Matteo Ricci, S. J. was one of the founding figures of the Jesuit China missions. His 1602 map of the world in Chinese characters introduced the findings of European exploration to East Asia, he is considered a Servant of God by the Roman Catholic Church. Ricci arrived at the Portuguese settlement of Macau in 1582 where he began his missionary work in China, he became the first European to enter the Forbidden City of Beijing in 1601 when invited by the Wanli Emperor, who sought his services in matters such as court astronomy and calendrical science. He converted several prominent Chinese officials to Catholicism, such as Xu Guangqi, who aided in translating Euclid's Elements into Chinese as well as the Confucian classics into Latin for the first time. Ricci was born 6 October 1552, in Macerata, part of the Papal States, today a city in the Italian region of Marche, he studied law at Rome for two years. He entered the Society of Jesus in April 1571 at the Roman College. While there, in addition to philosophy and theology, he studied mathematics and astronomy under the direction of Christopher Clavius.
In 1577, he applied for a missionary expedition to the Far East. He sailed from Lisbon, Portugal in March 1578 and arrived in Goa, a Portuguese Colony, the following September. Ricci remained there employed in teaching and the ministry until the end of Lent 1582, when he was summoned to Macau to prepare to enter China. Ricci arrived at Macau in the early part of August. In August 1582, Ricci arrived at a Portuguese trading post on the South China Sea. At the time, Christian missionary activity in China was completely limited to Macau, where some of the local Chinese people had converted to Christianity and lived in the Portuguese manner. No Christian missionary had attempted to learn the Chinese language until 1579, when Michele Ruggieri was invited from Portuguese India expressly to study Chinese, by Alessandro Valignano, founder of St. Paul Jesuit College, to prepare for the Jesuits' mission from Macau into Mainland China. Once in Macau, Ricci studied customs, it was the beginning of a long project that made him one of the first Western scholars to master Chinese script and Classical Chinese.
With Ruggieri, he traveled to Guangdong's major cities and Zhaoqing, seeking to establish a permanent Jesuit mission outside Macau. In 1583, Ricci and Ruggieri settled in Zhaoqing, at the invitation of the governor of Zhaoqing, Wang Pan, who had heard of Ricci's skill as a mathematician and cartographer. Ricci stayed in Zhaoqing from 1583 to 1589, it was in Zhaoqing, in 1584, that Ricci composed the first European-style world map in Chinese, called "Da Ying Quan Tu". No prints of the 1584 map are known to exist, but, of the much improved and expanded Kunyu Wanguo Quantu of 1602, six recopied, rice-paper versions survive, it is thought that, during their time in Zhaoqing and Ruggieri compiled a Portuguese-Chinese dictionary, the first in any European language, for which they developed a system for transcribing Chinese words in the Latin alphabet. The manuscript was misplaced in the Jesuit Archives in Rome, rediscovered only in 1934, published only in 2001. There is now a memorial plaque in Zhaoqing to commemorate Ricci's six-year stay there, as well as a "Ricci Memorial Centre" in a building dating from the 1860s.
Expelled from Zhaoqing in 1589, Ricci obtained permission to relocate to Shaoguan in the north of the province, reestablish his mission there. Further travels saw Ricci reach Nanjing and Nanchang in 1595. In August 1597, Alessandro Valignano, his superior, appointed him Major Superior of the mission in China, with the rank and powers of a Provincial, a charge that he fulfilled until his death, he moved to Tongzhou in 1598, first reached the capital Beijing itself on 7 September 1598. However, because of a Chinese intervention against Japanese invasion of Korea at the time, Ricci could not reach the Imperial Palace. After waiting for two months, he left Beijing. During the winter of 1598, with the help of his Jesuit colleague Lazzaro Cattaneo, compiled another Chinese-Portuguese dictionary, in which tones in Chinese syllables were indicated in Roman text with diacritical marks. Unlike Ricci's and Ruggieri's earlier Portuguese-Chinese dictionary, this work has not been found. In 1601, Ricci was invited to become an adviser to the imperial court of the Wanli Emperor, the first Westerner to be invited into the Forbidden City.
