *Kʷr- *Kʷrj- *Kʷj- *Kʷ-

Here P, T, TS, K and Kʷ stand for consonant classes in Old Chinese. Columns III-3 and III-4 represent the chóngniǔ distinction among some syllables with division-III finals, which are placed in rows 3 or 4 of the Song dynasty rhyme tables. The two are generally identical in modern Chinese varieties, but Sinoxenic forms often have a palatal element for III-4 but not III-3.[43][n 16]

Baxter's account departs from the earlier reconstruction of Li Fang-Kuei in its treatment of *-j- and *-rj- after labial and guttural initials. Li proposed *Krj- as the source of palatal initials occurring in phonetic series with velars or laryngeals, found no evidence for *Prj-, and attributed the chongniu distinction to the vowel. Following proposals by Pulleyblank, Baxter explains chongniu using *-rj- and postulates that plain velars and laryngeals were palatalized when followed by both *-j- (but not *-rj-) and a front vowel. However a significant number of palatalizations are not explained by this rule.[45]

Alternatives to the palatal medial

A number of scholars have suggested that the medial -j- of Middle Chinese, which is reconstructed in over half of the syllables of the Qieyun, was a secondary development not present in Old Chinese. Evidence includes the use of such syllables to transcribe foreign words lacking any such medial, the lack of the medial in Tibeto-Burman cognates and modern Min reflexes, and the fact that it is ignored in phonetic series.[46] Nonetheless, scholars agree that the difference reflects a real phonological distinction of some sort, which (following Pulleyblank) is often described noncommittally as a distinction between type A and B syllables (the latter having division-III finals), using a variety of notations.[47] The distinction has been variously ascribed to:

  • the presence or absence of a prefix. Jakhontov held that type B reflected a prefix *d-,[48] while Ferlus suggested that type A arose from an unstressed prefix *Cə- (a minor syllable), which conditioned syllabic tenseness contrasting with laxness in type B syllables.[49]
  • a length distinction of the main vowel. Pulleyblank initially proposed that type B syllables had longer vowels,[50] but Starostin and Zhengzhang later proposed long vowels for type A and short vowels for type B.[51]
  • a prosodic distinction, as later proposed by Pulleyblank.[50]
  • pharyngealization of the initial consonant. Norman suggested that the more numerous type B syllables (which he called type C) were in fact unmarked in Old Chinese. Instead, he proposed that the remaining syllables were marked by retroflexion (the *-r- medial) or pharyngealization, either of which prevented palatalization in Middle Chinese.[52]


A Qing dynasty scholar in traditional dress
Gu Yanwu, who began the systematic study of Shijing rhymes

A reconstruction of Old Chinese finals must explain the rhyming practice of the Shijing, a collection of songs and poetry compiled in the 6th century BC. Again some of these songs still rhyme in modern varieties of Chinese, but many do not. This was attributed to lax rhyming practice until the late-Ming dynasty scholar Chen Di argued that a former consistency had been obscured by sound change. The systematic study of Old Chinese rhymes began in the 17th century, when Gu Yanwu divided the rhyming words of the Shijing into ten groups (韻部 yùnbù). These rhyme groups were subsequently refined by other scholars, culminating in a standard set of 31 in the 1930s. One of these scholars, Duan Yucai, stated the important principle that characters in the same phonetic series would be in the same rhyme group, making it possible to assign almost all words to rhyme groups.[53]

Assuming that rhyming syllables had the same main vowel, Li Fang-Kuei proposed a system of four vowels *i, *u, *ə and *a. He also included three diphthongs *, *ia and *ua to account for syllables that were placed in rhyme groups reconstructed with *ə or *a but were distinguished in Middle Chinese.[54] In the late 1980s, Zhengzhang Shangfang, Sergei Starostin and William Baxter (following Nicholas Bodman) independently argued that these rhyme groups should be split, refining the 31 traditional rhyme groups into more than 50 groups corresponding to a six-vowel system.[55] Baxter supported this thesis with a statistical analysis of the rhymes of the Shijing, though there were too few rhymes with codas *-p, *-m and *-kʷ to produce statistically significant results.[56]

The following table illustrates these analyses, listing the names of the 31 traditional rhyme groups with their Middle Chinese reflexes and their postulated Old Chinese vowels in the systems of Li and Baxter. Following the traditional analysis, the rhyme groups are organized into three parallel sets, depending on the corresponding type of coda in Middle Chinese. For simplicity, only Middle Chinese finals of divisions I and IV are listed, as the complex vocalism of divisions II and III is believed to reflect the influence of Old Chinese medials *-r- and *-j- (see previous section).[57][n 17]

