ABC Etymological Dictionary of Old Chinese

ABC Etymological Dictionary of Old Chinese

Axel Schuessler
Copyright Date: 2007
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt6wr0n4
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    ABC Etymological Dictionary of Old Chinese
    Book Description:

    This is the first genuine etymological dictionary of Old Chinese written in any language. As such, it constitutes a milestone in research on the evolution of the Sinitic language group. Whereas previous studies have emphasized the structure of the Chinese characters, this pathbreaking dictionary places primary emphasis on the sounds and meanings of Sinitic roots. Based on more than three decades of intensive investigation in primary and secondary sources, this completely new dictionary places Old Chinese squarely within the Sino-Tibetan language family (including close consideration of numerous Tiberto-Burman languages), while paying due regard to other language families such as Austroasiatic, Miao-Yao (Hmong-Mien), and Kam-Tai. Designed for use by nonspecialists and specialists alike, the dictionary is highly accessible, being arranged in alphabetical order and possessed of numerous innovative lexicographical features. Each entry offers one or more possible etymologies as well as reconstructed pronunciations and other relevant data. Words that are morphologically related are grouped together into "word families" that attempt to make explicit the derivational or other etymological processes that relate them. The dictionary is preceded by a substantive and significant introduction that outlines the author’s views on the linguistic position of Chinese within Asia and details the phonological and morphological properties, to the degree they are known, of the earliest stages of the Chinese language and its ancestor. This introduction, because it both summarizes and synthesizes earlier work and makes several original contributions, functions as a useful reference work all on its own.

    eISBN: 978-0-8248-6133-9
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-x)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. ARRANGEMENT OF THE DICTIONARY
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  6. SYMBOLS AND ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. xvii-xx)
  7. 1 OLD CHINESSE AND ETYMOLOGY
    (pp. 1-11)

    Old Chinese (OC = ‘archaic Chinese’,Shànggǔ Hànyǔ上古漢語) is the language of texts and documents from the beginning of writing, around 1250 BC, to the Hàn period. See §12.1.2 for the characteristics of the OC language as well as for its subsequent stages: Later Han Chinese (LH, LHan), ca. 2nd–3rd cent. AD; Old Northwest Chinese (ONW) of ca. AD 400; Middle Chinese (MC = ‘ancient Chinese’,Zhōnggǔ Hànyǔ中古漢語)of about AD 600, which is widely quoted as a reference for historical phonological categories; and later transcriptions of Chinese, The different stages of written Chinese probably represent koines which...

  8. 2 MORPHOLOGY AND WORD DERIVATION
    (pp. 12-28)

    Comments and discussions on morphology and morphemes are divided between this chapter, which provides a broad overview, and later chapters and sections, which deal with specific phonemes and morphemes.

    OC hasno inflectional morphology;all morphology serves the purpose of derivingnew wordsfrom stems or other words (Beard 1998: 44ff: Aronoff and Anshen 1998:239). A word’s grammatical role is determined (1) by its position and use in a sentence and (2) by its inherent word class.

    OC word order is SVO (subject — verb — indirect object — direct object; the few exceptions have no bearing on etymology and do not concern...

  9. 3 MIDDLE CHINESE TONES AND THEIR OLD CHINESE EQUIVALENTS
    (pp. 29-37)

    MC and LHan had three tones: tone A (píngshēng平聲 = ‘even’ or ‘level’ tone), tone B (shăngshēng上聲= ‘rising’ tone), and tone C (qùshēng去聲 = ‘falling’ or ‘departing’ tone), and, according to traditional Chinese phonological analysis, tone D (rùshēng入聲= ‘entering’ tone) for words which end in a stop consonant (p, t, k), i.e., this short-stopped syllabic type was toneless. These tonal categories are projected back to OC where tone A is thought to have been an open syllabic or one ending in a nasal, tone B marked a syllable with a glottal stop in the final (or...

  10. 4 TONES B, C, AND VOICING: DIRECTION AND DIATHESIS
    (pp. 38-50)

    Because MC toncs and phonemes at issue are projected back to identical ones in LHan, subsequently examples will often he cited in simpler LHan forms.

    A dichotomy in direction and causativity is well recognized in Chinese (e.g., Mei 1980; Takashima 1996: 446) and also in Tibeto-Burman languages (STC:105); note introvert – extrovert / causative pairs like ‘to hear’– ‘to ask’ in both CH and TB languages (MatisoffD, of Lahu: 726f; .J. SunLTBA16.2, 1993: 152). These are therefore already Sino-Tibetan categories; furthermore CH and TB languages share the two ST morphemes that mark this distinction:...

  11. 5 INITIAL CONSONANTS
    (pp. 51-67)

    Because MC initial consonants and other phonemes are projected back to (nearly) identical ones in LHan. subsequently examples will often be cited in simpler LHan forms.

    Most of the OC – TB or foreign initial consonant equations are straightforward:m- = m-, p-ph~ b = p- ~ ph- ~ b-, etc. For unusual correspondences with laterals and semivowels, see §7–§10. Voiced initials are discussed in other contexts:...

  12. 6 FINAL CONSONANTS
    (pp. 68-79)

    Because MC final consonants, tones, and other phonemes are projected back to identical ones in LHan, subsequently examples will often be cited in simpler LHan forms.