This honor was in recognition of Ricci's scientific abilities, chiefly his predictions of solar eclipses, which were significant events in the Chinese world. He established the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Beijing, the oldest Catholic church in the city. Ricci was given free access to the Forbidden City but never met the reclusive Wanli Emperor, however, granted him patronage, with a generous stipend and supported Ricci's completion of the Zhifang Waiji, China's first global atlas. Once established in Beijing, Ricci was able to meet important officials and leading members of the Beijing cultural scene and convert a number of them to Christianity. One conversion, which he called "extraordinary", occurred in 1602, when Li Yingshi, a decorated veteran of the Japanese/Korean War and a well-known astrologer and feng shui exper
Jin dynasty (1115–1234)
The Jin dynasty known as the Great Jin, lasted from 1115 to 1234 as one of the last dynasties in Chinese history to predate the Mongol invasion of China. Its name is sometimes written as Kin, Jurchen Jin or Jinn in English to differentiate it from an earlier Jìn dynasty of China whose name is identical when transcribed without tone marker diacritics in the Hanyu Pinyin system for Standard Chinese, it is sometimes called the "Jurchen dynasty" or the "Jurchen Jin", because its founding leader Aguda was of Wanyan Jurchen descent. The Jin emerged from Taizu's rebellion against the Liao dynasty, which held sway over northern China until the nascent Jin drove the Liao to the Western Regions, where they became known as the Western Liao. After vanquishing the Liao, the Jin launched an over hundred-year struggles against the Chinese Song dynasty, based in southern China. Over the course of their rule, the Jurchens of Jin adapted to Chinese customs, fortified the Great Wall against the rising Mongols.
Domestically, the Jin oversaw a number of cultural advancements, such as the revival of Confucianism. The Mongols invaded the Jin under Genghis Khan in 1211 and inflicted catastrophic defeats on their armies. Though the Jin seemed to suffer a never-ending wave of defeats, revolts and coups, they proved to have tenacity; the Jin succumbed to Mongol conquest 23 years in 1234. The Jin dynasty was known as the "Great Jin" at that time. Furthermore, the Jin emperors referred to their state as Zhongguo like some other non-Han dynasties. Non-Han rulers expanded the definition of "China" to include non-Han peoples in addition to Han people whenever they ruled China. Jin documents indicate that the usage of "China" by dynasties to refer to themselves began earlier than thought; the Jin dynasty was created in modern Jilin and Heilongjiang by the Jurchen tribal chieftain Aguda in 1115. According to tradition, Aguda was a descendant of Hanpu. Aguda adopted the term for "gold" as the name of his state, itself a translation of "Anchuhu" River, which meant "golden" in Jurchen.
This river known as Alachuke in Chinese, was a tributary of the Songhua River east of Harbin. The Jurchens' early rival was the Khitan-led Liao dynasty, which had held sway over modern north and northeast China and Mongolia, for several centuries. In 1121, the Jurchens entered into the Alliance Conducted at Sea with the Han Chinese-led Northern Song dynasty and agreed to jointly invade the Liao dynasty. While the Song armies faltered, the Jurchens succeeded in driving the Liao to Central Asia. In 1125, after the death of Aguda, the Jin dynasty broke its alliance with the Song dynasty and invaded north China; when the Song dynasty reclaimed the southern part of the Liao where Han Chinese lived, they were "fiercely resisted" by the Han Chinese population there, under Liao rule, while when the Jurchens invaded that area, the Han Chinese did not oppose them at all and handed over the Southern Capital to them. The Jurchens were supported by the Beijing-based noble Han clans; the Han Chinese who worked for the Liao were viewed as hostile enemies by the Song dynasty.
Song Han Chinese defected to the Jin. One crucial mistake that the Song made during this joint attack was the removal of the defensive forest it built along the Song-Liao border; because of the removal of this landscape barrier, in 1126/27, the Jin army marched across the North China Plain to Bianjing. On 9 January 1127, the Jurchens ransacked Kaifeng, the capital of the Northern Song dynasty, capturing both Emperor Qinzong and his father, Emperor Huizong, who had abdicated in panic in the face of the Jin invasion. Following the fall of Bianjing, the succeeding Southern Song dynasty continued to fight the Jin dynasty for over a decade signing the Treaty of Shaoxing in 1141, which called for the cession of all Song territories north of the Huai River to the Jin dynasty and the execution of Song general Yue Fei in return for peace; the peace treaty was formally ratified on 11 October 1142. Having conquered Kaifeng and occupied North China, the Jin deliberately chose earth as its dynastic element and yellow as its royal color.