Shijing rhyme groups and Middle Chinese reflexes in divisions I and IV OC vowels
MC vocalic coda
MC stop coda
MC nasal coda
Li Baxter
-əp -əm -ə- -ə-, -o-, -u-
-ep -em -iə- -i-
/ -âp -âm -a- -a-
-ep -em -ia- -e-
-ei -et -en -i- -i-
-əi / -ət / -ən -ə- -u-
-ei -et -en -iə- -ə-
[n 18] -ei -et -en -ia- -e-
-âi -ât -ân -a- -a-
-wâ -wâi -wât -wân -ua- -o-
/ -ei -ek -eng -i- -e-
-əi -ək -əng -ə- -ə-
-o -âk -âng -a- -a-
-əu -uk -ung -u- -o-
-âu / -ok / -ong -ə-w -u-
-eu -ek -iə-w -i-w
-âu -âk, -ok, -uk -a-w -a-w
-eu -ek -ia-w -e-w
-w: Old Chinese finals reconstructed with labiovelar codas

Tones and final consonants

There has been much controversy over the relationship between final consonants and tones, and indeed whether Old Chinese lacked the tones characteristic of later periods, as first suggested by the Ming dynasty scholar Chen Di.[n 19]

The four tones of Middle Chinese were first described by Shen Yue around AD 500. They were the "level" (平 píng), "rising" (上 shǎng), "departing" (去 ), and "entering" (入 ) tones, with the last category consisting of the syllables ending in stops (-p, -t or -k).[60] Although rhymes in the Shijing usually respect these tone categories, there are many cases of characters that are now pronounced with different tones rhyming together in the songs, mostly between the departing and entering tones. This led Duan Yucai to suggest that Old Chinese lacked the departing tone. Jiang Yougao and Wang Niansun decided that the language had the same tones as Middle Chinese, but some words had later shifted between tones, a view that is still widely held among linguists in China.[61]

Karlgren also noted many cases where words in the departing and entering tones shared a phonetic element, e.g.

  • lâi- "depend on" and 剌 lât "wicked"[62]
  • khəi- "cough" and 刻 khək "cut, engrave"[63]

He suggested that the departing tone words in such pairs had ended with a final voiced stop (*-d or *-g) in Old Chinese.[64] Being unwilling to split rhyme groups, Dong Tonghe and Li Fang-Kuei extended these final voiced stops to whole rhyme groups. The only exceptions were the 歌 and 祭 groups (Li's *-ar and *-ad), in which the traditional analysis already distinguished the syllables with entering tone contacts. The resulting scarcity of open syllables has been criticized on typological grounds.[65] Wang Li preferred to reallocate words with connections to the entering tone to the corresponding entering tone group, proposing that the final stop was lost after a long vowel.[66]

Another perspective is provided by Haudricourt's demonstration that the tones of Vietnamese, which have a very similar structure to those of Middle Chinese, were derived from earlier final consonants. The Vietnamese counterparts of the rising and departing tones derived from a final glottal stop and *-s respectively, the latter developing to a glottal fricative *-h. These glottal post-codas respectively conditioned rising and falling pitch contours, which became distinctive when the post-codas were lost. Haudricourt suggested a similar derivation for the Chinese departing tone. The connection with stop finals would then be explained as syllables ending with *-ts or *-ks, with the stops later disappearing, allowing rhymes with open syllables. The absence of a corresponding labial final could be attributed to early assimilation of *-ps to *-ts. Pulleyblank supported the theory with several examples of syllables in the departing tone being used to transcribe foreign words ending in -s into Chinese, and also suggested that *-s acted as a derivational suffix.[67]

Pulleyblank took Haudricourt's suggestion to its logical conclusion, proposing that the Chinese rising tone had also arisen from a final glottal stop.[68] Mei Tsu-lin supported this theory with evidence from early transcriptions of Sanskrit words, and pointed out that rising tone words end in a glottal stop in some modern Chinese dialects, e.g. Wenzhou and some Min dialects.[69] In addition, most of the entering tone words that rhyme with rising tone words in the Shijing end in -k.[70]

Together, these hypotheses lead to the following set of Old Chinese syllable codas:[71]

MC vocalic coda MC stop coda MC nasal coda
*-p *-m *-mʔ *-ms
*-j *-jʔ *-js *-ts *-t *-n *-nʔ *-ns
*-∅ *-ʔ *-s *-ks *-k *-ŋ *-ŋʔ *-ŋs
*-w *-wʔ *-ws *-kʷs *-kʷ

Baxter also speculated on the possibility of a glottal stop occurring after oral stop finals. The evidence is limited, and consists mainly of contacts between rising tone syllables and -k finals, which could alternatively be explained as phonetic similarity.[72]


