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's named after its writer, 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 is still a very very important accomplishment, either conceptually and virtually. With it he completed not anything below the construction of a unified script for all the various peoples within the Mongolian empire, together with the principal Asian Turks and Sinitic-speaking Chinese.‘Phags-pa is of big value for the examine of premodern chinese language phonology. notwithstanding, the script is tough to learn and interpret, and secondary fabrics on it are scattered and never simply received. the current publication is meant as a realistic advent to ‘Phags-pa chinese language stories and a consultant for analyzing and analyzing the script. It comprises elements. the 1st half is an introductory part comprising 4 chapters. this is often by way of a thesaurus of ‘Phags-pa chinese language types and their corresponding chinese language characters, including p?ny?n and stroke order indexes to these characters. the 1st introductory bankruptcy outlines the discovery of the ‘Phags-pa writing procedure, summarizes the key forms of fabric preserved in it, and describes the ancient and linguistic contexts during which this invention happened. Following chapters aspect the heritage of ‘Phags-pa stories, 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 assorted later types of chinese language which were recorded in alphabetic sources.A instruction manual of ‘Phags-pa chinese language may be of targeted curiosity to chinese language old phonologists and students all in favour of the historical past and tradition of China and relevant Asia through the Yuan interval (1279–1368 A.D.).
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Additional resources for A Handbook of 'Phags-pa Chinese (ABC Chinese Dictionary Series)
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 numbered entry lines are keyed to the page numbers of the Kansai University and Luo and Cai facsimiles. Thus, one can juxtapose this list with whichever facsimile one has in hand and match any particular line in both.
22Regarding how this was done, see Ning (loc. ). 21 A Handbook of 'Phags-pa Chinese 23Substantial portions of this section are taken from Coblin (1999: 87-91). 24The names and identities of many of these individuals are known. See Rachewiltz (1966). 25Some major published theories are that it represents: (1) the pronunciation of the Yuan-time city of Dada, (2) the pronunciation of the Kaifeng/Luoyfmg area, or (3) a general north Chinese koine pronunciation rather than the sound system of a particular place or region.
Following this, in 1930 Aleksandr Dragunov made extensive use of Karlgren's "Ancient Chinese" system to discuss the phonology of 'Phags-pa Chinese. In the same year, there appeared in Japan an article by Oshibuchi Hajime (1930) which is characterized by Nakano (1971: 17, n. 17) as parallel to Dragunov' s. Oshibuchi used not Karlgren' s system but the structure of the Zhongyuan yfnyim to study the 'Phags-pa material. His work is noteworthy for the fact that he also consulted a copy of the British MGZY manuscript.