The Chinese Rime Tables
Linguistic philosophy and historical-comparative phonology
This book, the first in its field in a Western language, examines China’s native phonological tool with regard to reconstruction, theory, and linguistic philosophy.<br />After an introductory essay on the nature of the tables and the history of their interpretation, the book concentrates on three areas: application of rime table theory to reconstruction, the history of rime table theory, and the application of the tables to descriptive linguistics. An appendix details a number of 20th century systems for transcribing their phonology into Roman letters.<br />Major topics include Altaic contact-influence on Chinese, early native understanding of the tables’ meaning, the phonological work of Yuen Ren Chao, and <i>Stammbaumtheorie</i>/diasystemic thinking about Chinese. New reconstructions of Han and “Common Dialectal” phonology appear here, as do complete texts and translations of the Shouwen fragments and <i>Yunjing</i> preface.