    To account for variations in final consonants in ST cognate sets and within wfs, such aswú ~ wăngnot have’bái‘100’ < *brak ~ PTB *brya, we can, according to LaPolla (BIHP65.1, 1994: 131–173), either (1) reconstruct a very complex proto-language using phonetic symbols (for example, final *-g as done by Karlgren and Li Fang Kuei, e.g., MCkâk : kuo< OC *kâk : *kâg), or (2) use non-phonemic symbols...

  13. 7 OLD CHINESE AND FOREIGN *R
    (pp. 80-87)

    Many different MC / LHan reflexes are believed to derive from OC *r: initiall-; retroflex consonants; QYS div. II andchóngniŭdiv. III vocalism; final-nor-i; or no trace at all. Because MC initial and final consonants and other phonemes are projected back to (nearly) identical ones in LHan, subsequently examples will often be cited in simpler LHan forms.

    MC / LHan initiall-< OC *r- frequently alternates with velars, but with other initials also, in phonetic series as well as wfs. It typically corresponds to foreignr-in the initial. However, the foreign equivalents usually...

  14. 8 OLD CHINESE AND FOREIGN *L
    (pp. 88-93)

    Middle Chinese initialji-/ LHanj-derives often from OC *l-, but also corresponds to OC * j- (§9) and OC *wi-(§10). This initial MCji-< OC *1- alternates in phonetic series with MCd-, ṭh-, śj-, ḍj-as well ashj-(see §12.1.2 Table 12-1). In one type of initial consonant cluster, MCt-is also associated with *1 (§8.2.1). LHan initials are practically the same as in MC, therefore often the simpler LHan forms will be provided as illustrations. OC L-like initials are:...

  15. 9 INITIAL AND MEDIAL J AND THE MIDDLE CHINESE DIVISIONS (等)
    (pp. 94-99)

    The Song Dynasty rime tables, which interpret theQićyùn, divide syllables within a traditional rime category into four “divisions” or “grades” (těng奪). Karlgren’s MC div. III is characterized by a medial jod glide (-ḭ- =Li Fang Kuei’s-j-), div. I and IV are jod-less (IV has a vocalic medialiin Karlgren’s system), and II contrasts with I/IV in having a vowel of a more centered timbre which resulted from loss of OC medial *-r-. Thus the QYS divisions within a traditional MC set are:...

  16. 10 INITIAL AND MEDIAL *W
    (pp. 100-101)

    MCjw-(div. III) goes back to LHan and OC *w- (Karlgren’s *gḭw-, LiF.jwi-). ST*w- is preserved in many TB languages; in WT it has disappeared completely. Examples for the survival of ST *w- in CH are numerous (see dictionary part under W), for example:...

  17. 11 OLD CHINESE VOWELS AND THEIR FOREIGN COUNTERPARTS
    (pp. 102-118)

    OC and TB phonemes agree rather closely, but consistent correspondence involving *e, *ə, and *i, and especially *o and *u within TB and ST, is often elusive. See §12 for the vowels of individual TB languages.

    Vowel alternationsdo occasionally occur within OC wfs. For this present work we shall keep wfs and words with different vowels separate, unless we have some compelling cases such as near-homonyms with minimal phonological contrast.

    For the rare inversion of elements in a diphthong, see the comments under 一 něi 駿 ‘hungry’ and 一 shuāi 表 ‘diminish,.

    Vowel lengthwas not distinguished in OC...

  18. 12 TRANSLITERATIONS OF FREQUENTLY QUOTED LANGUAGES
    (pp. 119-130)

    This chapter deals with frequently cited languages; they are, in alphabetical order: 12.1 Chinese, 12.2 Jingpo, 12.3 Lushai, 12.4 Mikir, 12.5 Tai, 12.6 Tibeto-Burman, 12.7 Tiddim Chin, 12.8 Written Burmese, 12.9 Written Tibetan.

    This work draws mostly on languages that are reasonably well studied and understood, with extensive lexica and recorded tones, when applicable. TB languages which are cited in addition to the above include: Lepcha, Kanauri, Tamang-Gurung-Thakali-Manangba (TGTM), PTani (=Abor-Miri-Dafla), Chepang, as well as Proto-Lolo-Burmese ([P]LB) and Northern Naga (NNaga). Furthermore, Austroasiatic (AA) / Mon-Khmer (MK) languages—Proto–Viet-Muong (PVM), Khmer, and Proto-Monic (PMon). Miao-Yao (MY =Hmong-Mien) is cited...

  19. APPENDIX A: LANGUAGES AND LANGUAGE FAMILIES IN EAST ASIA
    (pp. 131-133)
  20. APPENDIX B: ALPHABETIC LIST OF FREQUENTLY CITED LANGUAGES
    (pp. 134-135)
  21. APPENDIX C: TEXT SOURCES FOR EARLIEST OCCURRENCES
    (pp. 136-137)
  22. REFERENCES
    (pp. 138-148)
  23. DICTIONARY A - Z

  24. ENGLISH INDEX
    (pp. 639-656)
  25. Back Matter
    (pp. 657-658)