According to the theory of the Five Elements, the earth element follows the fire, the dynastic element of the Song, in the sequence of elemental creation. Therefore, this ideological move shows that the Jin regarded the Song reign of China was over and themselves as the rightful ruler of China Proper. After taking over Northern China, the Jin dynasty became sinicised. About three million people, half of them Jurchens, migrated south into northern China over two decades, this minority governed about 30 million people; the Jurchens were given land grants and organised into hereditary military units: 300 households formed a moukecode: zho promoted to code: zh and 7–10 moukescode: zho promoted to code: zh formed a meng-ancode: zho promoted to code: zh. Many married Han Chinese, although the ban on Jurchen nobles marrying Han Chinese was not lifted until 1191. After Emperor Taizong died in 1135, the next three Jin emperors were grandsons of Aguda by three different princes. Emperor Xizong wrote Chinese poetry.
He adopted Han Chinese cultural traditions. In life, Emperor Xizong became an alcoholic and executed many officials for criticising him, he had Jurchen leaders who opposed him murdered those in the Wanyan clan. In 1149 he was murdered by a cabal of relatives and nobles, who made his cous
Middle Chinese or the Qieyun system is the historical variety of Chinese recorded in the Qieyun, a rime dictionary first published in 601 and followed by several revised and expanded editions. The Swedish linguist Bernard Karlgren believed that the dictionary recorded a speech standard of the capital Chang'an of the Sui and Tang dynasties. However, based on the more recovered preface of the Qieyun, most scholars now believe that it records a compromise between northern and southern reading and poetic traditions from the late Northern and Southern dynasties period; this composite system contains important information for the reconstruction of the preceding system of Old Chinese phonology. The fanqie method used to indicate pronunciation in these dictionaries, though an improvement on earlier methods, proved awkward in practice; the mid-12th-century Yunjing and other rime tables incorporate a more sophisticated and convenient analysis of the Qieyun phonology. The rime tables attest to a number of sound changes that had occurred over the centuries following the publication of the Qieyun.
Linguists sometimes refer to the system of the Qieyun as Early Middle Chinese and the variant revealed by the rime tables as Late Middle Chinese. The dictionaries and tables describe pronunciations in relative terms, but do not give their actual sounds. Karlgren was the first to attempt a reconstruction of the sounds of Middle Chinese, comparing its categories with modern varieties of Chinese and the Sino-Xenic pronunciations used in the reading traditions of neighbouring countries. Several other scholars have produced their own reconstructions using similar methods; the Qieyun system is used as a framework for the study and description of various modern varieties of Chinese. Branches of the Chinese family such as Mandarin, Yue and Wu can be treated as divergent developments from it; the study of Middle Chinese provides for a better understanding and analysis of Classical Chinese poetry, such as the study of Tang poetry. The reconstruction of Middle Chinese phonology is dependent upon detailed descriptions in a few original sources.
The most important of these is its revisions. The Qieyun is used together with interpretations in Song dynasty rime tables such as the Yunjing and the Qieyun zhizhangtu and Sisheng dengzi; the documentary sources are supplemented by comparison with modern Chinese varieties, pronunciation of Chinese words borrowed by other languages, transcription into Chinese characters of foreign names, transcription of Chinese names in alphabetic scripts, evidence regarding rhyme and tone patterns from classical Chinese poetry. Chinese scholars of the Northern and Southern dynasties period were concerned with the correct recitation of the classics. Various schools produced dictionaries to codify reading pronunciations and the associated rhyme conventions of regulated verse; the Qieyun was an attempt to merge the distinctions in six earlier dictionaries, which were eclipsed by its success and are no longer extant. It was accepted as the standard reading pronunciation during the Tang dynasty, went through several revisions and expansions over the following centuries.
The Qieyun is thus the oldest surviving rime dictionary and the main source for the pronunciation of characters in Early Middle Chinese. At the time of Bernhard Karlgren's seminal work on Middle Chinese in the early 20th century, only fragments of the Qieyun were known, scholars relied on the Guangyun, a much expanded edition from the Song dynasty. However, significant sections of a version of the Qieyun itself were subsequently discovered in the caves of Dunhuang, a complete copy of Wang Renxu's 706 edition from the Palace Library was found in 1947; the rime dictionaries organize Chinese characters by their pronunciation, according to a hierarchy of tone and homophony. Characters with identical pronunciations are grouped into homophone classes, whose pronunciation is described using two fanqie characters, the first of which has the initial sound of the characters in the homophone class and second of which has the same sound as the rest of the syllable; the use of fanqie was an important innovation of the Qieyun and allowed the pronunciation of all characters to be described exactly.
