By W. South Coblin
Phags-pa chinese language is the earliest type of the chinese to be written in a systematically devised alphabetic script. it truly is named after its author, an excellent 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 continues to be a very very important accomplishment, either conceptually and essentially. With it he completed not anything under the construction of a unified script for the entire various peoples within the Mongolian empire, together with the relevant Asian Turks and Sinitic-speaking Chinese.
'Phags-pa is of big value for the research of premodern chinese language phonology. despite the fact that, the script is tough to learn and interpret, and secondary fabrics on it are scattered and never simply acquired. the current e-book is meant as a pragmatic creation to 'Phags-pa chinese language reports and a advisor for studying and reading the script. It involves components. the 1st half is an introductory part comprising 4 chapters. this can be via a thesaurus 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 key different types of fabric preserved in it, and describes the old and linguistic contexts during which this invention happened. Following chapters element the background of 'Phags-pa experiences, the alphabet and its interpretation, and the salient positive factors of the underlying sound procedure represented through the script, evaluating it with these of assorted later kinds of chinese language which were recorded in alphabetic resources.
A guide of 'Phags-pa Chinese could be of unique curiosity to chinese language historic phonologists and students eager about the heritage and tradition of China and critical Asia throughout the Yuan interval (A.D. 1279–1368).
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Extra info for A handbook of 'Phags-pa Chinese
An important contribution of this period is Nakano (1971). This monograph provides a comprehensive summary of 'Phags-pa studies and a detailed phonetic interpretation of the 'Phags-pa Chinese orthography. Of particular significance is a synopsis of the contents of the MGZY (105-134). In this section, all entry lines of the MGZY text are numbered consecutively. Both a paleographic transcription of the original spelling forms and a phonetic interpretation are given for each entry. This is followed by the head character of each true homophone group in the line, marked by tone.
The Menggii yunlei is discussed by Cheng (1965: 20-21), who mistakenly assigns to it the title Menggii yunbian ~~j'j~~ and states that it dates from a time much later than the MGZY. In his preface, Wang Yishan at one point characterizes the Menggii yunlei as a Menggu yunbian ~~i-l~ "compilation of Mongol rimes," but this clearly is not its formal title. Furthermore, it cannot date from as late as Cheng supposes, since Wang Ylshan had seen it before his death in 1287. i-l~~~ (Changsha: Hunan chubanshe, 1991, 121) correctly identifies U Hongdao **m: as the author of the Menggii yunlei, but then states that he was a person of the late sixteenth century.
This prevailing view of course deserves further study and verification, but at present there is at least no strong evidence against it. There is however, one further point which requires notice here. North of the Song lay the Khitan empire (907-1119), whose dynastic name in the Chinese histories was Lilio ~. For information on it we rely here primarily on Wittfogel (1949) and Twitchett and Tietze (1994). In 937, before the founding of Song, the short-lived nn 1J Dynasty had ceded to the Khitans an area known as the Sixteen 15 A Handbook of 'Phags-pa Chinese Prefectures (Yanyim shiliuzh5u ifM~+ /\1'['1), which corresponded roughly to the northern part of modem H6bei rEfit Province (Twitchett and Tietze 1994: 70-71).
A handbook of 'Phags-pa Chinese by W. South Coblin