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date: 31 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter introduces the phonological structure of Qieyun切韵 ‘Segmenting Rhymes’, a rhyme dictionary of Middle Chinese (MC), its relationship with Old and Middle Chinese phonologies, and its impact on the study of the history of Chinese phonology. Qieyun depicts the literary pronunciation system in Luoyang洛阳 and Nanjing南京 around the 7th century. Due to the fact that the significant influences wielded by the Central Plains dialect(s) on the surrounding dialects all happened in MC, close phonological correspondences have been found not only between MC and the resulting literary pronunciations in various Chinese dialects but also between MC and the pronunciations of documented Chinese borrowings in Japanese, Vietnamese, and Korean. And this has enabled us to reconstruct MC phonology through the historical and comparative studies.

Keywords: Qieyun, rhyme dictionary, Middle Chinese, Old Chinese, phonological structure, historical and comparative studies

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