The fanqie system uses multiple equivalent characters to represent each particular initial, for finals. The categories of initials and finals represented were first identified by the Cantonese scholar Chen Li in a careful analysis published in his Qièyùn kǎo. Chen's method was to equate two fanqie initials whenever one was used in the fanqie spelling of the pronunciation of the other, to follow chains of such equivalences to identify groups of spellers for each initial or final. For example, the pronunciation of the character 東 was given using the fanqie spelling 德紅, the pronunciation of 德 was given as 多特, the pronunciation of 多 was given as 德河, from which we can conclude that the words 東, 德 and 多 all had the same initial sound; the Qieyun classified homonyms under 193 rhyme classes, each of, placed within one of the four tones. A single rhyme class may contain multiple finals differing only in the medial or in so-called chongniu doublets; the Yunjing is the oldest of the so-called rime tables, which p
Standard Chinese known as Modern Standard Mandarin, Standard Mandarin, Modern Standard Mandarin Chinese, or Mandarin, is a standard variety of Chinese, the sole official language of China, the de facto official language of Taiwan and one of the four official languages of Singapore. Its pronunciation is based on the Beijing dialect, its vocabulary on the Mandarin dialects, its grammar is based on written vernacular Chinese. Like other varieties of Chinese, Standard Chinese is a tonal language with topic-prominent organization and subject–verb–object word order, it has more initial consonants but final consonants and tones than southern varieties. Standard Chinese is an analytic language, though with many compound words. There are two standardised forms of the language, namely Putonghua in Mainland China and Guoyu in Taiwan. Aside from a number of differences in pronunciation and vocabulary, Putonghua is written using simplified Chinese characters, Guoyu is written using traditional Chinese characters.
Many characters are identical between the two systems. In Chinese, the standard variety is known as: 普通话 in the People's Republic of China, as well as Hong Kong and Macau. Standard Chinese is commonly referred to by generic names for "Chinese", notably 中文. In total, there have been known over 20 various names for the language; the term Guoyu had been used by non-Han rulers of China to refer to their languages, but in 1909 the Qing education ministry applied it to Mandarin, a lingua franca based on northern Chinese varieties, proclaiming it as the new "national language". The name Putonghua has a long, albeit unofficial, history, it was used as early as 1906 in writings by Zhu Wenxiong to differentiate a modern, standard Chinese from classical Chinese and other varieties of Chinese. For some linguists of the early 20th century, the Putonghua, or "common tongue/speech", was conceptually different from the Guoyu, or "national language"; the former was a national prestige variety. Based on common understandings of the time, the two were, in fact, different.
Guoyu was understood as formal vernacular Chinese, close to classical Chinese. By contrast, Putonghua was called "the common speech of the modern man", the spoken language adopted as a national lingua franca by conventional usage; the use of the term Putonghua by left-leaning intellectuals such as Qu Qiubai and Lu Xun influenced the People's Republic of China government to adopt that term to describe Mandarin in 1956. Prior to this, the government used both terms interchangeably. In Taiwan, Guoyu continues to be the official term for Standard Chinese; the term Guoyu however, is less used in the PRC, because declaring a Beijing dialect-based standard to be the national language would be deemed unfair to speakers of other varieties and to the ethnic minorities. The term Putonghua, on the contrary, implies nothing more than the notion of a lingua franca. During the government of a pro-Taiwan independence coalition, Taiwan officials promoted a different reading of Guoyu as all of the "national languages", meaning Hokkien and Formosan as well as Standard Chinese.
Huayu, or "language of the Chinese nation" simply meant "Chinese language", was used in overseas communities to contrast Chinese with foreign languages. Over time, the desire to standardise the variety of Chinese spoken in these communities led to the adoption of the name "Huayu" to refer to Mandarin; this name avoids choosing a side between the alternative names of Putonghua and Guoyu, which came to have political significance after their usages diverged along political lines between the PRC and the ROC. It incorporates the notion that Mandarin is not the national or common language of the areas in which overseas Chinese live. Hanyu, or "language of the Han people", is another umbrella term used for Chinese. However, it has confusingly two different meanings: Standard Chinese; this term, as well as Hànzú, is a modern concept. A related concept is Hànzì; the term "Mandarin" is a translation of Guānhuà, which referred to the lingua franca of the late Chinese empire. The Chinese term is obsolete as a name for the standard language, but is used by linguists to refer to the major group of Mandarin dialects spoken natively across most of northern and southwestern China.
