Digital Chinese Historical Phonology


Dr. Mattis List (Max-Planck-Institut für Menschheitsgeschichte, Jena)

Datum und Zeit

11. April 2019, 14:00 - 15:45 Uhr


Universität Zürich, Raum KOL G 221, Rämistrasse 71, 8006 Zürich


Traditional Chinese Historical Phonology is an excellent example for a traditional discipline which was always empirical and data-driven, given that all major breakthroughs, both by Chinese and Western scholars, have been achieved by sifting through large amounts of data on characters, rhymes, or pronunciation glosses. Given the importance which data analysis plays in Chinese Historical Phonology, however, it is surprising that the most of the research still heavily relies on qualitative investigations, although the discipline would be a perfect field in which the advantages of digital approaches could be demonstrated. In the talk, I will give an overview on recent attempts to strengthen the digital component in research on Chinese Historical Phonology. I will show how rhyme networks can help to study rhyme patterns in Ancient Chinese texts (List 2017), how character formation graphs can be used to study the development of the Chinese writing system in close relation to the development of Chinese phonology (Hill and List forthcoming), and how consistent rhyme annotation could help to develop large corpora of Chinese poetry across times and places (List, Hill, and Forster under review). In addition, I will present and invite to discuss initial plans for a set of tools that could help sinologists to acquire quick access to fundamental knowledge in Chinese Historical Phonology.


Asien-Orient-Institut - Sinologie