ABC Etymological Dictionary of Old Chinese by Axel Schuessler

By Axel Schuessler

This is often the 1st real etymological dictionary of outdated chinese language written in any language. As such, it constitutes a milestone in learn at the evolution of the Sinitic language team. while past reviews have emphasised the constitution of the chinese language characters, this pathbreaking dictionary areas fundamental emphasis at the sounds and meanings of Sinitic roots. in line with greater than 3 a long time of extensive research in basic and secondary assets, this thoroughly new dictionary locations previous chinese language squarely in the Sino-Tibetan language relations (including shut attention of diverse Tiberto-Burman languages), whereas paying due regard to different language households reminiscent of Austroasiatic, Miao-Yao (Hmong-Mien), and Kam-Tai.

Designed to be used through nonspecialists and experts alike, the dictionary is very obtainable, being prepared in alphabetical order and possessed of diverse cutting edge lexicographical gains. each one access deals a number of attainable etymologies in addition to reconstructed pronunciations and different appropriate facts. phrases which are morphologically similar are grouped jointly into ''word families'' that try and make specific the derivational or different etymological methods that relate them. The dictionary is preceded via a important and demanding creation that outlines the author’s perspectives at the linguistic place of chinese language inside Asia and info the phonological and morphological houses, to the measure they're identified, of the earliest phases of the chinese and its ancestor. This creation, since it either summaries and synthesizes past paintings and makes a number of unique contributions, services as an invaluable reference paintings all by itself.

The ABC Etymological Dictionary of outdated chinese language is a enormous fulfillment within the historical past of chinese language linguistics, supplying many new hypotheses and systematically comparing and incorporating prior scholarship. it will likely be warmly welcomed by means of students in a large choice of China- and Asia-related fields, together with early chinese, literature, tradition, and idea in addition to the wider cultural-linguistic panorama of prehistorical East and Southeast Asia.

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1 Tone Bfrom Sino-Tibetan *-? Tone B can be part of the root. In some words it goes back to the ST level because some OC open syllable words with tone B correspond to Kuki-Chin and Chepang words, which are also reconstructible with a final glottal stop (Chepang still has final -1). The first several items in the list below are taken from Ostapirat (LTBA 21:1,1998: 238f) with WB and LHan forms added. The agreement in final *-? is particularly persuasive because the first seven items have been selected without Chinese in mind.

ST *baus 'to bark'. 10 Semantic extension The unknown is metaphorically expressed by something known; the abstract is usually derived from the concrete: 'shake' > 'fear'; 'keep in the mouth' > 'dissatisfied, resentment'; 'rise' > 'anger'; 'cold' > 'grieved'; 'thick' > 'generous'; 'white' > 'understand'; 'black' > 'evil'; 'get the better of' > 'be able'; 'carry, bear' > 'endure'; 'heart' > 'mind'; 'gaIl' > 'courage'; 'sun' > 'day'. Metaphors become new words. Chinese shares many metaphors with other languages, including English.

8). Rain yu [wa B] 'rain' > yu ~ [wa A ] 'sacrifice with prayer for rain' 'Rain' yu is a widely attested ST word; it can be set up as ST *wa? (with final glottal stop) on the strength of Kuki-Chin and Chepang forms in addition to Me. This rules out the possibility that 'rain' is a tone B derivation from 'sacrifice for rain', which would also be semantically implausible. 5); 'to rain' fits this pattern, so that tone B may have been felt to be this morpheme rather than part of the root. 'Sacrifice for rain' was then created as a back formation by removal of the alleged suffix tone B.

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