In English, "Mandarin" may refer to the standard language, the dialect group as a whole, or to historic forms such as the late Imperial lingua franca. The name "Modern Standard Mandarin" is sometimes used by linguists who wish to distinguish the current state of the shared language from other northern and historic dialects; the Chinese have different languages in different provinces, to such an extent
A writing system is any conventional method of visually representing verbal communication. While both writing and speech are useful in conveying messages, writing differs in being a reliable form of information storage and transfer; the processes of encoding and decoding writing systems involve shared understanding between writers and readers of the meaning behind the sets of characters that make up a script. Writing is recorded onto a durable medium, such as paper or electronic storage, although non-durable methods may be used, such as writing on a computer display, on a blackboard, in sand, or by skywriting; the general attributes of writing systems can be placed into broad categories such as alphabets, syllabaries, or logographies. Any particular system can have attributes of more than one category. In the alphabetic category, there is a standard set of letters of consonants and vowels that encode based on the general principle that the letters represent speech sounds. In a syllabary, each symbol correlates to a syllable or mora.
In a logography, each character represents morpheme, or other semantic units. Other categories include abjads, which differ from alphabets in that vowels are not indicated, abugidas or alphasyllabaries, with each character representing a consonant–vowel pairing. Alphabets use a set of 20-to-35 symbols to express a language, whereas syllabaries can have 80-to-100, logographies can have several hundreds of symbols. Most systems will have an ordering of its symbol elements so that groups of them can be coded into larger clusters like words or acronyms, giving rise to many more possibilities in meanings than the symbols can convey by themselves. Systems will enable the stringing together of these smaller groupings in order to enable a full expression of the language; the reading step expressed orally. A special set of symbols known as punctuation is used to aid in structure and organization of many writing systems and can be used to help capture nuances and variations in the message's meaning that are communicated verbally by cues in timing, accent, inflection or intonation.
A writing system will typically have a method for formatting recorded messages that follows the spoken version's rules like its grammar and syntax so that the reader will have the meaning of the intended message preserved. Writing systems were preceded by proto-writing, which used pictograms and other mnemonic symbols. Proto-writing lacked the ability to express a full range of thoughts and ideas; the invention of writing systems, which dates back to the beginning of the Bronze Age in the late Neolithic Era of the late 4th millennium BC, enabled the accurate durable recording of human history in a manner, not prone to the same types of error to which oral history is vulnerable. Soon after, writing provided a reliable form of long distance communication. With the advent of publishing, it provided the medium for an early form of mass communication; the creation of a new alphabetic writing system for a language with an existing logographic writing system is called alphabetization, as when the People's Republic of China studied the prospect of alphabetizing the Chinese languages with Latin script, Cyrillic script, Arabic script, numbers, although the most common instance of it, converting to Latin script, is called romanization.
Writing systems are distinguished from other possible symbolic communication systems in that a writing system is always associated with at least one spoken language. In contrast, visual representations such as drawings and non-verbal items on maps, such as contour lines, are not language-related; some symbols on information signs, such as the symbols for male and female, are not language related, but can grow to become part of language if they are used in conjunction with other language elements. Some other symbols, such as numerals and the ampersand, are not directly linked to any specific language, but are used in writing and thus must be considered part of writing systems; every human community possesses language, which many regard as an innate and defining condition of humanity. However, the development of writing systems, the process by which they have supplanted traditional oral systems of communication, have been sporadic and slow. Once established, writing systems change more than their spoken counterparts.
