Download A handbook of 'Phags-pa Chinese by W. South Coblin PDF

By W. South Coblin

Phags-pa chinese language is the earliest kind of the chinese to be written in a systematically devised alphabetic script. it's named after its writer, 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 vital accomplishment, either conceptually and essentially. With it he completed not anything below the production of a unified script for the entire a number of peoples within the Mongolian empire, together with the valuable Asian Turks and Sinitic-speaking Chinese.

'Phags-pa is of gigantic significance for the learn of premodern chinese language phonology. even though, the script is tough to learn and interpret, and secondary fabrics on it are scattered and never simply bought. the current publication is meant as a pragmatic creation to 'Phags-pa chinese language experiences and a advisor for interpreting and reading the script. It comprises components. the 1st half is an introductory part comprising 4 chapters. this can be by way of a word list of 'Phags-pa chinese language varieties 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 method, 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 heritage of 'Phags-pa experiences, the alphabet and its interpretation, and the salient positive aspects of the underlying sound method represented by means of the script, evaluating it with these of varied later kinds of chinese language which have been recorded in alphabetic resources.

A instruction manual of 'Phags-pa Chinese should be of unique curiosity to chinese language old phonologists and students serious about the background and tradition of China and principal Asia through the Yuan interval (A.D. 1279–1368).

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Additional resources for A handbook of 'Phags-pa Chinese

Sample text

There is therefore nothing implausible about finding it in another fonn of standard pronunciation from two centuries earlier. A different type of objection to the phonetic reality of a 'Phags-pa zhuo class has m 38 The 'Phags-pa Alphabet been raised by Cheng (1985: 50). He cites an interesting set of examples from the 'Phags-pa inscriptions where, when faced with the practical task of producing Chinese texts in the 'Phags-pa script, the writers failed to maintain the zhuo distinction consistently.

At the end of the list (1971: 133-134), Cheng Tsai Fa's supplementary material is added. Nakano's consecutive numbering system is exceedingly useful and greatly facilitates access to the MGZY data. It is this system which has been adopted in the Glossary section of the present handbook. Mantaro J. Hashimoto dealt extensively with 'Phags-pa Chinese in his doctoral dissertation on Ancient Chinese, which was completed in 1965 but not published until much later (Hashimoto 1978-79). Throughout the late 1960s and on into the 1970s he wrote often on 'Phags-pa matters.

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.

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