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Conference Papers Year : 2018

More on Network Approaches in Historical Chinese Phonology (音韻學)


The discipline of Historical Chinese Phonology has made great progress during the last thirty years. Thanks to these improvements we have now a much clearer picture of the history of the Chinese language and the development of the Chinese writing system. Since Historical Chinese Phonology is an inherently data-driven discipline, it is, however, surprising that most of the research still heavily relies on qualitative investigations. Given that quantitative approaches have been proven useful to tackle different problems in general historical linguistics, it seems worthwhile to explore how they could be used to help investigating specific problems in Historical Chinese Phonology. Building on recent attempts to apply network approaches to problems of rhyme analysis in Old Chinese poetry and the modeling of Chinese dialect history, this paper presents some new ideas by which specific problems of Historical Chinese Phonology, such as the modeling of character formation processes in the history of the Chinese writing system, the analysis of sound glosses in Middle Chinese literature, or the evaluation of reconstruction systems and rhyme analyses, can be handled with help of network techniques which were originally designed to study problems in other research fields. The ideas presented are understood as work-in-progress. The goal is not to provide full-fledged solutions and applications, but rather to inspire a discussion among colleagues that may help to further improve the methods presented. All examples are accompanied by data and code, enabling scholars interested in the approaches to test the analyses themselves and develop them further.
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Dates and versions

hal-01706927 , version 1 (12-02-2018)
hal-01706927 , version 2 (10-03-2018)
hal-01706927 , version 3 (07-08-2018)




  • HAL Id : hal-01706927 , version 3


Johann-Mattis List. More on Network Approaches in Historical Chinese Phonology (音韻學). The 2nd Li Fang-Kuei Young Scholars Symposium, Li Fank-Kuei Society of Chinese Linguistics, Jul 2018, Taipei, Taiwan. pp.157-174. ⟨hal-01706927v3⟩
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