  1. ^ Reconstructed Old Chinese forms follow Baxter (1992) with some graphical substitutions from his more recent work: "ə" for "ɨ"[3] and consonants rendered according to IPA conventions.
  2. ^ Baxter describes his reconstruction of the palatal initials as "especially tentative, being based largely on scanty graphic evidence".[4]
  3. ^ The rhyme tables describe a later stage in which labiodental fricatives were also distinguished.[9]
  4. ^ It is not clear whether these had an alveolar or dental articulation. They are mostly alveolar in modern Chinese varieties.[10]
  5. ^ The [ʐ] initial occurs in only two words and in the Qieyun, and is merged with [dʐ] in the later Guangyun. It is omitted in many reconstructions, and has no standard Chinese name.[11]
  6. ^ The retroflex and palatal sibilants were treated as a single series in the later rhyme tables.[12]
  7. ^ a b The initials 禪 and 船 are reversed from their positions in the rhyme tables, which are believed to have confused them.[13]
  8. ^ a b In the rhyme tables, the palatal allophone of [ɣ] (云) is combined with [j] (以) as a single initial 喻.[14]
  9. ^ The point of articulation of the fricatives is not clear, and varies between the modern varieties.[15]
  10. ^ In 1940, Karlgren published the first complete reconstruction of Old Chinese in a dictionary called the Grammata Serica, in which characters are arranged by phonetic series within rhyme groups. The 1957 revision Grammata Serica Recensa (GSR) remains a standard reference, even though Karlgren's reconstructions have been superseded by the work of later scholars such as Wang Li, E. G. Pulleyblank, Li Fang-Kuei and William Baxter.[21]
  11. ^ Karlgren originally postulated Old Chinese consonant clusters with -l- in such cases.[23]
  12. ^ Middle Chinese forms are given in Li Fang-Kuei's revision of Karlgren's notation,[24] with minor simplifications suggested by Coblin (1986), p. 9.
  13. ^ Originally proposed as voiced and voiceless fricative initials in Pulleyblank (1962a), pp. 114–119.
  14. ^ Baxter & Sagart (2011) derive the additional initials from two nasal prefixes, either of which can be fused or attached as a minor syllable.
  15. ^ Finals of divisions I, II and IV occurred only in rows 1, 2 and 4 of the rhyme tables respectively, while division III finals occurred in rows 2, 3 or 4 depending on the initial.[40]
  16. ^ The precise nature of the chóngniǔ distinction in Middle Chinese is disputed. In their Middle Chinese reconstructions, Li and Baxter distinguish them by using -ji- as a purely notational device for III-4.[44]
  17. ^ Each rhyme group was named after one of the corresponding Guangyun rhymes, with the choice sometimes varying between authors.[58]
  18. ^ The 祭 group included departing tone words only.[59]
  19. ^ Chinese: “四聲之辯,古人未有。” in Chen Di (1541–1617), Máo Shī Gǔ Yīn Kǎo 《毛詩古音考》, quoted in Wang (2008), p. 72.