Thus they preserve features and expressions which are no longer current in the spoken language. One of the great benefits of writing systems is that they can preserve a permanent record of information expressed in a language. All writing systems require: at least one set of defined base elements or symbols, individually termed signs and collectively called a script. In the examination of individual scripts, the study of writing systems has developed along independent lines. Thus, the terminology employed differs somewhat from field to field; the generic term text refers to an instance of writte
Menggu Ziyun is a 14th-century rime dictionary of Chinese as written in the'Phags-pa script, used during the Yuan dynasty. The only surviving examplar of this dictionary is an 18th-century manuscript copy that belonged to Stephen Wootton Bushell, is now held at the British Library; as the only known example of a'Phags-pa script dictionary of Chinese, it is important both as an aid for interpreting Yuan dynasty texts and inscriptions written in Chinese using the'Phags-pa script, as a source for the reconstructed pronunciation of Old Mandarin. The British Library manuscript was acquired by the antiquarian and art historian S. W. Bushell when he worked as a physician at the British Legation in Beijing, China from 1868 to 1900 in 1872 during a trip to Inner Mongolia and the ruins of Shangdu, the fabled summer capital of the Yuan emperors known as "Xanadu" in English. In April 1909, a year after his death, Bushell's widow, Florence Bushell, sold the manuscript to the British Museum in London, it is now held by the British Library.
The manuscript is written on thin, brown paper, mounted on white backing paper and bound in two traditional stitched volumes, each 24.7 × 17.3 cm. Each folio of the manuscript is 22.5 × 28.8 cm in size, folded in half as is normal in stitch-bound volumes. The text is written in vertical columns running from left to right across the page, the opposite of traditional Chinese books, but follows the layout of Mongolian script and'Phags-pa texts; the first volume comprises an unnumbered title folio and 33 numbered folios, the second volume comprises an unnumbered title folio and 31 numbered folios, of which page 30b and 31a are blank except for the volume and page numbers. The missing section covers the rimes in -a and -e, as well as the first part of the appended Taboo Characters section, which Junast and Yang Naisi have calculated should take up three full folios; the manuscript does not indicate when and by whom it was copied, there are no ownership seals. However, on the basis of tabooed characters of Qing dynasty emperors, the manuscript has been dated to the Qianlong era.
The manuscript may be a second or third hand copy of an original Yuan dynasty edition, made by someone who did not understand the'Phags-pa script, so the'Phags-pa letters are poorly written or corrupted, there are many transcription errors such as missing and incorrectly written Chinese characters. Based on its format, the British Library manuscript of Menggu Ziyun is thought to be a copy of an earlier printed edition. Although no extant printed editions are known, one mid 19th century writer, Luo Yizhi 羅以智, mentions that he had seen a Yuan dynasty printed edition of the dictionary. Other Qing dynasty writers mention having seen manuscript copies of the text, but the British Library manuscript is now the only known copy; the British Library manuscript includes two prefaces in Chinese dated 1308, one by Liu Geng 劉更 and one by Zhu Zongwen 朱宗文 of Xin'an 信安. The prefaces both indicate that this edition of the dictionary was composed by Zhu Zongwen, but that it is a revised edition based on a collation of several editions that were in circulation at the time, including one edition published in Hubei and one edition published in Eastern Zhejiang.
The original'Phags-pa dictionary, ancestral to the 1308 edition was compiled by imperial order soon after the'Phags-pa script was devised in about 1269, intended for use in teaching the new script to Chinese officials. Two late 13th century books which may be related to Menggu Ziyun are recorded in Yuan dynasty sources, one called Měnggǔ Yùnlüè 蒙古韻略 and one called Měnggǔ Yùnlèi 蒙古韻類, compiled by Li Hongdao 李宏道. Although neither work is extant, it has been conjectured that they could be primary sources used by Zhu Zongwen in compiling his edition, or even earlier editions of Menggu Ziyun published under a different title. A preface for Měnggǔ Yùnlèi that has survived, it indicates that it used a system of 15 rime classes and 32 initials, similar to the system used in Menggu Ziyun; the book is written in Chinese using a mixture of Chinese characters and'Phags-pa transcription, with section titles and rime class headings given in both scripts. Only the two prefaces and the appended list of taboo characters are written in Chinese characters.
