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By W. South Coblin

Phags-pa chinese language is the earliest kind 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 continues to be an awfully vital accomplishment, either conceptually and virtually. With it he completed not anything lower than the construction of a unified script for the entire a variety of peoples within the Mongolian empire, together with the principal Asian Turks and Sinitic-speaking Chinese.

'Phags-pa is of substantial 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 acquired. the current publication is meant as a pragmatic creation to 'Phags-pa chinese language experiences and a consultant for interpreting and studying the script. It comprises elements. the 1st half is an introductory part comprising 4 chapters. this is often through 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 procedure, summarizes the key different types of fabric preserved in it, and describes the old and linguistic contexts within which this invention happened. Following chapters element the heritage of 'Phags-pa reviews, the alphabet and its interpretation, and the salient good points of the underlying sound process represented via 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 targeted curiosity to chinese language old phonologists and students fascinated by the historical past and tradition of China and significant Asia through the Yuan interval (A.D. 1279–1368).

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4518. 19 A Handbook of 'Phags-pa Chinese In the present study 'Phags-pa letters will be paleographically transliterated in boldface 3 type according to a system explained in detail in Chapter 3. The phonetic interpretation of the graphic elements is also discussed there. 4In the later technical terminology of traditional Chinese philology, the term niu m refers specifically to syllable initials. However, in pre-Qlng times it was less narrow and could denote both initials and finals. , refer to the traditional glossing practice used, for example, by Chinese Buddhist transcribers of Indic texts, wherein two or more characters are read together as a single syllable to transcribe Indic syllables containing consonant clusters or other foreign sound concatenations.

This principle must be kept in mind when we interpret the 'Phags-pa script. To wit, we must at the outset try to determine what phonetic features the framers meant to convey in their particular orthographic forms. The question of who could or could not meet these standards is a separate problem and must be addressed only after the standards themselves are fully understood. 3 Transliteration and Interpretation of the Alphabet Since the 'Phags-pa alphabet is derived in great part from the Tibetan script, it is convenient to use a Tibetan-based romanization to transliterate it.

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.

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