  1. ^ Schuessler (2009), p. x.
  2. ^ Li (1974–75), p. 237; Norman (1988), p. 46; Baxter (1992), pp. 188–215.
  3. ^ Schuessler (2007), p. 122.
  4. ^ Baxter (1992), p. 203.
  5. ^ Baxter (1992), pp. 222–232.
  6. ^ Baxter (1992), pp. 178–185.
  7. ^ Baxter (1992), pp. 32–44; Norman (1988), pp. 24–42.
  8. ^ Baxter (1992), pp. 45–59.
  9. ^ Baxter (1992), pp. 46–49.
  10. ^ Baxter (1992), p. 49.
  11. ^ Baxter (1992), pp. 56–57, 206.
  12. ^ Baxter (1992), pp. 54–55.
  13. ^ Baxter (1992), pp. 52–54.
  14. ^ Baxter (1992), pp. 55–56, 59.
  15. ^ Baxter (1992), p. 58.
  16. ^ Norman (1988), p. 44.
  17. ^ He (1991), pp. 69–75.
  18. ^ GSR 1007a,p,k.
  19. ^ Norman (1988), pp. 43–44.
  20. ^ Li (1974–75), pp. 228–232; Baxter (1992), pp. 191–196, 203–206.
  21. ^ Schuessler (2009), p. ix.
  22. ^ Li (1974–75), pp. 240–241; Baxter (1992), pp. 199–202.
  23. ^ Pulleyblank (1962a), pp. 110–111.
  24. ^ Li (1974–75), pp. 224–227.
  25. ^ GSR 502d,c; Baxter (1992), pp. 280, 775.
  26. ^ GSR 609a,k; Baxter (1992), p. 201.
  27. ^ GSR 324a,o,m,q; Baxter (1992), p. 197.
  28. ^ Pulleyblank (1962a), p. 92.
  29. ^ GSR 904c,a; Baxter (1992), p. 189.
  30. ^ GSR 152c,m; Baxter (1992), p. 193.
  31. ^ GSR 1118a,d; Baxter (1992), p. 208.
  32. ^ GSR 94g,u; Baxter (1992), p. 222.
  33. ^ Li (1974–75), pp. 241–243; Baxter (1992), pp. 227–234.
  34. ^ Norman (1988), p. 32.
  35. ^ Li (1974–75), pp. 233–234; Baxter (1992), p. 180.
  36. ^ Sagart (2007).
  37. ^ Norman (1973); Norman (1988), pp 228–229.
  38. ^ Norman (1986).
  39. ^ Baxter (1992), pp. 187, 219–220.
  40. ^ Baxter (1992), pp. 64, 66, 67, 69.
  41. ^ Norman (1988), pp. 32, 36–38; Baxter (1992), pp. 64–81.
  42. ^ Handel (2003), p. 555; Baxter (1992), pp. 235–290.
  43. ^ Baxter (1992), pp. 63, 75–79, 282–287.
  44. ^ Li (1974–75), p. 224; Baxter (1992), p. 63.
  45. ^ Handel (2003), p. 555; Pulleyblank (1962a), pp. 98–107; Baxter (1992), pp. 210–214, 280.
  46. ^ Baxter (1992), pp. 287–290; Norman (1994), pp. 400–402.
  47. ^ Pulleyblank (1977–78), pp 183–185; Norman (1994), p. 400; Schuessler (2007), p. 95.
  48. ^ Baxter (1992), p. 288; Norman (1994), p. 400.
  49. ^ Ferlus (2001), pp. 305–307.
  50. ^ a b Pulleyblank (1992), p. 379.
  51. ^ Handel (2003), p. 550; Zhengzhang (1991), pp. 160–161; Zhengzhang (2000), pp. 48–57.
  52. ^ Norman (1994).
  53. ^ Baxter (1992), pp. 150–170; Norman (1988), pp. 42–44.
  54. ^ Li (1974–75), pp. 243–247.
  55. ^ Zhengzhang (2000), pp. 42–43; Starostin (1989), pp. 343–429; Bodman (1980), p. 47; Baxter (1992), pp. 180, 253–254, 813; Baxter (2006).
  56. ^ Baxter (1992), pp. 560–562.
  57. ^ Tabulation of rhyme groups from Pulleyblank (1977–78), p. 181 and Norman (1988), p. 48. Data from Baxter (1992), pp. 141–150, 170, 243–246, 254–255, 298–302 and Li (1974–75), pp. 252–279.
  58. ^ Baxter (1992), p. 141.
  59. ^ Baxter (1992), p. 389.
  60. ^ Baxter (1992), p. 303.
  61. ^ Baxter (1992), pp. 304–305; Wang (2008), pp. 72–77.
  62. ^ GSR 272e,a.
  63. ^ GSR 937s,v.
  64. ^ Karlgren (1923), pp. 27–30.
  65. ^ Baxter (1992), pp. 331–333.
  66. ^ Baxter (1992), pp. 340–342.
  67. ^ Baxter (1992), pp. 308–317; Norman (1988), pp. 54–57; Pulleyblank (1962b), pp. 216–224.
  68. ^ Pulleyblank (1962b), pp. 225–227.
  69. ^ Mei (1970).
  70. ^ Baxter (1992), p. 322.
  71. ^ Baxter (1992), pp. 181–183.
  72. ^ Baxter (1992), pp. 323–324.
Works cited

Further reading

  • Zhengzhang, Shangfang (2003) (in Chinese), Shànggǔ Yīnxì 上古音系, Shanghai: Shànghǎi Jiàoyù Chūbǎn Shè, ISBN 978-7-5320-9244-4. 

External links

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Databases of reconstructions

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  • Old Japanese — 上古日本語, 上代日本語 Spoken in Japan Era Evolved into Early Middle Japanese during the Heian period Language family …   Wikipedia

  • Old Xiang — Old Hunanese, Lou Shao Spoken in People s Republic of China Region Hunan Language family Sino Tibetan …   Wikipedia

  • Chinese language — Unless otherwise specified, Chinese texts in this article are written in (Simplified Chinese/Traditional Chinese; Pinyin) format. In cases where Simplified and Traditional Chinese scripts are identical, the Chinese term is written once. Chinese… …   Wikipedia

  • Chinese languages — or Sinitic languages Family of languages comprising one of the two branches of Sino Tibetan. They are spoken by about 95% of the inhabitants of China and by many communities of Chinese immigrants elsewhere. Linguists regard the major dialect… …   Universalium