New PDF release: A handbook of 'Phags-pa Chinese

By W. South Coblin

ISBN-10: 0824830008

ISBN-13: 9780824830007

ISBN-10: 1435666011

ISBN-13: 9781435666016

Phags-pa chinese language is the earliest type of the chinese to be written in a systematically devised alphabetic script. it truly is named after its author, a super thirteenth-century Tibetan scholar-monk who additionally served as political adviser to Kublai Khan. 'Phags-pa's invention of an alphabet for the Mongolian language is still an awfully very important accomplishment, either conceptually and essentially. With it he completed not anything lower than the production of a unified script for the entire quite a few peoples within the Mongolian empire, together with the primary Asian Turks and Sinitic-speaking Chinese.

'Phags-pa is of enormous significance for the examine of premodern chinese language phonology. in spite of the fact that, the script is tough to learn and interpret, and secondary fabrics on it are scattered and never simply bought. the current ebook is meant as a pragmatic advent to 'Phags-pa chinese language reviews and a advisor for interpreting and examining the script. It includes elements. the 1st half is an introductory part comprising 4 chapters. this is often by means of a thesaurus of 'Phags-pa chinese language kinds and their corresponding chinese language characters, including pinyin and stroke order indexes to these characters.The first introductory bankruptcy outlines the discovery of the 'Phags-pa writing procedure, summarizes the main different types of fabric preserved in it, and describes the ancient and linguistic contexts within which this invention happened. Following chapters element the background of 'Phags-pa stories, the alphabet and its interpretation, and the salient positive aspects of the underlying sound method represented by way of the script, evaluating it with these of assorted later kinds of chinese language which have been recorded in alphabetic resources.

A instruction manual of 'Phags-pa Chinese should be of particular curiosity to chinese language ancient phonologists and students excited about the background and tradition of China and vital Asia throughout the Yuan interval (A.D. 1279–1368).

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Extra info for A handbook of 'Phags-pa Chinese

Example text

5 of Chapter 1 above, that it may have been a lingua franca of late JIn/late Southern Song times, and in particular one which was used in the personal entourage of Prince Qubilai (later Emperor Sh'izu of Yuan). Historical accounts indicate that the Chinese members of this retinue were educated persons from different parts of China (Rachewiltz 1966). And it flies in the face of all we know about polite discourse in late traditional and early modem China to assume, as is sometimes still done, that such persons would have attempted to talk to each other in the regional vernaculars of their several native areas.

An even "broader" reconstruction is offered by Ning (1997: 185-188). Jiinast and Yfmg also provide a syllabic index (150-157) for the MGZY text that is somewhat comparable to the synopsis given by Nakano. Their table is arranged by page number of the original manuscript and gives below this the 'Phags-pa orthographic head forms for each entry line, in romanized transcription. These forms are not numbered, but in subsequent references to them they are nonetheless denoted by number. , but in the index itself one must count the romanized forms in order to locate a particular line.

In fact, he left a 36 The 'Phags-pa Alphabet description of its phonetic characteristics. However, it seems virtually certain that at that time many speakers from various areas of north China did not make the distinction when speaking the koine. Again, the fit between an established standard pronunciation system and the spoken realization of that system can be imperfect for many, and in some cases perhaps even the majority, of speakers. But the speakers themselves do not recognize this as an inconsistency, and they do not view such imperfect fits as flaws in need of correction.

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