The title of the book in'Phags-pa script is anomalous in that it does not transcribe the corresponding Chinese characters as mong xol is not a transcription of the Chinese characters 蒙古, but is a direct phonetic representation of the Mongolian word ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠣᠯ mongɣol'Mongol'. The book comprises the following sections: Preface in Chinese written by Liu Geng 劉更 and dated 1308 Preface in Chinese written by Zhu Zongwen 朱宗文 and dated 1308 Table of errors in earlier editions of Menggu Ziyun that are corrected in this edition Diagram illustrating the pronunciation of'Phags-pa letters Table of the thirty-six initial sounds of Chinese in the'Phags-pa script Table of seal script forms of'Phags-pa letters Table of the fifteen Chinese rime classes under which the entries are ordered The main text of the dictionary Appendix listing taboo characters, derived from the Decrees and Regulations of Yuan dynasty The main text comprises 813 entries ordered by rime class and initial sound. Three folios coveri
Four tones (Middle Chinese)
The four tones of Chinese poetry and dialectology are four traditional tone classes of Chinese words. They play an important role in Chinese poetry and in comparative studies of tonal development in the modern varieties of Chinese, both in traditional Chinese and in Western linguistics, they correspond to the phonology of Middle Chinese, are named or level, rising and entering or checked. Due to historic splits and mergers, none of the modern varieties of Chinese have the exact four tones of Middle Chinese, but they are noted in rhyming dictionaries. According to the usual modern analysis, Early Middle Chinese had three phonemic tones in most syllables, but no tonal distinctions in checked syllables ending in the stop consonants /p/, /t/, /k/. In most circumstances, every syllable had its own tone. Traditional Chinese dialectology reckons syllables ending in a stop consonant as possessing a fourth tone, known technically as a checked tone; this tone is known in traditional Chinese linguistics as the entering tone, a term used in English as well.
The other three tones were termed the level tone, the rising tone, the departing tone. The practice of setting up the entering tone as a separate class reflects the fact that the actual pitch contour of checked syllables was quite distinct from the pitch contour of any of the sonorant-final syllables. Indeed, implicit in the organisation of the classical rime tables is a different, but structurally valid, phonemic analysis, which takes all four tones as phonemic and demotes the difference between stop finals and nasal finals to allophonic, with stops occurring in entering syllables and nasals elsewhere. From the perspective of modern historical linguistics, there is value in treating the "entering tone" as a tone regardless of its phonemic status, because syllables possessing this "tone" develop differently from syllables possessing any of the other three "tones". For clarity, these four "tones" are referred to as tone classes, with each word belonging to one of the four tone classes; this reflects the fact that the lexical division of words into tone classes is based on tone, but not all tone classes have a distinct phonemic tone associated with them.
Some contemporary fāngyán such as Taiwanese Hokkien and Penang are said to "preserve the entering tone", used as a marker to differentiate them from other varieties and genetically classify them via the comparative method. The four Early Middle Chinese tones are nearly always presented in the order level, departing and correspondingly numbered 1 2 3 4 in modern discussions. In Late Middle Chinese, each of the EMC tone classes split in two, depending on the nature of the initial consonant of the syllable in question. Discussions of LMC and the various modern varieties will number these split tone classes from 1 through 8, keeping the same ordering as before. For example, LMC/modern tone classes 1 and 2 derive from EMC tone class 1; the odd-numbered tone classes 1 3 5 7 are termed dark, whereas the even-numbered tone classes 2 4 6 8 are termed light. Hence, for example, LMC/modern tone class 5 is known in Chinese as the yīn qù tone, indicating that it is the yīn variant of the EMC qù tone. In order to clarify the relationship between the EMC and LMC tone classes, some authors notate the LMC tone classes as 1a 1b 2a 2b 3a 3b 4a 4b in place of 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8, where a and b correspond directly to Chinese yīn and yáng, respectively.
In Middle Chinese, each of the tone names carries the tone it identifies: 平 level ꜁biajŋ, 上 rising ꜃dʑɨaŋ, 去 departing kʰɨə꜄, 入 entering ȵip꜇. However, in some modern Chinese varieties, this is no longer true; this loss of correspondence is most notable in the case of the entering tone, syllables checked in a stop consonant, or in Middle Chinese, lost from most dialects of Mandarin and redistributed among the other tones. In modern Chinese varieties, tones that derive from the four Middle Chinese tone classes may be split into two registers and light depending on whether the Middle Chinese onset was voiceless or voiced, respectively; when all four tone-classes split, eight tones result: dark level, light level, dark rising, light rising, dark departing, light departing, dark entering, light entering. Sometimes these have been termed upper and lower registers but that may be a misnomer, as in some dialects the dark registers may have the lower tone, the light register the higher tone. Chinese dictionaries mark the tones with diacritical marks at the four corners of a character: ꜀平 level, ꜂上 rising, 去꜄ departing, 入꜆ entering.
When yin and yang tones are distinguished, these are the diacritics for the yin tones.