Reconstructions of Ancient Chinese revisited: From a perspective of similarity calculation on doculects (In Chinese)

Abstract 摘要

Eight reconstruction systems for Old Chinese and Middle Chinese raised by Bernhard Karlgren, Wang Li, Li Fang-Kuei, Tung T’ungho, Chou Fa-kao, Zhengzhang Shangfang, Pan Wuyun and Baxter-Sagart are revisited in this paper. Taking 60 doculects of balanced Modern Chinese dialects as reference, similarities between Old Chinese, Middle Chinese and modern Chinese dialects are calculated with ASJP tools. Evolution rates for Old Chinese to Middle Chinese, Middle Chinese to Modern Chinese and the rates ratios are analysed. The results show that Zhengzhang Shangfang’s and Baxter-Sagart’s reconstructions are most reasonable and self-consistent ones among the eight systems. The author argues that, from an external perspective of diachronic change of language, analysis on similarity data and change rates may contribute to reconstruction evaluation.



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